Faller slip and fall on steep ground

Safety Alert Type: 
Manual Tree Falling
Coastal BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A hand faller had just wedged over a cedar, cleared the stump and was returning to get his saw. He bent down to pick up the saw and stepped in an unexpected hole, which caused a forward fall.

The faller was unable to stop his fall by grabbing brush and tumbled 40+ feet down an 80%+ slope. He was stopped by trees and brush at the base of the slope. The ground was rocky and covered in salal.

The faller sustained a right arm fracture and a rib fracture. Very fortunate as injuries could have been much worse.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • While on steep terrain, ensure solid foot placement before attempting other tasks.
  • Caulks must be sharp when walking in the woods. Supervisors need to check.
  • Faller escape routes and access/egress trails must be planned and properly cleared of brush and other obstacles.
  • If unforeseen conditions are encountered, stop work, re-assess and seek advice.
  • Fallers/Falling Supervisors need to walk quarters ahead of time and identify hazards including terrain.
  • Supervisors to ensure fallers are fit-for-work before the start of each shift.
  • WorksafeBC OHSR 8.11(4) states that chin straps or other effective means of retention must be used on safety headgear when workers are climbing or working from a height exceeding 3 metres (10 ft), or are exposed to high winds or other conditions that may cause loss of headgear.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Gary Bauer, Coastal Woodlands Operations Gary.Bauer@interfor.com


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