Jackpot releases hazardous snag on tree faller

near Golden, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Chatter Creek Holdings Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A right-of-way tree faller was working to clear an area to fall an upslope jackpot of small snags when he was struck on the head by a 5-inch diameter snag approximately 40' long that fell out of the jackpot. The faller had just completed falling the second of two green non-merch fir trees that he had previously determined were blocking his planned falling direction for the jackpot, when he was struck while moving along his escape route.

The faller was knocked unconscious for an estimated five minutes. When he regained consciousness, he radioed the nearby supervisor/excavator operator for assistance. The supervisor found the faller approximately 30 metres away from where the incident occurred.

The faller was standing and talking clearly. The site supervisor/first aid attendant assessed the faller for trauma and shock. The faller had cuts on his head from his hardhat and said he had a sore back. He told the first aid attendant what had happened but to be safe, the attendant wanted to evacuate the faller via medical helicopter. However, the faller's decision was to decline and walk to the truck. The Louisiana Pacific supervisor arrived as they were leaving the site and he also asked the faller about being evacuated by helicopter and once again the faller declined.

The LP supervisor assisted the faller on the walk back to the truck and the site supervisor/first aid attendant transported the faller by truck to hospital in nearby Golden, BC for examination by a doctor. The doctor diagnosed a concussion and vertebrae compression fracture (2 vertebrae).

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Remind all hand fallers that additional options are available to overcome falling difficulties. These options include waiting for machines to arrive on-site to deal with jackpots
  • Re-emphasize the importance of reviewing anticipated site-specific falling difficulties during pre-work and all strategies to deal with the difficulties


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Bev Garrett, Chatter Creek Holdings Ltd. 250-344-4566

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