What Is Your Worst Accident?

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
Arbor gore? I'm sure some folks wont mind sharing. I snapped my arm once under a clogged chipper chute that pulled me off balance while I was holding it upright.
Awakenings forum has oodles of this stuff. Welcome to the buzz!
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
What was your worst accident; on the job or rec climbing?
Fell from about 15', not terrible compared to some stories but I hit a limb on my left side and bruised some ribs on the way down. It didn't feel any good, and thats the day I started buckling the chin strap on my protos. It flew off in the fall.

I've also flipped my mini skid over sideways onto of my leg. Spent the first month barely walking, the next 2 months watching my every step and now 5 months later I'll occasionally still feel a little pain if I step on something wrong.

Thats my only two accidents worth mentioning. The rest is minor stuff like letting a chipper whip me with tiny twigs.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Never had anything too bad, couple close calls that scared me pretty good, but the worst I probably had was rock climbing, about ten feet up climbing an inverted face (think the bottom of a 45 degree slope) and I lost my feet. Swung out and back in, then my fingers slipped. Landed flat on my back, 2’ to the right of the crash pad... Ouch. It took a little before I was willing to try to move, but amazingly enough nothing broken, not even my helmetless head.
 

Chris Schultz

Member
Location
Minturn
Had a pole saw perched in a branch next to/near me, either the branch broke or the wind knocked it loose. Fell (not far) straight down passing through the meat of my forearm near my elbow. At first I didnt realize how bad it was, I was just annoyed my tool fell, and everytime I even look at a silky I’m bleeding from somewhere anyway. When I glanced at the wound my arm was wide open! I could’ve put my cell phone inside....Naturaly my mind and body deeply wanted to panic, but I knew couldnt until I was on the ground. Trying to deny/forget what I had just seen was difficult, but getting down was critical. I made a rapid descent, and by the time my boots touched down my boss had quick clot in the wound, and it well wrapped. They unclipped me from my system and carried me to the driveway. Luckily the local fire department had a station two driveways away. The homeowner witnessed what happened and alerted them. They walked over with a trauma kit. By this time I was in rough shape and my vitals were weak, they assisted me to a laying down position and radioed for an ambulance. At the ER they had me on a nerve blocker and a fentanyl drip. After scrubbing out the quick clot (which took FOREVER) they put in 5-6 stitches in to mend the muscle tissue that had been severed, a few more into the muscle sheath, and about fifteen on my exterior flesh. Things could have been MUCH worse. If I would have been palm up: bleed to death rapidly, severed rope: fall from 50’+, land on ground personnel: sever a head..... Lucky I guess, minor nerve damage, bruised ego, and a phobia/PTSD (I have weird uncontrollable emotions now) of pole saws aloft. Now the pole saw has a scabbard with a D ring that can be stowed on my saddle.
 

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Chris Schultz

Member
Location
Minturn
That’s frikkin haunting man! Makes my couple Silky scars look like shaving nicks.
Healed up quick. Between where it sliced, the shape of my arm, and the skilled ER doc, there’s hardly a noticeable scar. That silky sliced me so precisely it was almost surgical.
 
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Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
Had a pole saw perched in a branch next to/near me, either the branch broke or the wind knocked it loose. Fell (not far) straight down passing through the meat of my forearm near my elbow. At first I didnt realize how bad it was, I was just annoyed my tool fell, and everytime I even look at a silky I’m bleeding from somewhere anyway. When I glanced at the wound my arm was wide open! I could’ve put my cell phone inside....Naturaly my mind and body deeply wanted to panic, but I knew couldnt until I was on the ground. Trying to deny/forget what I had just seen was difficult, but getting down was critical. I made a rapid descent, and by the time my boots touched down my boss had quick clot in the wound, and it well wrapped. They unclipped me from my system and carried me to the driveway. Luckily the local fire department had a station two driveways away. The homeowner witnessed what happened and alerted them. They walked over with a trauma kit. By this time I was in rough shape and my vitals were weak, they assisted me to a laying down position and radioed for an ambulance. At the ER they had me on a nerve blocker and a fentanyl drip. After scrubbing out the quick clot (which took FOREVER) they put in 5-6 stitches in to mend the muscle tissue that had been severed, a few more into the muscle sheath, and about fifteen on my exterior flesh. Things could have been MUCH worse. If I would have been palm up: bleed to death rapidly, severed rope: fall from 50’+, land on ground personnel: sever a head..... Lucky I guess, minor nerve damage, bruised ego, and a phobia/PTSD (I have weird uncontrollable emotions now) of pole saws aloft. Now the pole saw has a scabbard with a D ring that can be stowed on my saddle.
The chance of this kind of thing happening has always bugged me. I won't bring a polesaw up without a sheath, then the sheath either gets put back immediately after use or the polesaw gets tossed to the ground with everyone clear of it.
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
I had never considered that happening until a few weeks ago when I read it in Don Blair’s book.

Glad that healed up well, cheers to good doctors!
 

