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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14481782 - Employee Killed When Struck By Branches Of Falling Tree

Accident: 14481782 -- Report ID: 0316400 -- Event Date: 12/18/1986
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
72009412/19/19861799Union Drilling Co.
Employee #1, the acting field supervisor, stopped by a site to assess his crew's progress in a tree cutting operation. The site was being prepared for a new gas/oil well for a petroleum development corporation. Employee #1 instructed two coworkers to move a previously felled tree and then walked away from them, down a small hill. He entered into the blind side of a sawyer who was felling a 90 ft tall, 33 in. diameter oak tree. Before notching and cutting the tree, the saw operator looked behind him and accounted for the people on site, including Employee #1. He then notched and cut the large tree from right to left. He lacked about 6 in. of cut when the tree snapped and started falling to his left and slightly uphill. The sawyer immediately pulled his saw to keep it from becoming wedged between the tree and the tree stump and then backed away from the tree. He looked in the direction in which it was moving and saw Employee #1 running parallel to the path on which it was falling. The two coworkers who last spoke with Employee #1 went over the hill and found him lying under some large branches of the fallen tree. He had been wearing head protection, but it was either lost while running or knocked off by the branches. Employee #1 died as a result of severe head injuries.
Keywords: head, tree felling, work rules, construction, tree, struck by, communication, inattention
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 720094 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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