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Worker struck by falling tree

Date of incident: March 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015163750107
Employer: Tree service company

Incident summary
A faller and a bucker were engaged in land‑clearing activities that involved the falling of trees. The faller cut down a large tree. The bucker had moved out of view of the faller and walked under the path of the falling tree. The bucker sustained fatal injuries as a result of being struck by the tree.

 

 

Investigation conclusions

Cause
  • Failing to maintain a two tree‑length safety distance: The faller began to cut down a large tree while the bucker was within the two tree‑length safety distance. The faller was certain where the tree would fall due to the 10‑degree lean of the tree. The faller failed to anticipate that the bucker would move from his original location and enter into the falling radius to the north of the faller.

Underlying factors

  • Failure to effectively plan and communicate work to be done: The faller planned to fall three trees and communicated his plan to the bucker. The faller planned to fall the first tree in a northerly direction and the next two trees to the west. While the faller was cutting the first tree, the bucker walked into the path of the tree that was falling to the north. The faller’s plan was not effectively communicated to the bucker.
  • Inadequate training and supervision of the worker: The faller allowed the bucker to remain within a two tree‑length radius of a tree being felled. The faller failed to provide the necessary training and supervision to the bucker in this incident.

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Publication Date: Nov 2017 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015163750107