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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 93769.015 - Employee Falls From Collapsing Tree And Is Killed

Accident: 93769.015 -- Report ID: 0352450 -- Event Date: 02/21/2017
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1213124.01502/21/2017Beautiful Country Landscape, Llc
At 9:45 a.m. on February 21, 2017, employees were removing two oak trees from th e front yard of a residential home. An employee climbed the first tree using spu rs, a positioning belt, and a flip line that wrapped around the trunk. A seconda ry climbing line was attached to an adjacent tree that was not being removed. Th e employee was responsible for cutting off manageable sections of the tree. Prio r to cutting the sections, these pieces were tied off using work lines. A natura l crotch of the second tree to be removed served as a suspension point and emplo yees working from the ground slowly lowered each piece to the ground using the w ork line. After the first tree was completely removed, the employee climbed the second tree the same way. The employee made the first cut and the piece was lowe red to the ground using a false crotch attached below the cut (similar to a pull ey system). At this point, the employee was located approximately 40 feet above the ground. While the employee was rigging the next section of the tree to be l owered to the ground, the tree snapped and collapsed at a point located approxim ately 10 feet above the ground. The tree was rotted, decayed, and hollow at its base from the ground to a point where it broke. The void measured approximately 12 inches in diameter. The base of the tree was approximately 27 inches wide and 17 inches wide where it snapped. The thickness of the standing wood and the bar k surrounding the void totaled approximately 2-1/4 inches. The tree fell over an d the employee was pulled it to the ground. The employee landed next to the tree when he hit the ground. The motion and weight of the falling tree caused the tr ee branch used as a secondary attachment point on the adjacent tree to snap and fall to ground as well. The employee's head hit the ground causing severe head trauma resulting in death.
Keywords: chain saw, fall, falling object, rigging, structural collapse, tree trimming
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1213124.015 26 M Fatality Timber cutting and logging occupations

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