Messages Archive

Last cut of the day

Not about me, it does not include a table saw and the guy relating his story to me is 'ok'.

My next door neighbor Tom does chain saw carvings and a bit of tree trimming on the side. Whenever
I see him working he is attired in the proper safety equipment. Helping me with some tree pruning,
he always tied off his ladder and the cuttings for control and safely lowering the limbs to the ground.

So last Saturday he is at his girlfriends house to cut 3-4 somewhat large and high limbs. He
has his heavy aluminum extension ladder for these tasks. It is a beast as I have used it before.
So as he is telling me all the cuts went well. The limbs lowered safely and right at the locations
he expected.

The one limb required the first cut 3 feet away from the tree trunk. So now it became the last
cut of the day. He moves the extension ladder over to the trunk. This limb is about 20 feet up.
He says the ladder was stable and he did not tie it to the tree. The first relief cut
went well.

The second cut started fine. The limb however did not move as expected and as he told me, jammed the
chainsaw down on his hand. This made letting go of the saw impossible. This causes him to go off balance
the ladder starts to move. His legs come off the ladder as the limb and chainsaw are dragging him off.
The ladder rungs are parallel, there are two rungs at his level due to the extension, so getting a
good grip with his left hand is almost impossible.

He manages to drop the saw but is losing his grip and the ladder is getting more unstable. Oh,
and the good part, the clutch that stops the chain when the motor is at idle is burned out. The saw is
on the ground idling with the chain spinning.

He loses his grip and falls 20 feet landing on his right side. Wind knocked out of him and
a bit dazed. His head missed the edge of a cinder block by an inch that on the ground by the ladder.
He hears the chainsaw running and thankfully realizes he has to roll forward as a backwards roll would
roll on the the running chainsaw. Getting forward his right arm swings back, ching ching ching, 4 light
abrasions down the arm from the chain. And a good ding on the fingernail.

And a bit more. After he dropped the saw, it cut through some lilac branches on the way down.
His face dragged across one of the cut lilac branches makes some good scratches on his neck as
he passed by on his way down.

So his right hand is now swollen, his right side sore and his hip hurts. And this happened on his
66th birthday.

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