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Logger fatally injured by falling tree.

Kentucky Department of Health Services
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 00KY051, 2000 Dec; :1-4
A 73-year-old male self-employed logger (the victim) was killed when he presumably was struck on the head by a branch of a falling tree. He and his son, the only other logger on site, had finished a break and had been working approximately 30 minutes when the incident occurred. The son was operating a skidder attached to the base of a tree that had been cut, but was still standing, nearly vertical, hung in the fork of another tree. He was pulling the base away from the stump so that the tree would fall to the ground. The father was watching, waiting for the tree to come down so that he could begin trimming away the branches. After the tree hit the ground, the son got off of the skidder intending to help his father trim the branches, but he didn't see his father. Searching the site, he found his father unresponsive, slumped forward on his knees, in the branches of the fallen tree. Since there were no telephones on site, the son took a van that they had parked in a clearing nearby to call for help. As he was driving through a pasture toward the landowners house, he came upon the landowner who was loading cattle and asked him to go to the house to call 911 so that he could return to the scene. Upon returning to his father, the son had to cut away some branches in order to reach him. He moved his father out from under the branches and held him in his lap, waiting for help to arrive. Emergency medical services (EMS) were dispatched to the scene after receiving the call at 7:40 a.m., and arrived at 8:00 a.m. One of the EMS workers, also being a coroner, pronounced the victim dead at the scene, immediately upon their arrival. In order to prevent similar instances from occurring, FACE investigators recommend that: 1. Loggers should attend the Master Logger Program for education regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) logging standards and safety procedures. 2. A clear escape path should always be planned when felling a tree and no one except for the person cutting the tree, or in this case, skidding the tree, should be in the area. 3. A hazard assessment of the logging site should be completed before beginning work to identify and control potential hazards. 4. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at the logging site.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Traumatic-injuries; Region-4; Logging-workers; Forestry-workers; Safety-education; Safety-helmets; Safety-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-00KY051; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-409879
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Kentucky Department of Health Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division