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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Inspection Detail

Case Status: OPEN

Note: The following inspection has not been indicated as closed. Please be aware that the information shown may change, e.g. violations may be added or deleted. For open cases, in which a citation has been issued, the citation information may not be available for 5 days following receipt by the employer for Federal inspections or for 30 days following receipt by the employer for State inspections.

Inspection: 1559119.015 - Superior Tree Service Inc.

Inspection Information - Office: Ca American Canyon District Office


Inspection Nr: 1559119.015
Report ID: 0950615
Date Opened: 10/20/2021

Site Address:
Superior Tree Service Inc.
876 Camino Ricardo
Moraga, CA 94556

Mailing Address:
14670 Noble Avenue, San Jose, CA 95132

Union Status: NonUnion


NAICS: 561730/Landscaping Services

Inspection Type: Fat/Cat

Scope: Partial

Advanced Notice: N

Ownership: Private

Safety/Health: Safety

Close Conference: 04/18/2022


Case Closed:

Related Activity
Type Activity Nr Safety Health
Accident 1825186
Case Status: OPEN
Violation Summary
Violations/Penalties Serious Willful Repeat Other Unclass Total
Initial Violations 2 3 2 7
Current Violations 2 3 2 7
Initial Penalty $18,900 $0 $30,800 $1,400 $0 $51,100
Current Penalty $18,900 $0 $30,800 $1,400 $0 $51,100
FTA Penalty $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Violation Items
# Citation ID Citaton Type Standard Cited Issuance Date Abatement Due Date Current Penalty Initial Penalty FTA Penalty Contest Latest Event Note
1. 01001 Other 3395(I) 04/18/2022 $700 $700 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
2. 01002 Other 3421(A) 04/18/2022 $700 $700 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
3. 02001 Repeat 3395(H) 04/18/2022 $2,800 $2,800 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
4. 03001 Repeat 3421(M) 04/18/2022 $2,800 $2,800 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
5. 04001 Serious 3421(D) 04/18/2022 $6,300 $6,300 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
6. 05001 Repeat 3421(F) 04/18/2022 $25,200 $25,200 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  
7. 06001 Serious 3427(B)(5) 04/18/2022 $12,600 $12,600 $0 04/26/2022 C - Contested  

Investigation Summary

Investigation Nr: 140355.015
Event: 10/20/2021
Employee Is Killed In Fall From Tree, Rigging System Fails

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,

Investigated Inspection
# Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1559119.015 Fatality Laborers, except construction
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