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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201351293 - Employee Killed By Falling Tree On Excavator Cab

Accident: 201351293 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 02/05/2001
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30398321702/06/20011629M Of Tallahassee, Inc.

An employee was using a Caterpillar Excavator, Model 330L, to push down a tree that was approximately 60 ft tall with a trunk diameter of approximately 29 in. The tree that was being pushed down had its root system intermingled with the root system of a second tree next to it. The second tree was approximately 70 ft tall with a trunk diameter of approximately 26 in. As the employee pushed the first tree away from him, the intermingled root systems caused the second tree beside it to fall toward the employee. The second tree fell onto the cab of the excavator, crushing the employee in the cab. The employee may have died from asphyxia rather than from the force of the falling tree. This excavator was designed primarily to excavate dirt, rather than for site clearing or logging activities. The cab of the excavator had 1.6 mm steel plate in the roof section and 1.4 mm steel plate on the side panels. The cab was not equipped with either a falling object protective structure, or a rollover protective structure.

Keywords: asphyxiated, crushed, tree, excavator, struck by, falling object
Accident Details
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition $500,000 to $1,000,000 70 X

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 303983217 Fatality Asphyxia Construction trades, n.e.c. FallDist:
Cause: Site clearing and grubbing
FatCause: Crushed/run-over/trapped of operator by operating

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