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JICOSH Home > Case Studies > Case No.101
Case No.101

Worker was hit by a rock thrown up by the root of a tree that was uprooted when a cut tree fell against it

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[Description of the Accident]

This accident took place during work to cut down some trees on a sloped mountainside in order to widen the forest road.

On the day of the accident, the plan called for two teams consisting of two workers each to cut down a stand of trees on a slope with an average inclination of 35 degrees. The trees were to be cut by chainsaw and the work was started in the morning. The plan was to start the work from below and move up the slope, and two workers started to work individually. Just before the worker paired with the victim cut down the 14th tree, he called out the signal "Timber" to the victim who was standing diagonally below him, and the victim stopped working to watch the tree fall.

However, the felled tree hit and momentarily leaned against a standing tree on its left, and then fell to the ground along with the struck tree that had been uprooted.

When the two workers turned back to continue their work, a rock that had been dislodged by the roots of the tree that had been knocked down started to roll.

Although the worker who noticed the noise called out a warning to "Get out," it was too late for the victim to move and he was hit directly by the rock and was killed.

[Causes supposed]

1. The tree cutting was being carried out at adjacent places on the same slope.

2. The trees should have been felled downward.

3. The workers deemed that there was no danger even if the cut-down tree started leaning on another tree.

4. The geological condition of the soil made it easy for the tree to be uprooted.

5. The safety education provided to tree-felling workers was not sufficient.

[Type of business] Road construction
[Caused by] Rock
[Type of accident] Hit by flying or falling object
[Number of victims] One fatality