NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Tree service owner/operator dies after falling from a tree.

Minnesota 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 92MN016, 1992 Dec; :1-4
A 53-year-old male tree service owner/operator (victim) died as a result of injuries he received after falling approximately 30 feet from a tree he was preparing to remove. Before felling the tree, it was necessary for him to remove upper branches with a small chain saw. The victim used climbers to ascend the tree and a positioning tree trimmer's belt to support and steady himself while working. He tied off to a tree limb approximately 3 feet above him with a 1/2 inch diameter manila rope that was attached to the belt. No fall-arrest protection was used. He instructed two ground workers to clear the area before he began trimming branches. He made three or four cuts to branches below his anchor point without incident. He then attempted to trim some branches located on the limb above him, onto which he was anchored. He apparently lost track of the location of the manila support rope during this process and severed it approximately 2 feet from his belt. He fell to the ground and died as a result. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. employers should supply fall arrest as well as positioning equipment for workers who must perform elevated work and have both hands free for work; 2. cuts to branches and limbs above a tree trimmer's position, or near an anchor point, should not be attempted; and 3. proper personal protective equipment should be provided for workers to perform their jobs safely.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Forestry-workers; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment
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-92MN016; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division