A 42-year-old logger was killed after being struck on the head by a falling limb from a snag (dead standing tree). The victim had been working with one co-worker, who had temporarily left the scene to remove some logs. They were selectively cutting dead or dying trees which were approximately 20 inches in diameter. While his co-worker was away, the victim cut a tree which broke a snag approximately 30-35 feet up. The snag fell directly on the victim, striking him in the forehead. He was not wearing any type of head protection at the time of the incident. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and later transferred to a trauma center, but died the same day. The KY FACE investigator concluded that, to prevent similar occurrences, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Ensure that tree fellers properly evaluate the area around timber to be felled so that potential hazards can be identified and appropriate control measures implemented
  • Provide and enforce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Ensure that emergency messages can be transmitted quickly
  • Designate a qualified person to conduct regular safety inspections
  • Loggers should attend the Master Logger Program for education regarding logging standards and safety practices

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number

96KY019; 96KY01901