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Groundman killed by falling tree section at tree removal operation.

New Jersey 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 05NJ081, 2007 Feb; :1-9
On October 2, 2005, an 18-year-old groundman for a small tree trimming company was killed when he was struck by a falling section of tree. The incident occurred at a private residence where the company had been hired to remove four trees and to prune a fifth. The employer hired two workers as groundmen to assist him in doing the ground work as he cut down the trees. The victim, who was referred to the employer by another employee, was working his first day as a groundman with the company. His training that day was on-the-job, and included warnings from the employer to stay clear when he was working in the trees. At approximately 4:00 p.m., the employer had climbed to the top of a 50-foot-high sweetgum tree, his last tree of the day. He had already removed the branches and was cutting the tree in sections, beginning at the top and working his way down. The employer had just made a cut with his chainsaw and was pushing a section clear when he saw the victim walking on the ground beneath him. He shouted a warning and the victim tried to run clear, but the tree section struck him on the head. The victim was airlifted to the regional trauma center where he died of his injuries approximately seven hours later. NJ FACE investigators recommend following these safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents: 1. All employers and employees involved in tree work should receive training in arborist methods. 2. Employees should use proper tree removal and communication methods as outlined in the ANSI Standard Z133.1-2000. 3. The employer should assess each job for safety hazards and design a work plan that addresses methods of dealing with the hazards.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Work-practices; Training; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-performance; Forestry; Forestry-workers; Logging-workers
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-05NJ081; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008485; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008345
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Page last reviewed: August 19, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division