Fatal accidents continue in forestry industry

By Naoki Toya

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Cutting down trees was treated in a pretty cavalier method by my father and grandmother. They used to get me to help out when I was a child. I remember one time having a deadwood branch fall on my head and I feel quite lucky that it wasn't a heavier one. Forestry is definitely a field that requires stronger regulation.

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I worked for a construction company 8 ago years which was also in forestry industry. My pal that i went to work ever morning fell from a tall tree while he was changing his and his safety rope's position with his partner's. He went to coma for 2 weeks, opened his eyes paralyzed from below waist. He barely started to walk after 4 months. Very unlucky for him the only part that he left paralyzed for rest of his life was his pecker... Lucky for him his wife was pregnant 2 months before the incident happen. True story.

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I run and own a small tree surgery co here in the UK, the regs over here are stringent, although home owner don't have to comply, It is vital that we are insured, 1 is public liability and 2 employee liability and 3 general insurance that covers theft of tools hired in equipment etc so were covered from all angles. its pure madness not to be insured due to the compensation culture that we live in, if you can't afford it, you should NOT be in business.

I have invested lots of cash into training for the staff, the first and basic piece of training is use and maintenance of a chainsaw, students have to identify problems and rectify problems with the saw, next is felling of small trees then medium and onto larger trees, also next would be climbing tree and performing arial rescue and so on, on each of these courses health and safety legislation is covered..... tree surgery is in the top 4 worlds most dangerous professions, so the business should be tightly regulated, as for standing close to an operator when cutting a tree down, no, sorry keep out of the way, especially if you had no training, most people think its cool to swing a chainsaw around. most of these idiots usually end up on youtube as ultimate fails or they end up in hospital, or the mortuary.

As a poster above said how he and his brother were up a tree on a ladder... ( I already knew what was coming) describe his accident, we see this on a daily basis, and its the same out come. There are stacks like this on you tube, near me some years back and old bloke did the same thing but his wife was holding the ladder, but her out come was terminal for his wife, as the branch hit her clean on the head and killed her, he was arrested on manslaughter charges, ( not sure what happened to him) here is a clip of a terrifying clip its not the full version by the way.. it does go on for 2 minutes, although she's having fun, but the pros shudder with anger and disgust, 1 you never back cut a tree as it can split and you also loose control of the tree, 2 the log flips up and narrowly missus he head ( she was so close to being killed for the second time) later on she is walking over rough ground with the saw running on half revs, if she had fallen, you fill in the details, she has not personal protective equipment at all, the list goes on, ( rant over) ANY one working in this industry MUST have training and full insurance. if you cant afford to insure you or your full time or temp staff, stay out of business its as simple as that.

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The accident reportedly could have been avoided if proper precautions, such as evacuating workers before the tree came down, had been taken.

Let me guess, the employees were constantly told to hurry up and the practice above saved them time between each cut...

"Standing close to a person cutting down a tree is suicidal behavior," he stated.

Did he tell the young worker that BEFORE his death? Or more of an afterthought...

I'm guessing that worker had done that hundreds of times before his death. Lemme guess, the boss never noticed, but was happy with his cash flow during that time...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My brother and I were lobbing off branches from trees which were close to our parents' house. My brother, high on a ladder, miscalculated the path of a falling branch. It swung down and knocked the ladder out from under him. He was left holding on to the gas powered chain saw with one hand, and holding himself up in the air with his other arm. I was laughing so hard it took a few seconds before I could retrieve the ladder for him.

I can see how it is easy to have an accident when working with trees. Safety equipment and an excess of caution are a good idea, plus work with a buddy......hopefully one who isn't prone to laughing at your mishaps.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I've had several dozen trees cut down behind my house, the usual sugis that had been planted and then abandoned. An older self-employed guy did it on his own wearing tabi. He used the arm of a backhoe as a guide a few times when felling them. Once they were down, he turned up on the weekend with his school-age daughter and got her to practice operating the backhoe to stack the logs. I found this cavalier approach very funny, but I can see how it can have tragic circumstances.

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Whole heartedly agre with my friends Cricky and PTownsend. Not on the same politcal spectrum, but total agreement here.

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10 deaths a year and no one said anything... wow this industry needs to be regulated!

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In Japan, compulsory insurance is not applicable to small companies, such as those in the forestry industry which do not hire a worker on a regular basis or the annual number of temporary contracts is 300 or fewer.

Scandalous. People on temporary contracts are often the poorest of the poor.

At the other end of the supply chain: shiny offices, SDGs soundbites, and ESG slogans.

Trebles all round!

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"Standing close to a person cutting down a tree is suicidal behavior," he stated.

Heartless vulture. An attitude not unusual among resource extractors of all sorts.

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If they can't afford insurance, won't have a Health and safety plan, should not be in Buisness. Unless of course having workers injured killed is part of their Buisness plan.

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