OSHA Says Training Could Have Prevented Tree Service Worker's Death
The company was cited for willful and serious safety violations
OSHA has determined that safety training could have prevented the death of a worker on his first day on the job, according to a news release. The employee was killed after a wood chipper pulled him into the machine as worked for Countryside Tree Service in Albany, N.Y.
The company exposed the worker to the machine’s rotating parts and failed to train him in safe operation of wood chippers. The employer also failed to make sure workers used safe operating procedures when feeding materials into the chipper.
“A young man’s life ended tragically and needlessly,” said Robert Garvey, OSHA’s Albany area director. “Countryside Tree Service bears responsibility to ensure that all phases of tree trimming, tree felling and tree removal work is performed safely. Putting employees to work with potentially dangerous machines with no safety training is unacceptable. Tree service companies must train workers – climbers, trimmers and ground crew – properly. These workers must also be instructed in safe work practices and use of equipment including chain saws, cutters and especially hand-fed wood chippers that cut and grind branches and logs into pulp.”
OSHA cited the company a willful violation for the lack of training, which resulted in untrained employees using unsafe practices to feed the wood chipper, as well as three serious violations.