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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201186384 - Employee Falls From Tree, Has Contusions, Is Unconscious

Accident: 201186384 -- Report ID: 0950611 -- Event Date: 06/13/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31269318706/14/20120721Jose Miguel Soto Dba Jose'S Tree Service

At approximately 5:53 p.m. on June 13, 2012, Employee #1, a tree climber and foreman with Jose Miguel Soto Dba Jose's Tree Service, was on a tree 62 ft above the ground, operating a chain saw while standing on a limb, cutting an adjacent limb. The limb that was being cut had a thick rope tied around it, that went up to a pulley tied on a higher limb approximately 9 ft above him. The end of the thick rope went to a coworker, a qualified tree worker and groundsman, whose job was to suspended cut limbs and manually lower them onto the ground, after they were cut free from the tree. Employee #1 was cutting a limb approximately 12 in. to 14 in. in length and approximately 10 ft to 12 ft in diameter. The coworker warned Employee #1 that the branch was too big and to cut it in smaller lengths. Employee #1 continued to cut at full length, and the coworker put additional wraps around the lower anchor supporting device to hold the load. When the large limb was cut, the weight of the large branch was transferred to the pulley and the upper branch. The end of the rope, secured by wraps to the anchor at the base of the tree, was held by the coworker. The cut branch overloaded the upper branch causing it to break and tear towards Employee #1, The cut branch caught Employee #1's positioning safety rope. The branch pulled Employee #1 from the tree, causing him to fall approximately 62 feet to the ground. Employee #1 was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was treated for his bruised lung, head, and leg injuries. Employee #1 suffered traumatic brain injury and was in a coma. Employee #1 was cutting a limb too large and heavy, and he did not follow the direction of the qualified tree worker (the coworker). The employer was cited under T8 '3421 (b), which requires tree trimming or removal operations to be done under the direction of a qualified tree worker (the coworker. Other violations were observed, and the employer was cited accordingly.

Keywords: anchor, head, unconsciousness, tree felling, rope, chain saw, work rules, pulley, contusion, leg

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 312693187 Hospitalized injury Concussion Groundskeepers and gardeners, except farm

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