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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 140355.015 - Employee Is Killed In Fall From Tree, Rigging System Fails

Accident: 140355.015 -- Report ID: 0950615 -- Event Date: 10/20/2021
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1559119.01510/20/2021Superior Tree Service Inc.

At 11:20 a.m. on October 20, 2021, an employee was using a chainsaw to cut trees at a private residence for a commercial tree service. The employee was working approximately 46 feet up in a tree cutting an upper section which he was tied to . The tree rigging system the employee was using is known as a negative blocking rigging system, which is also known as butt-hitching or blocking wood. This typ e of rigging system is possibly one of the most complex of all tree working situ ations and can involve a vast range of knowledge on subjects such as physics, wo od properties, equipment ratings, rope strengths and good working communications between a wide range of staff members. This technique also adds in variables th at are hard to account for and the employee needs to be aware of the significant forces generated in the rigging on various components throughout the system. In this case, the employee did not take into account the those forces generated by the cut material on the tree trunk as the material free falls before impacting the anchor point below the load. The free fall multiplies forces greatly; a 100- pound piece of wood can easily generate 1,000 pounds of force after only a short free fall. As a result, the employee was killed when the tree trunk, where the rigging system was attached, snapped from the strain imposed on it by the cut tr ee section being lowered. Emergency Medical Services was called and tried to rev ive the employee, who was on the ground with serious injuries to his left arm. T he Homeowner reported that the employee was moaning when he came out of his home to see what had happened and before EMS arrived. Multiple coworkers witnessed t he accident. The employer failed to conduct a job briefing, failed to provide ap propriate personal protective equipment, and failed to have a qualified tree wor ker onsite.

Keywords: abrasion, arm, blunt force, blunt force trauma, chain saw, communication, contusion, cutting, fall, fall from elevation, fall protection, falling object, fracture, head, heat injury prevention program, inexperience,

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1559119.015 26 M Fatality Laborers, except construction

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