A 22-year-old logger was killed after being struck on the head by a falling snag (dead standing tree). The victim was working with one co-worker, who was selectively cutting trees which were approximately 22 inches in diameter. Standing approximately three feet from the tree being cut, the victim was not wearing a hard hat. The cut tree broke a snag about 35 feet up, causing the snag to fall and strike the victim on the head. The co-worker (tree feller) shouted to the victim, but he was unable to move away in time to avoid being hit. FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should:

  • 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.
  • Develop, implement and enforce a written safety program which includes worker training in recognizing, avoiding and abating hazards.
  • Provide and enforce the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Ensure that emergency messages can be transmitted and received quickly.
  • Designate a qualified person to conduct regular safety inspections.

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