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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, a nd his two-man crew, were conducting after storm clean-up operations in the afte rmath of a wind storm that knocked trees across roadways and caused significant damage to the above ground utility lines. During the clean-up operations, Employ ee #1 attempted to cut a white pine tree that had fallen across the roadway usin g a Stihl MS 311 chainsaw, Serial number 299009719, equipped with a 20 inch roll omatic bar. The pine tree was approximately 45 inches in diameter on the stump a nd formed two codominant stems at 8 feet in height. The stem on the northern sid e separated from the stump and fell onto the utility line during the period of h igh 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 pi nned to the ground under the weight of the tree. When Employee #1 made a cut, th e top portion of the tree sprung back, due to the relief of the tension on the s tretched telecommunication line, and struck the employee. The employee was weari ng a hard hat and safety glasses. As a result of being struck by the tree, Emplo yee #1 sustained multiple skull fractures, a brain bleed, head lacerations, a fr actured spinal cord, a fractured sternum, a collapsed lung, and paralysis of his lower extremities. The employee was evaluated by first responders and transport ed to a nearby medical center by ambulance for treatment.
Keywords: brain, chain saw, collapse, emergency response, falling object, fracture, hard hat, hemorrhage, laceration, lung, paralysis, power lines, ppe, skull, struck by, tree trimming, vertebra
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1274648.015 61 M Hospitalized injury Highway Maintenance Worker

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