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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202545299 - Employee Falls From Tree And Injures Spine

Accident: 202545299 -- Report ID: 0950641 -- Event Date: 07/15/2013
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31486313507/29/20130783Birchfield Enterprises Inc
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on July 15, 2013, Employee #1 and a crew were conducting tree service activities. They were pruning trees and removing trees, limbs and stumps as well as engaging in tree or limb guying. Employee #1, an apprentice tree trimmer, was up about 28 ft in a cypress tree. He had a Marvin pruner head on a fiberglass pole (JE Series), a kind of hand pruner, to trim the tree. Employee #1 was tied to one of its branches and pruning it, when the branch gave way. He slid down a 32-ft extension ladder about 20 ft and then fell the final 8 ft to the ground. His injuries included four fractured lumbar vertebrae. Employee #1 was transported to a medical center, where he was hospitalized for three days. The foreman, at the base of the tree, could not verify whether he was tied in properly. Employee #1 was tied to the tree with a Positioning and Suspension saddle (Weaver Leather - type II), Green Work Positioning lanyard (Yale Cordage Inc. - Type II, 0.5-in. diameter) and red Arborist Climbing line (New England Ropes - 0.4375-in. diameter). All components of the system had a tensile strength of 5,000 pounds or greater.
Keywords: tree pruner, fracture, tree felling, spine, ladder, fall, tree trimming
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 314863135 Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported

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