No matter what way you look at this case, it’s gruesome. If there was mechanical failure involved, a wrongful death case could be filed.
This is one of the worst types of accidents on record due to death by decapitation that was caused by a wood chipper. It’s difficult to imagine that kind of a thing happening, but it did, much to the shock and horror of the man’s family. Evidently, the man was handling various types of debris and tree branches while feeding them into the wood chipper. On the surface, this is a fairly straightforward job, but one that needs to follow safety precautions.
The man operating the wood chipper was guiding a very large piece of wood through it when it appears the guide rope got stuck during the process. The rope wrapped around the man’s neck, slicing his head off. He had no chance to save himself, as his hand was nowhere near the shut-off switch.
Police at the scene feel that the rope was tangled in the brush being chipped, got caught on one of the tines and yanked him off his feet with such force he could not get untangled or reach the off switch. It appeared that the machine was a chuck-and-duck chipper, referring to the speed materials were processed through and dropped into the drum. These wood chippers are noted as having major safety issues, such as operators getting snagged on material being fed into the machine.
The initial assessment of the death was that it was an accident. Further investigation will reveal if it was or not. Consider if the wood chipper was faulty and this accident was as a result of an improperly maintained machine, an imbalance in the internal feeder mechanism, or lack of proper safety training. There are a number of explanations for the death, other than by misadventure on the part of the deceased. Should that be the case, the manufacturer of the chipper would be named in the lawsuit and perhaps the company that owned the chipper and employed the dead man.
For the family left behind in the wake of this…