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Faller struck by overhead hazard

Safety Alert Type: 
Manual Tree Falling
Location: 
Coastal British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2020-10-19
Company Name: 
INTERFOR
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A faller was overcoming a limb tied cedar tree hazard by using an alder to push the cedar tree hazard over. As jackpot started to go over, the faller took steps back to get into the clear. The faller kept a close eye on the jackpot as it fell over but did not look up and assess for overhead hazards.

A poorly rooted hemlock was dislodged. Faller was struck on hardhat by hemlock stem that came out of tree line below road reconstruction surface. Hemlock stem was 13cm DBH and 22.1 meters in length.

The faller was heli lifted to hospital for further medical assessment. It was found after CT scan the faller had sustained a fracture to his C3 vertebrae.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Develop falling plan for all Right of Way projects
  • Eliminate the risk- use mechanical means to fall timber whenever possible
  • Clear stump a minimum of 10 feet or seek cover
  • Escape trails must be tested. Moving 10’ in the wrong direction does not work
  • Maintain a close watch for all hazards, observe canopy while moving down safety trail
  • Do not let your guard down when falling small diameter trees and assessing hazards within a small diameter second growth stand

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

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

File attachments
Safety Alert-Faller Struck by Overhead Hazard-Interfor_Coastal_Woodlands-Oct_19-2020.pdf
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