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20-year-old man killed when struck by tree falling from tree-cutting machine.

New Jersey Department of Health
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 04NJ013, 2005 Mar; :1-6
On February 9, 2004, a 20-year-old male landscaping worker was killed when he was struck by a falling tree. The victim worked for his father, the owner of a small landscaping business in New Jersey. On the day of the incident, the victim and several other workers were assigned to clear a plot of land that included many large pine trees. The victim's job was to mark and clean already felled trees, which included cutting branches and reducing the size of the logs (bucking). While the victim was cutting the branches with a chainsaw, a tree-cutting machine was being used approximately 60 feet away to cut and clear the standing trees on the plot. This tree-cutting machine, similar to a front-end loader, was fitted with a specialized attachment referred to as a feller-buncher. The feller-buncher clasps the tree in hydraulic jaws, cuts the tree at its base, and enables the cut tree to then be transported. The fatal injury occurred when a cut pine tree came loose from the tree-cutting machine and fell, striking the victim. NJ FACE investigators recommend following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. All ground crew should always maintain a safe distance of at least twice the height of the felled tree from its cut point. If this is not feasible, consider staggering job shifts. 2. All machines used at the work site should be maintained in serviceable condition. 3. A safety and health plan based on job hazard analysis should be developed and followed.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-2; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-intervals; Work-operations; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-programs; Forestry-workers; Machine-operation
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-04NJ013; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-207088; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division