Fatal injury in tree felling and related activities, Victoria, Australia 1992-2007 Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This study aims to examine fatalities resulting from tree felling and related activities in Victoria, Australia, involving work and do-it-yourself (DIY) activities, 1992-2007. Case identification was undertaken using coronial databases. A manual review of coroners' findings of closed cases was performed. Data collected and examined comprised demographics, occupation, incident location, activity, equipment used, injury mechanism and cause of death. Sixty-two cases were identified during the 16-year period; over 50% comprised DIY deaths (n=33). All but one victim was male. The median age for paid workers was less than for DIY (43 years vs 59 years). One-third of work activities were performed by persons outside professional tree-felling industries. While commercial forestry and logging industries experience a high fatality rate in Australia, non-professionals are also vulnerable to tree-felling injury. Study findings identified in excess of 70% of fatal incidents involved persons not employed within a relevant industry. Prevention efforts must focus on safety beyond workplaces and certain industries alone to reduce these deaths.

publication date

  • February 1, 2010