On July 24, 1997, a 40-year-old self-employed male timber cutter (victim) died of injuries sustained when he was struck by a dead, falling limb. The victim had felled a live 75-foot maple tree when a limb from a dead, standing tree nearby fell with the live tree and struck him in the head. There were grapevines present which may have entangled the live and dead tree branches. A logger working on the same site discovered the victim and went to a nearby home to call emergency medical services. They arrived within eight minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital with estimated time between injury and death listed as "immediate". The WV FACE Investigator concluded, that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers, including the self-employed, should: 1. Ensure that tree fellers properly evaluate the area around timber to be felled so that potential hazards can be identified and appropriate control measures implemented. 2. Ensure that tree fellers prepare an adequate escape path and move a safe distance from the base of the tree as the tree is falling. 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a written safety program which includes, but is not limited to, training in hazard identification, avoidance, and abatement. 4. Ensure that tree fellers use appropriate personal protective equipment for the work being performed.
Region-3; 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; Logging-workers; Safety-programs; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Forestry; Forestry-workers