California workers who are involved in the cutting and trimming of trees face a multitude of risks in their line of work. Unfortunately, some employers and tree trimmers fail to comply with the standards set forth by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). Some employers do not inform employees of the risks involved, and workers may be left unaware of potential hazards if proper safety training is not provided. Such ignorance may lead to a workplace injury or worse.
Tree trimming accidents are often fatal, and a Northern California park services manager was fortunate not to lose his life when he was struck by a falling tree while working in a park. Supervisors failed to ensure the absence of workers in the area in which the tree was slated to drop, and, although the man apparently tried to get away, he was struck by the falling tree and trapped by the branches. His condition was reported to have been critical when he was rushed to the hospital, but it has apparently improved and was described as fair at the time of the last report.
Cal/OSHA is aware of the incident, and a spokesperson said it would be investigated within the next six months. Once the investigation is completed, the circumstances and cause of the accident will likely be clear. If it is determined that a violation of safety regulations caused the accident, the department may face severe penalties.
Tree trimming accidents are mostly avoidable if workers are informed of the crucial steps that should be taken to prevent severe or fatal injuries. Any worker in California who has suffered a workplace injury may pursue a claim for workers' compensation benefits. If a life was lost in a workplace accident, the surviving family members might be eligible for death benefits. Medical expenses and/or end-of-life costs will be compensated, along with some level of lost income compensation.
Source: ABC News, "SF Rec and park manager hurt by fallen tree", Katie Marzullo, March 5, 2015