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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 201352614 - Employee Falls From Ladder When Struck By Tree Limb

Accident Summary Nr: 201352614 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 10/19/2004
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
30675356710/20/20040783561730Orange Park Presbyterian Church, Inc.

Abstract: On October 8, 2004, Employee #1, a maintenance man for a church, was trimming or pruning tree limbs. The majority of the limbs were 18 to 21 ft above the ground. Two coworkers were assisting Employee #1 by dragging the fallen limbs to a collection point. Employee #1 was using a Homelite chain saw, Model Number UT10947D, about which he had previously received training. It could not be determined how knowledgeable he was about pruning limbs and other proper cutting procedures. He had trimmed approximately eight trees, and then placed a 32-ft aluminum extension ladder against the next tree to trim, a 90-ft red oak. He climbed to approximately 21 feet on the ladder, which placed him above the limb that he planned to cut. The limb was approximately 16-in. in diameter. He used the chain saw to cut through the limb, approximately 1-in. from the trunk. As he cut through the limb, the limb drooped toward the ground, but was still partially connected to the trunk. The weight of the drooping limb exerted pressure on the remaining connection point of the limb. This pressure caused the connection point to split or break, and the entire limb swung into his ladder. The limb struck the ladder approximately 4 to 5 rungs below where Employee #1 was standing, knocking him and the ladder approximately 21 ft to the ground. He was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including multiple vertebral, rib, and pelvic fractures. He died from sepsis and multi-system organ failures several days later.

Keywords: fracture, chain saw, ladder, pelvis, rib, fall, struck by, flying object, untrained, tree trimming

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 306753567 Fatality Fracture Occupation not reported

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