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Worker fatally mauled by brown bear.

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 98AK006, 1998 Jul; :1-7
A worker was killed when he was mauled by a brown bear. The attack occurred while the victim and other members of a six-man crew were setting recording lines and sensors for a seismic exploration project. The crew was walking down a flagged trail, unaware that a bear den was approximately 40 feet away. As they passed the den, the bear emerged and attacked the victim. A co-worker, walking behind the victim, climbed a nearby tree and yelled a warning to the other workers. After attacking the victim, the bear went to a tree that another crewmember had climbed, stood up to paw at the worker's foot, and then walked away. After the bear left, co-workers radioed for medical assistance. A helicopter brought an emergency medical technician to the area. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the findings of the investigation, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that workers receive training prior to starting field work to recognize bear den habitat and react appropriately to animal encounters; additional training should be provided as needed to supplement techniques and knowledge; 2. Schedule daily flights over work areas to assess site conditions before sending crews into the field; 3. Consider having a person with wilderness training and experience on each crew to evaluate habitat for potential den sites and assist crewmembers in field safety issues; 4. Consider providing animal deterrents such as pepper spray or air horns and training in their proper use and storage to all personnel that perform duties in remote areas.
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; Animals; Training
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-98AK006; 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