Firewood Cutting Accident

Eric Johnson Posted By Eric Johnson, Jan 29, 2008 at 10:04 PM

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
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    This is from the Work Safe page that appears in the magazine that I edit. It's always good to be reminded of how dangerous working in the woods really is.

    A firewood cutter saw the log atop the pile and wondered about it several times while cutting hardwood logs into chunks. He tried several times to roll the log off the pile, but failed. He had cut several other smaller logs and was walking from the cutting site toward his pickup when the log let loose and rolled off.

    The log struck him from behind, pushing him onto the ground on his stomach. The log stopped on top of the back of his leg just inches below the knee, pinning him there. His leg and boot were twisted around. He knew he would not be missed until dinner time many hours away.

    A teenage hunter not far into the woods behind his home, happened by and heard/saw the 30 foot, 10 inch diameter log roll off and pin the cutter. Amazingly, he was able to lift it enough so the leg could be pulled out from under the log and then ran to a neighbors for help. The hunter returned to stay with the cutter while the neighbor went for help.

    The cutter’s leg was fractured in three places requiring insertion of a pin below the knee to hold it together. After six days in the hospital, a recuperation period of three to four months was expected.

    The moral to this story, of course, is not to ignore known hazards. Secure your work area as best you can. This lone worker’s outcome might have been quite different if it had not been for the efforts of his chance meeting with the young hunter.
     
  2. MarcM

    MarcM
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    The maxim from the Batman Begins movie really rings true working on trees- always mind your surroundings.
     
  3. jklingel

    jklingel
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    Oct 23, 2007
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    Eric: Thanks. One more thing to be keenly aware of.
     
  4. hkobus

    hkobus
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    A good reminder for all. Also the reason that I never like to work in the woods without someone with me that can at least operate a cell phone. I guess I have been fortunate not to have anyone make that call, and make it a family outing at best.

    Henk.
     
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
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    I was pretty pleased this past summer to note that a new cell tower now gives the woodlot I work on very good reception. I the past I knew where the hot spots were, but the prospect of dragging my hide to them in the event of an accident was a bit troubling. Now I can make the 911 call from the comfort of my own accident scene.
     
  6. LarryD

    LarryD
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    Eric,

    What is the name of the magazine that you edit?


    Pretty cool that you have safety woven into the pages!

    Larry D
     
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
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  8. MALogger

    MALogger
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    That is an excellent magazine! I wait each month with great anticipation. Within one day of arrival I read it cover to cover then spend the rest of the month going through it again.

    Craig
     
  9. LarryD

    LarryD
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    Eric,

    I remember reading that in college. Great magazine. My industry, Arboriculture, needs that type of magazine. We are stuck with the rag arborage.

    Nice job

    Larry D
     
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