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Thread: wood felling while alone dangers

  1. #1

    wood felling while alone dangers

    We just had a death in the village here.
    A bio farmer aged 48 years old & very experienced in his wood was in those woods here last night, it was cold -3C with about 150mm snow cover, he was cutting up a felled log laying on the ground on his own and a large branch snapped off from a tree above him and he did not see it coming down, the funeral is on Friday.
    Bloody dangerous game is wood felling I never do it alone thats what was drummed into me on my chainsaw course here in Bavaria. He must have thought he knew better.

  2. #2
    mind, that could've happened to anyone walking through the woods at the time. branches breaking off/trees falling over can happen at any time, just bad luck.

    what you need to be careful of is walking about the woods on a really stormy day, those days freak me out when out in the woods, they really do.

  3. #3
    If he was just logging up a length of timber he wasn't felling anything - a sad and tragic accident but as pkl says above , it could of been anyone !

  4. #4
    Unfortunately accidents tend to be more common with older, more experienced operators.

    Lone working with power saws, is a no no.

    It's a tragic story, hearing of someone, who has worked in the wood all his life, dying in such a way. 2012 was a bad year in the UK and I know of 3 very similar stories. One chap, was at college with me and had a huge amount of experience, again working alone.

    You can never be too carefull

  5. #5
    Loggers reckon most deaths occur less than 10 feet from the tree they are felling.

  6. #6
    He was felling a pine tree and from the evidence he was watching it fall correctly away from him but it had hooked onto a branch above him of a maple tree which was behind him so it blind-sided him with his safety hats front peak and a branch just snapped off the maple and fell onto him, he did not come home for tea so his 77 y/o mum went out to get him and found him dead where he had fallen, the autopsy will clear up how long he may have laid there alive.
    Maybe with a partner it would have been a different outcome but there is not enough income from felling trees here to justify two wages so it would have been felled to be just for his own use.
    Very sad.

  7. #7
    Often call that a 'widow maker' when a branch is hung up on a neighbouring tree to the one u are felling. Always Always have a good look up and around the tree ur about to fell. Know a wood cutter who had o load off pallets+net land on him while doing 1st thinnings, reckon a heli boy must off dumped it in middle of a wood some fri nite to save him going back to compound

    The 2 other real dangerous types of tree work and u'd think both should be easier than a stright tree
    Cutting Windblow esp fresh softwoods, bloody nightmare at times. It's amazing the tension (both side and vertical) some timber can have plus the root plate can have a mind off its own
    Or cutting leaning hardwoods esp ur faster growing/brittle tree types can easily split 'Barbers Chair' on u; split somewhere up the trunk, kicks out the bottom exactly where ur head/body should be then pivots and rolls trying to crush u.
    Very Dangerous
    In the old days when they used cross cut saws they would wrap a chain round the base of trunk to stop it splitting, i now sometimes put a ratchet strap round them if for some reason i can't do the proper cut. That's wot kill most of the americain loggers

    As for lone working in an ideal world it wouldnae happen, but more often than not u are working alone, nature off the beast, just got to be belt and braces as much as poss. Often when working on commercial jobs ur 2nd man is either forwarder/harvester operators who quite often u beep ur horn/phone when u drive into job and same on way out. I've been on some 40 hectare clearfell jobs afore the boys usually cannae even hear ur saw going.

  8. #8
    Sad story.

    Working in the woods is a dangerous game, been doing it for 15 years now and had a couple of close calls. Working alone is never a good idea, I know a guy who was trapped under a tree that he had felled when it rolled on him crushing his pelvis, he managed to reach his saw which was still running, and cut the timber that was pinning him down, he then crawled 20 yds to a fence but couldn't get over it, he was found when he was "missed" hours later. Luckily he survived as it was warm weather at the time, if it had been winter he may not have been so lucky.

  9. #9
    Sad news indeed - best wishes to his family and friends.

    We can all risk assess/manage in this industry as much as we like, but accidents are just that unfortunately and often can't be mitigated against.

    I'll be taking a minute to myself to think on the posts in this thread before I next start the saw.

    Keep your wits about you fellas.

  10. #10
    we were clearing shooting gaps many years ago, i saw a very large oak dropped perfectly where the jack wanted it , it hit the deck bounced on it's branches and came straight back horizontally about 30ft at head height if there was anyone in the way they were paste that tree was looking for revenge ,i have never forgotten that and treat trees with the utmost respect , i find the worst thing to try to deal with are large laurels that have been let go for decades some of them are as thick as your chest and twist and turn all directions with corresponding tensions and torques in the timber
    a barony original

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