Faller requires surgery after being struck by sapling

Radium Hot Springs BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The faller was clearing an escape route for his next tree. He was bucking a 6” diameter dry spruce that had blown down across the top of a 1” diameter Balsam sapling. Both trees were laying approximately 12” off the ground.
The worker was attempting to cut a section of the dry spruce approximately 16” long. After making the first cut of the spruce on one side of the Balsam the faller made a second cut on the other side of the Balsam. After making the second cut, the spring loaded sapling catapulted the 16” long piece of spruce at the faller, striking the faller in the lower abdomen.
The faller thought he was only slightly winded. He continued to work for approximately 2 hours before feeling sick. The faller then obtained assistance from the other faller on the block.
The faller became very sick and showed symptoms of shock. He was taken to hospital via helicopter where he underwent surgery to remove a damaged spleen.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Review SWP all fallers, Review results of investigation with crew, emphasize caution when bucking loaded trees.

File attachments
2007-08-23 Faller requires surgery after being struck by sapling.pdf
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