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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202508131 - Tree Trimmer Fractures Ankle In Fall When Gaff Cuts Out

Accident: 202508131 -- Report ID: 0950622 -- Event Date: 01/27/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31432618202/10/20110783Martinez Utility Services, Inc.
At approximately 1:50 p.m. on January 27, 2011, Employee #1 was working for a tree trimming service that was working on utility power line rights of way. He was part of a crew of three, assigned by the employer to cut tree branches encroaching on power lines owned by the utility PG&E in residential areas located in Vallejo, CA. Employee #1 was climbing a 25-foot-tall redwood tree in the backyard of a residence in Vallejo, CA. He had prepared his climbing gear, and he had been given instructions by the crew leader before he started climbing the tree. He was going to cut branches at the top, just below some power lines. He was approximately seven feet above the ground, when the gaff on his left tree climber cut out and he broke free of the tree bark. This happened just as he was positioning his safety line, or flip line. He fell, first hitting his right arm on a fence just north of the tree and then falling to his left and landing on his left foot. Next, the left side of his body hit the ground, several feet east of the tree. Employee #1 felt severe pain in his left ankle and sat up to relieve the pain. A coworker helped Employee #1 remove his gaffs from his boots and then called out to a second coworker, who was in his truck in front of the house. The two coworkers spoke with Employee #1 regarding his injured left foot, before contacting their general foreman by phone at around 2:30 p.m. The general foreman arrived in approximately five minutes. Employee #1 was assisted to the front of the house and then transported by the general foreman to Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, just a few minutes away. Employee #1 was treated for a broken left ankle before being released at approximately 7:00 p.m. on January 27, 2011.
Keywords: fracture, overhead power line, tree limb, slip, tree, fall, tree trimming, ankle, cutout--gaff
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 314326182 Hospitalized injury Fracture Hand cutting and trimming occupations

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