Initial Notification of Forestry/Arboriculture Fatality
- Issued by HSE’s Agricultural Sector to the Arboriculture & Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG); to assist with timely promotion of key health and safety messages.
- The details are based on initial notification and media coverage and do not fully reflect the detailed circumstances of the incident. The death has been treated as work related BUT this will be subject to further assessment.
- The links to existing H&S guidance are to help recipients promote health and safety and should not be taken to imply any detail about the cause of the incident.
Incident summary as notified to HSE or reported in the media
Date of incident: 7/12/2021
Geographic area: Kent
General nature of incident: Struck by tree
Brief details of incident
Initial notification is that a worker was crushed and killed when she was felling a tree.
Links to relevant published guidance (HSE and industry publications)
Guidance can be found on the HSE Tree work health & safety web site, the Arboricultural Association and the Forestry Industry Safety Accord (FISA) website.
Key messages to promote
Being struck by a tree, or branches, during felling or other tree work is a significant cause of death and major injury in forestry, arboriculture, and other land-based industries. Tree work is common, and the risks need to be managed.
- Anyone involved in tree work, including felling, must be trained and competent for the task being done. Keep other people well away from work areas.
- Tree work must be planned and supervised. Check trees for signs of decay and other factors that may affect felling or the work to be done. Where necessary set up exclusion zones.
- Select suitable equipment. Mechanised means of felling, eg harvesters, grapple saws and tree shears, should be considered and used where appropriate.
- Look out for dead wood, insecure/unstable branches, and broken tops in the tree to be cut, and in adjacent trees.
- During felling, keep other people more than two tree lengths away.
- Keep the escape route and work area, clear of obstructions.
- Emergency arrangements should include first aid provision and ability to quickly contact emergency services.
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