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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200470482 - Volunteer Trail Worker Is Struck And Killed By Falling Tree

Accident: 200470482 -- Report ID: 0253620 -- Event Date: 05/10/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31584420906/04/20120851Nysdec Stamford Sub-Office

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on May 10, 2012, an employee was working for the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. The employee was a volunteer member of the Allegany Catskill (Alley Cat) trail maintenance crew. Members of the Alley Cat crew were performing trail clearing duties. The incident occurred on the Pelnor Hollow Trail, in the Delaware Wild Forest, in the Town of Colchester, NY. Another member of the volunteer detail was operating a chainsaw to cut a tree that was hung up across the Pelnor Hollow Trail path. As the tree that was hung up fell, it struck another dead tree, which fell into the crotch of a black cherry tree. The top of the dead tree broke off, and a branch approximately 4 inches (100 millimeters) in diameter struck the employee in the back of his head. He sustained severe head trauma. He had not been operating the chainsaw. He was not wearing head protection at the time of the incident. Finger Lakes Trail Conference Alley Cat volunteers on scene attended to the employee, sent a runner on foot for assistance, used a cellular phone to call emergency services, and activated a satellite SOS device. Emergency medical services, New York State troopers, and state Department of Environmental Conservation workers arrived at approximately 1:00 p.m. The employee was hiked out of the trail. At approximately 3:00 p.m., he was airlifted to Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, NY, on an emergency medical helicopter. The employee died from the massive head trauma at Wilson Medical Center, Johnson City, NY, on May 11, 2012.

Keywords: head, hard hat, tree felling, tree limb, emergency response, ppe, chain saw, elderly, struck by, falling object

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315844209 Fatality Other Occupation not reported

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