Faulty PPE & dull chain contribute to faller’s eye injury

Mid-Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
REHN Enterprises Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A faller had fueled his tank and proceeded down right of way when he came across a blowdown. In order to buck the blowdown, the faller had to cut a sapling growing underneath; in doing so he created a punji stick approximately 30 inches in length. The faller then bucked the blowdown and proceeded falling down the right-of-way.

After 30 minutes he returned to where his fuel and backpack were sitting. The chain had been flipped off the saw and rocked, causing it to dull. The faller was going to his backpack to grab his spare chain, planning to change the dull chain for a sharp one.

He noted the punji stick and recalling the discussion from the last safety meeting, knew it had to be cut down. The faller started cutting the stick about 6 inches from the ground. Behind the punji stick was a small dead salal root that could not be seen from where the faller was standing. The salal was cut and then spun up the chain, hitting the faller’s face screen and striking him in the left eye. The screen was dislodged from the faller’s helmet.

The faller dropped his saw and turned it off, covered his eye and called his falling partners for assistance. Faller 2 & Faller 3 attended. They summoned first aid to attend and the faller was evacuated by helicopter from the worksite to hospital.

During an interview, the faller reported that he had noticed one spring on the face screen missing that morning; the screen felt loose. The faller had planned on telling the supervisor that night when he returned to the dry room.


1. Falling Screen was not in working condition and did not shield eyes properly

2. Dull chain tore into and threw the salal root instead of cutting through it

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Ensure you have proper equipment for the work being completed.

• Falling Screen must be in good working condition

• Chain must be sharp and tight when falling

• Train workers how to inspect PPE and equipment for defects. Make sure all PPE and equipment is in good condition prior to starting work, and then use it properly.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: REHN Enterprises Ltd. troy@rehn.ca 

File attachments
Faulty PPE and dull chain contribute to faller’s eye injury.pdf
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