Posted by on February 7, 2018
Categories: Bay Area

(by James Lanaras) – The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Napa tree trimming company $23,000 for violations in connection with the death of a worker in August, the California Department of Industrial Relations said.

An employee of Gorilla Tree Service was killed on Aug. 15 when a rope used to lower limbs from an aerial bucket was caught and pulled the 24-year-old worker into a wood chipper strangling him, the Department of Industrial Relations said.

Cal/OSHA determined Gorilla Tree Service was unable to certify it had properly trained the worker who was employed for about six months, according to the DIR.

Cal/OSHA cited Gorilla Tree Service $23,200 for seven violations including one serious accident-related, one serious and five general violations.

Cal/OSHA found the company failed to document the worker had completed tree work and CPR training, and describe to workers the hazards, work procedures and appropriate protective equipment. They also found the company failed to prevent entanglement hazards and unlawful material from entering the point of operation on the chipper and they failed to ensure the chipper was equipped, maintained and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Over the past six years, brush chipper-related accidents in California resulted in one death and four serious injuries, the Department of Industrial Relations said.

A Solano County worker lost his ring finger in 2013 when his wedding band got caught while pushing a branch into a chipper.

Another worker in Concord fractured his legs when he became pinned between a rolling truck’s side door and the frame of a chipper’s feed table, according to Cal/OSHA.

A call to Gorilla Tree Service was not returned Monday afternoon.