SUMMARY : CASE 192-036-01
A tree trimmer was pruning walnut trees in an orchard. He used a lift bucket (a "cherry picker") attached to a mobile platform, which he could raise, lower and move along the rows of trees while standing in the bucket. At the edge of the orchard, high voltage power lines crossed over the last row of trees just above the tree tops. The power company was usually called in to trim these trees.
However, on this day the worker began pruning the last row of trees. He raised his lift bucket to the top of one tree. His pruning shears touched the power line and he was electrocuted. Although co-workers pulled the lift bucket and platform away from the power lines with a truck, the worker died instantly. His body was badly burned.
How could this death have been prevented?
Publication #: CDHS(COHP)-FI-92-005-12
was extracted from a series of the Nurses Using Rural Sentinal
Events (NURSE) project, conducted by the California Occupational
Health Program of the California Department of Health Services,
in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health. Publication date: August 1992.
The NURSE (Nurses Using Rural Sentinel Events) project is conducted by the California Occupational Health Program of the California Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The program's goal is to prevent occupational injuries associated with agriculture. Injuries are reported by hospitals, emergency medical services, clinics, medical examiners, and coroners. Selected cases are followed up by conducting interviews of injured workers, co-workers, employers, and others involved in the incident. An on-site safety investigation is also conducted. These investigations provide detailed information on the worker, the work environment, and the potential risk factors resulting in the injury. Each investigation concludes with specific recommendations designed to prevent injuries, for the use of employers, workers, and others concerned about health and safety in agriculture.
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