• Please be aware that we have recently gotten a wave of users that, when researched, are found to be from Nigeria. They are trying to sell products and asking to be paid through Zelle or Venmo leaving users with no recourse if they don't ship the product. If you suspect this activity please contact admin and we will research their information to verify their location.

ArboristSite.com Sponsors
Peak Industries


What You Should Do If You Get Hurt in the Woods When Alone

PNWfaller509

PNWfaller509

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
8
Age
38
Location
Washington state
Back in 2004 i was falling on yarder ground and went to dump a couple limb-locked handfall. Both were probably 2 foot across and 100-120 footers. One tree was culled out on the top and ended up coming straight down on me, knocked me clean out and somehow my bar and chain on my 395 husky was buried in my upper right arm all the way to the bone.

Lost 1,500 ml of blood and ended up having surgery to remove bone fragments and repair the muscle. 52 stitches total.

Also had a follow up surgery to remove a piece wood chip they missed that swelled up the area like half a golf ball.

Also cut my shin right under my chaps. Chipped the bone in three places. Can't remember how many stitches.

Best advice if you are seriously injured is to stay calm and control your breathing. Always keep a complete first aid kit in your work rig.
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
5,722
Age
69
Location
Northeast
I carried a first aid kit in the truck, but the truck had 15” of lift. That could be a problem if I was hurt bad. I did most of my dangerous work(felling) when I had helpers with me. But still cut the trees up alone.

I went to the local drug store to purchase first aid stuff to stop the bleeding and wrap it up. The guy thought I was nuts. It’s not if it’s going to happen it’s when it’s going to happen.
 
alleyyooper

alleyyooper

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
2,414
Location
Michigan
My clown friends just had to make sure I was prepared when out doors.
A first aid kit built by them.
The kit contained 2 maxi pads since the last time I had bled really bad and scared Dean some thing awful, several rolls of gauze in different widths, some white medical tape, a part of a roll of duct tape and a few needles and spool of white thread plus bottles of disinfectants and tubes of salves.

Never ever hurt your self when with friends and not be prepared.

:D Al
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
5,722
Age
69
Location
Northeast
Maybe a good idea is to take your belt and punch extra holes in it so it fits your leg. For compression when needed. It’s always on you.
 
2dogs

2dogs

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
7,858
Age
67
Location
Santa Cruz CA
My Buckingham pouch that is attached to the belt on my chaps contains a SWAT-T tourniquet, and Israeli bandage ,a bite stick, and a few boo-boo items. This is a much better choice rather that relying on your belt but Huskybill's post proves he is thinking ahead. Please everybody, carry a personal first aid kit and have a trauma box in the truck.
 
2dogs

2dogs

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
7,858
Age
67
Location
Santa Cruz CA
BTW right now I'm carrying more fire tools than first aid supplies. Having been in the world of fire equipment my entire life and of course being a career firefighter and wildland fire contractor I think about this more than most, but fire is a pretty obvious concern when the temps are 100 degrees with low humidity. I DO NOT work when there is a red flag "concern". I am very conscious about fuel geysers and the state of my fuel cans. I don't over fill the Dolmar and at home all the fuel cans sit on concrete to keep cool. Each morning I check the cooler for ice and the back pump for water.
 
alleyyooper

alleyyooper

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
2,414
Location
Michigan
Doesn't do any good tyo have your first aid idems in your truck when you several hundred yards away and bleeding like a stuck pig.

I've been there once bleeding really bad and no way to stop it except wads of grass.

No more, carry stuff I may need and have in with in reach all the time. A bunch of the stuff is in my pant's pockets.


:D Al
 
Canyon Angler

Canyon Angler

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
1,302
Location
Far East Virginia
Pretty sure I've read this entire thread, but one thing I don't remember being discussed (with the exception of a few posts above on this page) is, What goes into your mobile first-aid kit?

I've seen pics of climbers carrying first-aid kits on their saddles. They're small kits, so my question is, what should go into such a kit when space/weight is at such a premium?

I'm thinking a good tourniquet, Quick Clot / Celox pad, roll of gauze, roll of elastic tape, Epipen (I'm allergic to some bees) maybe some Crazy Glue...?

Since the land I often work on is in a cell phone "dead zone," one thing I also carry is a $60 Baofeng UV82HP transceiver, which would allow me to call the 911 dispatcher and police on the road directly...this is illegal but not in a life-and-death emergency under the CFR...
 
