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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201352895 - Employee Is Killed When Tree Crushed Cab Of Excavator

Accident: 201352895 -- Report ID: 0419700 -- Event Date: 11/21/2005
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30843503111/22/20051629J.D. Sweeney Corporation
On November 21, 2005, Employee #1, a member of a crew, was clearing a site of pine trees. He was operating a John deer 490E excavator that was equipped with a claw-thumb bucket. This excavator was not equipped with rollover guards or with overhead and rear canopy guards. He was attempting to fell a pine tree that was approximately 29 ft high with a trunk diameter of approximately 17-in. He used the bucket to dig around and under the base of the tree. He then hooked the bucket behind the tree and used the excavator arm to pull the tree in the direction of the excavator. The tap root of the tree snapped and the tree fell onto the cab of the excavator, crushing it. Employee #1 died due to respiratory failure and asphyxia due to a spinal cord compression and fractures, and a blunt head and neck impact.
Keywords: asphyxiated, tree felling, crushed, tree, excavator, struck by, bucket elevator, motor vehicle
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling New project or new addition $500,000 to $1,000,000 1 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 308435031 Fatality Asphyxia Industrial truck and tractor equipment operators FallDist:
FallHt:
Cause: Site clearing and grubbing
FatCause: Struck by falling object/projectile

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