Tree Trimmer Dies on the Job in North Carolina

An employee can get injured on any job. It does not matter whether he or she is working on the deck of a crab boat in the Bering Sea as featured on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch or working as a stocker at a local big box store. If an employee is injured on the job, employee is entitled to receive workers’ compensation.

beech-1446300-m.jpgHowever, some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, and working as a tree trimmer is one of the more dangerous occupations. While people may think of someone standing on the ground with a pole saw trimming low hanging branches, in reality, tree trimmers regularly climb to the tops of large trees while holding a chainsaw, and many of these trees are in very frail condition, as they are old and diseased or may have been hit by lightning.

According to a recent news report from WNCN, a tree trimmer was killed while working in Raleigh, North Carolina. Witnesses say employee was sitting on a high branch cutting away portions of the trees that needed to be trimmed, as they were falling on owner’s home. While he was up in the tree, the branch he was sitting on snapped, and worker and the branch fell approximately 45 feet to the ground. After he landed on the ground, the branch, which snapped, landed on him and pinned him to the ground.

Homeowners called 911, and first responders arrived to get the branch off worker and provided immediate medical attention, but there was nothing they could do to save him, and he was soon pronounced dead as a result of this fatal on-the-job injury.

As our Asheville, North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys can explain, after a fatal on-the-job injury, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is required to conduct a full investigation into worker’s on-the-job death or serious industrial accident and determine if employer was in violation of any workplace regulations, and, if so, whether those violations contributed to worker’s death. The purpose of the review is to prevent unnecessary industrial accidents and worker deaths that could have been avoided by following proper protocols. In the event no violations were found, the agency determines if there was anything that could have been done to prevent a death and uses this information to make proposals for future additions to their regulations.

In this case, witnesses say they saw OSHA officials and personnel at the scene of the fatal workplace accident conducting their investigation. It should be noted, there have been no allegations tree trimmer’s employer was in violation of state or federal worker safety regulations as of this time, and the investigation is being done pursuant to agency policy.

In the case of on-the-job accidents where a worker is killed on the job, workers’ compensation benefits will be provided as death benefits for past medical bills associated with the injury or illness and lost wages. It is not necessary for claimant’s next of kin or other family member to show any negligence on behalf of employer in connection with employee’s death. It is only necessary to show he or she was an employee and died on the job or as a result of an on-the-job injury or illness.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Man dies in tree trimming accident in Raleigh , April 28, 2015, WNCN

More Blog Entries:
Shepard v. Dept. of Corrections – Continuing Medical Care, March 20, 2015, Asheville Work Injury Lawyer Blog

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