CLASSIIILVR

CLASSIIILVR

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
40
Age
52
Location
OREGON
Been in the woods 35+ yrs and those are as solid as words come! Unfortunately, ive had more than saw wounds and have had well over 40 surgeries putting me back together again! No walking out of that one....it was hanging from a basket under a heli for quite a while! LOL! Anyway, solid post! thanks
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

Firewood by TJ
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
2,424
Age
68
Location
Twin Peaks
When I work alone I know that this morning could be my last. Raced motorcycles for several decades where as there was a funeral at least once a month. We all just said yeah so and so was great lets go racing. Grew up on an air force base with lots of aviation accidents just figured no big deal. Almost seventy when the right accident happens no big deal. For the last ten years have been working on a fuel reduction project that would take at least an hour for a medevac chopper to arrive, but also an hour away from cell service. So answer is if you want to see your grand kids do not have a fatal accent. Thanks
 
viking59

viking59

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
11
Age
60
Location
SC
I never pick the saw up before I have 3 items in my saw chaps front pocket. An Adventure Medical Kits Clotting Sponge, a SWAT-T Tourniquet, and a fully charged phone.
 
catbuster

catbuster

Catskinner. And buster.
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,264
Location
Lou, KY
I don’t think I’ve put my two cents in yet. I don’t go out alone. Cheap insuarance. I don’t mean Snort the dog (see below), I mean a human being. My usual cutting partner and I both at least EM-R, and she & I both carry Israeli bandages and tourniquets, plus a couple pads, just enough to get out, to the truck and slow the bleeding. When you get cut, the most important thing is to stop/slow the bleeding and bug out to more advanced care. Having another person to drag your ass out if you lose consciousness is really helpful.

I get it, it’s not easy and not practical all the time. But I can afford not to go alone.

I’ve seen people get hurt out here, and I’ve also responded to chainsaw injuries. They are nasty, but bleeding to death is just not high on my list of things to do.

Chainsaw injuries, of course, aren’t the only things that will hurt you out here, but they’re prevalent. Hits from broken cables under tension, crushing by equipment, and so on and so forth. My advice has been to just keep your head on a swivel and pay attention, and as we’ve all heard and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Training/slowing down is probably betted than being hurt.
 

Attachments

TheBrushSlasher

TheBrushSlasher

I have chainsaws and chainsaw accessories.
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
2,147
Age
34
Location
California
I carry a medical kit with me and my cellphone which is a 50/50 shot of reception. One big thing I've noticed with these beetle killed pines is for the tops to come down as you start felling them, sometimes it is half a 150 footer and I see a lot of people felling trees that don't watch the top or canopy, if you don't look up you won't see whats coming down and if your ear plugs are in and the saws screamin you will not hear it coming.
 
2dogs

2dogs

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
7,858
Age
67
Location
Santa Cruz CA
Cody threw a 32" chain yesterday that wrapped around his leg and hurt him enough to knock him to his knees. He was wearing wrap around chaps but the chain hit him on the back of his thigh. He immediately grabbed his leg and then checked his hands. No blood, just a strange bruise. He was a long ways from help.
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

Firewood by TJ
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
2,424
Age
68
Location
Twin Peaks
I have a cell phone ,but no reception. As a added precaution I carry a emergency radio. of course every one has duct tape. Super glue works well too. I tell the kid do not go looking for me as I already done most every thing I want. My Grand Daughter might not pay any attention to my request though. Biggest safety tip stop when you are tired. Thanks
 
Clark10

Clark10

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 1, 2014
Messages
26
Age
50
Location
NW Oregon
Just read through this all....whew! I work alone more than I would like to. I do check in on cell with my wife and carry much of the important stuff mentioned. I appreciate everyone who has added to this thread. I noted a couple of things I have but need to keep closer at hand and plan to make adjustments tomorrow before I head back into the woods.

Way back when I bought my first new saw I actually read the manual that came with it. One idea that stuck with me was that injuries happen right before lunch and just before quitting time. The take away for me was to be aware of fatigue and poor judgement around these times. I have heeded the advice and put more mental energy into evaluating my actions and decisions around these times and I take time during fueling to take a moment to reevaluate. Especially when working alone. I think this extra time assessing energy, hazards, and mental state have kept me on the job for more hours than if I hadn't.

