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Faller fatally injured by limb-tied tree

Date of incident: July 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015136960134
Employer: Tree falling company

Incident summary
A faller was in the process of falling a 114-foot cedar tree. Two nearby hemlock trees became uprooted when the cedar was felled. The faller was struck by one of the hemlocks and pinned under its rootwad. The faller later died of his injuries.

 

 

Investigation conclusions

Cause

  • Shallow root systems could not support hemlock trees. The hemlocks were growing on rocky terrain and their root systems were shallow. The shallow condition of the root systems affected the stability of the trees but was not recognized. The faller placed preparatory cuts into the cedar tree and began moving toward one of the hemlock trees, which was limb-tied to the cedar — the branches of the trees were growing together and had become intermingled. The cedar tree was unable to support the weight of the hemlock tree due to the preparatory cuts and began to fall. As the cedar tree fell and due to the limb-tied conditions and shallow root systems, the hemlock tree also fell. In turn, the other nearby hemlock tree was also uprooted. The limb-tied hemlock tree struck and fatally injured the faller.

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Publication Date: Jul 2019 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015136960134