Chris Schultz

Member
Location
Minturn
The chance of this kind of thing happening has always bugged me. I won't bring a polesaw up without a sheath, then the sheath either gets put back immediately after use or the polesaw gets tossed to the ground with everyone clear of it.
Yeah.... at first I wanted to claim “freak accident” but in reality it was just an accident waiting to happen. Feel really really dumb for getting so blindsided by it... Definitely not trying to glamorize this accident, but hopefully by sharing can prevent future accidents.
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
Yep, having a polesaw in a tree with you is more dangerous than many realize. What I do if I'm hanging it on a limb above me (which I try to avoid whenever possible), is reach about as far as I can horizontally so it's hanging well beyond where I am, and probably even more importantly, hang it with the blade facing AWAY from me.
 
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Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Yep, having a polesaw in a tree with you is more dangerous than many realize. What I do, is if I'm hanging it on a limb above me (which I try to avoid whenever possible), is reach about as far as I can so it's hanging well beyond where I am, and probably even more importantly, hang it with the blade facing AWAY from me.
I’ll second that. I warn all ground crew to beware hanging poles - don’t EVER walk under one. Climber is to call “hanging the pole” and “taking the pole” each time, and always hang it with the blade away, ideally at least an arms length away.
 

HigherGroundArborist

Well-Known Member
Location
Granger, IN
I was brand new to tree work. I’d barely gotten my feet wet running a saw and was mainly trying to teach myself. I had started climbing, with no mentor or anyone who could teach me how to do things the right way. All I had was a harness, flip line and spurs. I needed to remove a 70’ Oak tree that grew out over a small river like a banana. Being that I’m afraid of heights, climbing 60’ and piecing out the canopy was not something I even considered. I climbed up 25’ and decided to drop it into the river and then would pull it out with the skid steer. I had no clue how to make a proper cut in a tree, and I decided to just make an undercut and then a top cut. Where I was cutting the trunk was about 15”. Obviously, a trunk that size would require a notch, but again, I had no clue what I was doing. When I made my back cut and the tree started to go it barber chaired something fierce and pulled me into the trunk. I thought it was going to crush me to death. Luckily, the top slid out from my lanyard and I managed to not fall. I walked away that day when truthfully, I should have died, trying to do something so rediculously dangerous with absolutely no training or experience. I’m very fortunate, and now I’m a CTSP and get to train my crew how to not do stupid things like that.
 

arborandearth

Well-Known Member
Location
Chico
Yep, having a polesaw in a tree with you is more dangerous than many realize. What I do if I'm hanging it on a limb above me (which I try to avoid whenever possible), is reach about as far as I can so it's hanging well beyond where I am, and probably even more importantly, hang it with the blade facing AWAY from me.
I always girth hitch a strap to the pole and one to a limb and clip them together. I have, however, forgotten about the saw and ran my climbing line through it - no serious damage. The scabbard idea is a good one to prevent that...gonna put that in use.
 

Handy2

Member
Location
UT
Healed up quick. Between where it sliced, the shape of my arm, and the skilled ER doc, there’s hardly a noticeable scar. That silky sliced me so precisely it was almost surgical.
I'm glad you healed up all right. Almost makes you think of a medieval battle wound.
If you're gonna get cut, sharp is good. I put a hatchet through one of my digits many years ago, but since it was a sharp new Estwing and cut cleanly, all they had to do was stitch it back on and give me antibiotics. They told me it would have been much worse if the blade had been dull and done some crushing.
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
Footlocking into the top of a small white oak tree on a doubled rope ,the 5” limb I was over snapped . Thank God I was only 15-20 feet of the ground. Funny thing is that when I heard it break I started t descend, rapidly of course , but I didn’t panic, I was so sure it would peel down and I’d have enough time to get down.
There was a canker about 8” out from stem and that healthy looking limb broke off clean like nobody’s business. I suffered compression fracture in my back , but I healed without surgery. Cost lots of money though and still feel it every day. My fault for not putting rope in crotch, I was trying to keep it out from the stem a little bit to have open ascent room..... stupid move that I had gotten away with too many times.
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
Worst injury was getting my finger (right pinky) sucked into a block and had a significant degloving injury on the tip. It literally pulled my fingertip and nail off including a little bone. Over a year later because of continued dissatisfaction with how it healed and discomfort, I had the fingertip shortened surgically.
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
Worst injury was getting my finger (right pinky) sucked into a block and had a significant degloving injury on the tip. It literally pulled my fingertip and nail off including a little bone. Over a year later because of continued dissatisfaction with how it healed and discomfort, I had the fingertip shortened surgically.
Wow, I hope surgery gives you some relief!
 

Wrangler

Well-Known Member
Location
Woodbine
I lost a fingertip as well, fingernail and splintered bone. Fingernail grew back which surprised doctor and more than two years later it is still getting better.... sensitivity is dulling and feeling is returning. It’s a very slow process!
Best of luck!
 

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