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Tree trimmer dies after falling 12 feet when exiting the personnel bucket on an aerial bucket truck.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 91CO079, 1991 Dec; :1-2
A 49-year old part-time employee of a tree trimming service suffered severe head injuries when he fell while exiting the personnel bucket on a aerial bucket truck. The employee died 23 days later. On the day of the incident the employee had completed trimming a tree in the parking area of a small strip mall. Two co-workers had lowered the folding boom with the employee in the bucket to its resting place on the cab of the truck with the bucket extending over the rear of the truck bed. The bucket was designed with two fiberglass steps built into the exterior of the bucket. The lower step had been damaged and was replaced with a makeshift plywood step. To exit the bucket, the employee climbed over the edge of the bucket and down the two steps on the exterior. He then had to step approximately three feet to the truck body. During this unwitnessed process the deceased fell, hit his head on a concrete parking curb and suffered a severe skull fracture. The Colorado Department of Health (CDH) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that damaged equipment is adequately repaired. 2. Ensure that personal protective equipment is utilized by all employees. 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes an adequate fall protection policy. 4. Conduct a job-site survey on a regular basis to identify potential hazards, implement appropriate control measures, and provide subsequent training to employees that specifically addresses all identified hazards.
Region-8; 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; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Forestry; Forestry-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-workers; Training; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; 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-91CO079; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-808518
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division