INEXPERIENCED WORKER STRAYS INTO FELLING ZONE
BACKGROUND: A municipal worker in the Lake States was part of a crew harvesting five acres of forest to provide space for a new city park. It was winter, but there were no adverse weather conditions.
PERSONAL: The crew member was fifty-six years old and had worked for the city for approximately four years. He had no chain saw safety training and was wearing no personal protective equipment.
UNSAFE ACT OR CONDITION: This untrained crew member was delimbing a fallen tree and decided to return to the work vehicle to obtain another chain saw. On the way back to his work site he passed a coworker who was in the process of felling another tree.
ACCIDENT: As the other worker felled the tree, the returning worker walked into its path. Despite the warning shouts of the feller, the returning worker was unable to escape, and the falling tree struck him.
INJURY: A tree limb struck the worker in the chest. The other crew members came to his aid and called for medical help. The logger later died of massive internal injuries.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTIONS:
- All logging personnel must receive formal training on logging tasks and hazards and use full personnel protective equipment.
- Logging crew members should observe the two-tree-length rule when tree felling operations are underway.
- All logging crew members need to be aware of their other workers and their work activities-providing each other with a safe working environment.
Minnesota Log Safe Program
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
P.O. Box 392
Hibbing, Minnesota 55719-0392
Paul M. Klocko
Lake States Technical Division Manager
Please follow equipment manufacturers' recommendations for safe operation and maintenance procedures.