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 incident07/01/2019
IncidentBroken pinky, cuts to the hands, loss of feeling in 2 fingers
Location of incidentUnited States
Map It
Age of impacted party30
OutcomeMinor injury
Type of incident
  • Cut body part
Type of equipment involved
  • Chipper
  • Electric or hydraulic winch (vehicle or chipper mount)
Type of injury
  • Cut/Laceration
  • Bone fracture
Bodily injury to
  • Upper limb
Action taken
  • Offsite Medical Professional assistance
Involvement of contributorWorker performing task
Causes of the incident
  • Training deficiency
  • Incorrect equipment setup
  • Injury caused by another collegue
Description of incident

Had the ball cart on the chipper on top of the which housing due to the chip truck being full. The ball cart was half hitched back to the reverse bar and then went under the winch housing and half hitched the other side of the ball cart to the reverse barand then chocked on to the end of the winch line. Got back to the shop and went to take off the ball cart. Put the winch in neutral to take slack and loosen the rope but was too tight so I asked the guy next to me to start the chipper up and push the winch lever in to let slack out which he did
I then pulled the winch line to get the slack through the system and then the guy pulled the winch lever and it sucked all the slack back up and my hands got caught between the rope and the metal plate of the winch housing. Never told him to do it and he never said he was going to to it.

Contributing factors

No communication. Lack of training on the other guy.

Incident review and preventative measures

Leave the ball cart on job site and go dump and go back and pick it up. Should of made it a one man job to take the slack out.