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Logger killed while felling tree - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social 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 97AK023, 1997 Aug; :1-8
A logger was killed when the trunk of the tree he was felling (cutting) struck his head. The victim was part of a two-man crew cutting trees separately on a steep hillside. After clearing an intended fall area and an escape route of brush and saplings, the victim made a series of standard cuts to fell the tree. The tree twisted on its stump, causing it to fall differently than the intended position and to strike the side of an uphill stump. The tree rebounded and struck the victim as the butt of the trunk descended and swung toward him as it continued to slip to the side of the stump. His cutting partner (the witness) notified an emergency medical technician who administered CPR. The victim remained unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the findings of the investigation, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that all cutters examine the tree before making a cut and inspect the chainsaw shavings or the wood wedge from the undercut for any signs of rot which could influence the tree's fall when finishing the cut; 2. re-enforce the use of wedges to help control the fall of the tree; 3. consider eliminating the use of a "swing cut" when defective timber is present and an adequate distance for the escape route is unavailable.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Logging-workers; Forestry; Forestry-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-workers; Lumberjacks
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-97AK023; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division