A certified faller with several years of experience was falling trees along a highway with the assistance of an excavator.
The faller and the excavator operator were using the excavator’s rake to control and guide the felled trees to the ground. During the process of falling a 14” alder, the tree barber-chaired and the faller was struck and fatally injured.
The purpose of this safety alert is to provide industry with timely notice of this incident, to raise awareness of potential hazards, and to encourage preventative actions.
Final incident investigation reports will take some time for the employer and WorkSafeBC to complete. Preliminary investigation information and photos are meant to create a visual perspective of the incident and are not intended to provide investigation evidence or to establish causal factors.
Photo 3: Close up of incident scene. Location #4 is where the faller was found pinned by the incident tree. #3 noticeable scar on small alder appears to be caused by the barber-chair when it shot back then slid down to the base. Above the scar are small marks which may have been caused by the chainsaw chain.
Based on the limited information available at this time, it is recommended that all fallers and falling supervisors / contractors take the time to review this alert and discuss the following suggested preventative actions:
Disclaimer: This Safety Alert has been produced in the interests of injury prevention. The BCFSC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the contents of this Safety Alert or any advice contained in it. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, recipients are advised that the release of this Safety Alert may have preceded full investigation of an incident and include detail that may not have been directly verified with the parties involved. Implementing any suggested actions from this Safety Alert is entirely a matter for recipients, in light of their own safety management system and related work procedures.
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