Death due to Tree Falling (KV 199)


What Happened?

At 1:05 p.m. on July 19th, 2019, an employee made a cut with a chain saw to the bottom of an oak tree that was to be removed. After making the cut with the chain saw, the oak tree fell. However, prior to making contact with the ground it rolled onto the employee and he was killed.

Contributing Factors

There are no contributing factors.

What Can We Learn?


Physical Environment: Was the work area safe for the worker to be making the cut with the chain saw?

Overconfidence: Did the worker overestimate his knowledge, underestimate risks, and exaggerate their ability to control events?


The worker should have used a Questioning Attitude to ensure he was fully aware of the situation before proceeding.

Were there Procedures in place that would have ensured the employee was not in the way of the tree?   

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?