A Review of United States Arboricultural Operation Fatal and Nonfatal Incidents (2001–2017): Implications for Safety Training
John Ball, Shane J. Vosberg, and Timothy Walsh
Abstract: The objective of this study was to identify and quantify the hazards present during arboricultural operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Fatality and Catastrophe incident database and other Bureau of Labor Statistic sources were analyzed for arboricultural operation incidents within the 17-year period from 2001 through 2017. There were 865 fatal and 441 nonfatal incidents reviewed from this period. The leading four fatal incidents, from the largest to the smallest number of fatalities, were climber falls, workers struck by a falling tree, workers making indirect contact with an electric current, and workers struck by a falling branch. Climber falls were also the leading incident for severe nonfatal injuries, followed by ground workers struck by a falling branch, workers struck by a chain saw, and falls by aerial device operators. The American National Standards Institute Z133 American National Standard for Arboricultural Operations—Safety Requirements establishes safety requirements and recommendations for arboricultural operations in the United States. It addresses common hazard sources and has guidelines to avoid, eliminate, or reduce them. Safety training programs should emphasize the most common hazard sources for fatal and nonfatal incidents and follow the ANSI Z.
Keywords: A Review of United States Arboricultural Operation Fatal and Nonfatal Incidents (2001–2017): Implications for Safety Training