Accident Briefs for January 2021

Type & number of incidents for the month.

Climber rescued after trapped in palm fronds

A tree trimmer who became trapped upside down in palm fronds was rescued by fellow climbers January 5, 2021, in Escondido, California.

The man, who was wearing a harness, became wedged in the tree skirt after large fronds fell on him. He was in distress and screaming for help.

The Escondido fire department was called to assist, but fellow arborists trained in tree rescue came to the man’s aid. After two hours, the rescuers were able to safely get him down from the tree. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, according to a KGTV ABC 10News report.

Tree worker hurt in struck-by

A tree worker was injured after being struck by a section of tree January 8, 2021, near Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

The victim, a man in his 30s, was performing work when he was struck on the head. The man was flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to a WBAL-TV 11 report.

Man injured by cut limb

A man was struck and injured by a tree limb he was trying to cut down January 17, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department responded to what it initially described as a “life or death rescue.” Firefighters had to remove the tree limb to free the man, 53 years old, before taking him to the hospital. The man was hospitalized in serious condition, according to a News On 6 report.

Tree cutter seriously injured, rescued

One of two men cutting a tree suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries after the tree fell on him January 17, 2021, in Dunlap, Tennessee.

The incident happened off road in a wooded area at the base of a bluff. The two men were about 100 feet below the bluff cutting a small tree when a gust of wind caused the tree to fall in an unexpected direction and strike one of the men. The second man performed first aid and called for help.

Sequatchie County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and requested the Dunlap Fire Department rope rescue team. The rescue squad established a haul system, and the victim was taken up to the top of the bluff. The victim was transported to a landing zone and then flown to a hospital, according to a WTVC ABC Channel 9 report.

Landscaper killed in fall from tree

A landscaper died after falling from a tree he was trimming January 18, 2021, in West Hills, on Long Island, New York.

Vicente Oliver, 51, of Levittown, N.Y., was trimming a tree at a home when a branch broke. He fell about 40 feet to his death, according to an Associated Press and www.usnews.com report.

Operator unhurt when lift overturns

An aerial-lift operator performing line clearance along a roadway escaped injury when his lift truck fell on its side January 22, 2021, in Montgomery County, Texas, on the north side of Houston.

The tip-over was caused by muddy conditions, coupled with the load-side outriggers being set on the edge of a drainage ditch. The extended boom scraped against a tree on its way to the ground, slowing its descent, according to a report in The Vertikal Press.

Driver injured after lift truck crashes, overturns

A driver was seriously injured when an aerial-lift truck owned by a tree care company crashed and overturned January 29, 2021, in Warrick County, Indiana.

The wreckage had to be cut away to get the driver out of the truck. The driver had minor injuries.

A tow truck was called in to get the tree-trimming truck upright, according to an ABC 25 WEHT report.

Man killed by cut tree

A man was killed when a tree fell on him while he was cutting it down January 29, 2021, in Boston Township, Ionia County, Michigan.

The man, 72, whose name was not released, was helping a family member cut down a large, storm-damaged tree when it fell on him. The man died at the scene, according to a Daily Dispatch and mlive.com report.

OSHA incident reports

OSHA reports are not included in the accident graphic.

OSHA reported the following incidents that were not found in published news reports. The dates given are approximate, as they reflect the date of OSHA inspection, and few details were available.

January 8, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Morro Bay, California.

January 12, 2021: A fatal accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Gladewater, Texas.

January 12, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Vancouver, Washington.

January 13, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in St. Augustine, Florida.

January 20, 2021: A fatal accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Concord, California.

January 26, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Chico, California.

January 27, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Saint Johns, Florida.

January 29, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Oak Park, California.

January 29, 2021: A serious-injury accident involving a tree care company employee was reported in Granada Hills, California.

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