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Tree worker

incident database

Fill out our simple 'Tree worker incident form' and play your part in improving the safety of our industry with our crowd-sourced data.

The Arboriculture industry statistically is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. It is imperative that the health and safety within our industry keeps evolving. It is our responsibility as Arborists to implement the safe work practices on our job sites, to wear all relevant PPE, to train apprentices and new hires in the correct way without allowing bad habits and potentially dangerous techniques.

We need to analyze our own incidents, learn from them, and figure out where mistakes were made and how the incident can be avoided/prevented in the future. We have to share these stories and experiences with our colleagues, and if possible to an even broader audience through social media and industry events.

Our goal is to create the most comprehensive 'Tree Worker incident database' that includes close calls and injuries. This database outlines the type of injury, the cause, a detailed description of the incident, factors leading to the incident and what could have been changed to avoid the injury (in the opinion of the contributor).

Date of incident01/12/2021
Incidentleft hand cut with chainsaw
Location of incidentMar del Plata, Buenos Aires
Map It
Age of impacted party48
OutcomeSerious injury
Type of incident
  • Cut body part
Type of equipment involved
  • Chainsaw
Type of injury
  • Cut/Laceration
Bodily injury to
  • Upper limb
Action taken
  • Offsite Medical Professional assistance
Involvement of contributorWorker performing task
  • Sunny/mostly sunny
Causes of the incident
  • Training deficiency
Description of incident

It was in an acacia tree. We had lost a lot of time, so we decided to cut a very large branch in one go. I anticipated that the tree would shake a lot, so I decided to finish the cut with one hand and hold on to the main trunk with my left (my second mistake). The branch broke before the cut was complete and dragged me down with the ropes. In the jolt my left hand came loose and the chainsaw grazed me.
I suffered the cut of the tendon and nerves of the middle finger, with a serious risk of losing it, and slight damage to the ring and little fingers

Incident review and preventative measures

The main cause was the lack of proper training. Trying to cut such a large branch with a single cut was a serious mistake and using the chainsaw with one hand caused the total loss of control over the machine at the moment of the jolt, with the result that is visible

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Form completed by (optional)German Ignacio Lopez
FirstGerman Ignacio