Incident: It's not just the big stuff that may take you off the job. A lot of good advice on here is to be alert and maintain active situational awareness. However, it's little stuff that can add up to compromise this important frame of mind. I share this recent experience I had to illustrate.

Just the other day I was getting a good amount of work done. This made me pretty happy as I had been behind my projected goal for the month and I was trying to get some hours in on this specific unit. I had been working on slash covered ground removing regrowth maple stem clusters, 4+ stems 5-10 inches in diameter growing tangled together from stumps left from previous harvest years before. I don't like maple; barber chairs, slippery to walk on, limbs always seem to find a way to slap or trip me up in some way, etc. I worked for a while and things were going pretty smoothly. I'm in my groove and stems are going down just fine. I stop to fuel just about 30 min. before I think I should quit for lunch and hear shots. Not uncommon in our neck of the woods but this sounds like they are just over a slight rise and like I'm directly down range. So I jump in my rig, make some calls, and head around to the area the shots are coming from. Couple of guys on the neighboring land are sighting in rifles. They pack up and leave so no more issue. Great, I head back to the unit but now I have a greater sense of urgency because I really wanted to finish what I thought I should get done before lunch. So instead of stopping for lunch a few minutes early I get back to work. Now I'm working distracted, cold, and doubling my self generated mental pressure. I misjudge a lean on a stem and hang it up. I'd used my escape route and was a good distance away from stump but instead of waiting as long as usual to be sure that all had settled I looked back down at the ground and started to take a step. Best I can figure is a 12 foot long 3 inch diameter dead branch released from the canopy, slithered down the trunk and hit a fork in the tree to launch in a horizontal direction, which sends it way out to where I'm. It glances off my helmet and punches me in the shoulder. Next thing I know I'm on the ground looking at my still running saw a few feet away. I stay calm, lie there a few seconds and let my body report in to my brain. The pain in my shoulder is pretty noteworthy, my head is working pretty good though. I do a body scan and find no blood and everything moves. I turn off the saw, move out of the area, looking up and around with new vigor, and assess the situation. I break for lunch and then decide to call it a day.

It took me three days before I could use my shoulder well enough to raise the saw effectively. I was lucky as it could have been worse. However, I think it could have been avoided

What I took away;
1. Working alone can reduce successful outcomes if injured. A few inches to the right and I might not have been conscious or able to call for help if needed. The saw could have made contact with my body and created additional serious injury.
2. I'm reminded to keep my head in the woods where I'm working and not create self imposed pressures or timelines that take my focus off my work.
3. I should stick to the protocols that I've adopted over the years and which keep me safe and working. Pushing into lunch time was a bad idea. Planning more time to complete tasks and taking frequent brakes when working alone is smart.
4. I'm reminded to be alert when things are moving and take time to see where it all settles. When the tree hung up I should have kept my eyes up longer and removed my hearing protection before glancing away. I might have heard the limb moving in the canopy if I had.
5. I was reminded that small stuff can create big injuries. A 4 inch diameter limb that is 12 feet long can really pack a wallop when falling from 40 feet up. One doesn't have to be bringing down big wood to get a big hurt.

I'm thankful that I was given this reminder and was able to walk away mostly unscathed. I'm truly thankful that I'm still able to go into the woods tomorrow and help support my family.

I find it good to reevaluate safety and think of what if scenarios. I think of this thread as a solo loggers safety talk. Stay safe and thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. :)
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
5,722
Age
69
Location
Northeast
I carried a first aid kit in the truck under the right side seat. I had large gauge pads. Rolls of adhesive tape.

I fabricated a Army front bumper and was thinking of mounting a quick disconnect 50 cal ammo can to it on both corners full of first aid supplies.

I had close calls but never seriously got hurt. I was hit in the head when felling the tall tree top hit another tree top and sent a dead branch bomeranging at me. I put my arm up just intime. Another time a oak tree barber chaired and broke off at my cut and I fell to the right side and the trunk went to the left side. Another time I had cut a tree in a clump of tight trees. It got hung straight up. I was cutting 4’ sections to the right and left not paying attention to the v section coming down. When the v section came down I shut the saw off and stepped back. Prayed really fast, it strattled me as it fell. I sat for a minute, gathered my thoughts on what happened and went back cutting.

I never felled trees alone after that. I can buck and load the truck alone.
 
Top