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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 100403.015 - Employee Sustains Multiple Injuries When Struck By Tree

Accident: 100403.015 -- Report ID: 0155010 -- Event Date: 10/30/2017
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1274648.01511/01/2017Fairfax, Town Of
At 2:00 p.m. on October 30, 2017, Employee #1, a municipality highway foreman, and his two-man crew, were conducting after storm clean-up operations in the aftermath of a wind storm that knocked trees across roadways and caused significant damage to the above ground utility lines. During the clean-up operations, Employee #1 attempted to cut a white pine tree that had fallen across the roadway using a Stihl MS 311 chainsaw, Serial number 299009719, equipped with a 20 inch rollomatic bar. The pine tree was approximately 45 inches in diameter on the stump and formed two codominant stems at 8 feet in height. The stem on the northern side separated from the stump and fell onto the utility line during the period of high southeastern winds. The broken section was 20 inches on the butt-end and was estimated to be 50 feet in length. All three of the power lines in the area of the fallen tree where laying on the ground and the telecommunication line was pinned to the ground under the weight of the tree. When Employee #1 made a cut, the top portion of the tree sprung back, due to the relief of the tension on the stretched telecommunication line, and struck the employee. The employee was wearing a hard hat and safety glasses. As a result of being struck by the tree, Employee #1 sustained multiple skull fractures, a brain bleed, head lacerations, a fractured spinal cord, a fractured sternum, a collapsed lung, and paralysis of his lower extremities. The employee was evaluated by first responders and transported to a nearby medical center by ambulance for treatment.
Keywords: paralysis, ppe, struck by, vertebra, brain, emergency response, fracture, hemorrhage, lung, power lines, laceration, hard hat, falling object, collapse, chain saw, skull, tree trimming
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1274648.015 61 M Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Highway Maintenance Worker

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