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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170168306 - Employee Injured When Struck By Falling Tree

Accident: 170168306 -- Report ID: 0950623 -- Event Date: 05/24/1991
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11190168205/24/19912411Dean Wasson
Employee #1 was felling a pine tree that had a catface defect (a burned out surface and interior) in the tree trunk. The center of the tree trunk was hollow, giving it a horseshoe shape where Employee #1 was cutting. The open side was about 12 in. across and the solid portion (the sides) averaged 18 in. in width. Employee #1 made an undercut on the downhill side to help guide where the tree would fall. The tree kicked back, and Employee #1 stated that he slipped when he started to run away. The tree fell on him before he could recover; he sustained injuries that required hospitalization. The tree fell perpendicular to the undercut, which was across the hill, not down it. There was little or no holding wood left on the stump and butt of the tree, so apparently the tree was cut off completely before it fell. The tree appeared to have struck another large tree while falling, which probably increased the chance of the tree kicking back. The back cut was a slanting cut, not horizontal. These conditions combined to cause the tree to fall in an unintended direction.
Keywords: kick back, tree felling, tree, struck by, falling object, logging
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 111901682 Hospitalized injury Fracture Timber cutting and logging occupations

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