Single incident

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 incident10/01/2019
Date unknownDate unknown
IncidentSmashed Hand
Location of incidentTraverse City, Michigan
United States
Map It
Age of impacted party20
OutcomeSerious injury
Type of incident
  • Cut body part
  • Tree failure
Type of equipment involved
  • Heavy equipment (excavator, skidsteer, grapple, knuckleboom)
Type of injury
  • Cut/Laceration
Bodily injury to
  • Upper limb
Action taken
  • First aid administered (not by medical professional)
  • Offsite Medical Professional assistance
  • Insurance claim
Involvement of contributorWorker performing task
  • Sunny/mostly sunny
Causes of the incident
  • Complacency
  • Part tree failure
  • Completely unforeseeable accident
Description of incident

I was reversing through the forest on a ditch witch 1050 skid steer and was dragging a medium sized white birch top. The path wasn’t large but I was not having to go at a slower pace. Just before I exited the forest I looked behind me as the top I was dragging grabbed a dead ash tree pole that was 8 inches around and 40 plus feet tall. The tree reverberated and broke off halfway up. It spun its way down and landed just perfect to lever itself at full momentum off the hood and the very but smashed down onto my hand.

Contributing factors

Definitely had too much confidence and was not going at an appropriate speed for the part I was doing.

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