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Guatemalan tree-service worker killed when pulled into brush chipper.

New York State Department of Health/Health Research Incorporated
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 05NY034, 2005 Nov; :1-5
On May 4, 2005, a 42-year-old Guatemalan tree-service worker died after he was caught and pulled into a brush chipper. The victim was a day laborer who had worked for the tree service for approximately two weeks. On the day of the incident, the victim and his employer, the tree service owner, were trimming trees behind a residence. The owner had climbed a tree and was cutting branches and passing them down to the victim; the victim then fed the limbs through the brush chipper. After passing a few limbs to the victim, the owner heard the victim yelling and saw that he was being pulled into the chipper. The owner climbed down, discovered that the brush chipper had shut off, and that only the victim's hand was visible in the feed chute. The owner immediately contacted the homeowner; 911 was called and emergency medical services arrived within minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, employers should: 1. Ensure that workers fully understand and strictly follow the safe operating, trouble shooting, and machine maintenance procedures recommended by the manufacturers when operating brush chippers; 2. Train workers in safe and proper feeding technique to avoid the hazard of being pulled into an operating brush chipper; 3. Ensure that the safety instructions and training are provided in a language that workers are able to comprehend; 4. Designate another employee as a safety watch to assist the brush chipper operator and; 5. Ensure that the area in front of the infeed hopper is free of tripping hazards. Additionally: 6. Brush chipper manufacturers should install additional safety features including emergency shut-off devices on brush chippers.
Region-2; 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; Forestry; Forestry-workers; Training; Warning-systems; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures
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-05NY034; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008474
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New York State Department of Health/Health Research Incorporated
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division