Release Date: December 5, 2016
|Task: Falling and bucking timber||Incident Date: September, 2014|
|Occupation: Cutter||Case No.:|
|Type of Incident: struck||SHARP Report No.: 92-22-2016|
In September 2014, a 24-year-old cutter died when he was struck by a tree felled by his employer. Previously the cutter had worked for four years on a rigging crew. He wanted to learn to cut timber and had been working directly under the supervision of his new employer for one month. The employer had cut timber for nearly 30 years.
The employer was contracted to cut timber while another company was running the cable operation at the site. On the day of the incident, the cutter and his employer were working on a brushy 45-degree slope with large fir trees. They were working as fast as they could because the rigging crew was catching up to them. As they worked their way up the hill, the strip narrowed. The employer decided that they needed to team up, otherwise they would be working too close to each other. The employer felled a tree and told the cutter to buck it. As the cutter was bucking the felled tree, the employer made an undercut in a fir uphill from the cutter. The employer then noticed the cutter walking uphill and behind him, away from the tree he had been bucking. Believing that the cutter was out of the fall zone, he felled the tree. He then felled a third tree alongside the others. Next he proceeded to put an undercut and then a backcut deep enough to install two wedges in a fourth tree. About 15 minutes had passed since he had felled the second tree and he had not seen the cutter, so he went to look for him. He discovered that the cutter had been struck and fatally injured by the second felled tree. The cutter was located 69 feet downhill from the second tree’s stump. Five-foot brush in the area may have hampered site lines
Prepared by Randy Clark and Christina Rappin, WA State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), WA State Dept. of Labor & Industries. The FACE Program is supported in part by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH grant# 2U60OH008487-11).
Training roster example: Printout available in PDF
Publication #: 92-22-2016| December 5, 2016
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