A 60-year-old male logger (the victim) was killed when a falling limb struck him on the head. He had been involved in the logging industry all of his life and had been working for a small logging business for six days when the fatal incident occurred. At about 9 a.m. on the day of the incident, the owner of the company went with the victim to where he would be felling trees. The victim was not wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE). They talked for a few minutes then the owner left on the bulldozer. When he returned 20-25 minutes later, he found the victim lying on the ground. No vital signs were detected. Although the incident was unwitnessed, it was apparent that he had been hit in the head by a falling limb. A broken-off branch lying nearby was about 4 inches in diameter and 4-5 feet long. The owner ran back to the truck about 3/4 mile from the scene to call 911 using the cellular phone. The police and emergency medical services were dispatched to the scene after receiving the call at 9:54 a.m. The coroner was contacted and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. In order to prevent similar instances from occurring, FACE investigators recommend that:
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at the logging site.
- A hazard assessment of the logging site should be completed before beginning work to identify and control potential hazards.
- Employers should develop and enforce a written safety program.
- Loggers should attend the Master Logger Program for education regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) logging standards and safety procedures.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Logger Fatally Injured by Falling Limb" (1998). Fatality Case Reports--Tractors/Logging. 9.