Tree trimmer dies after fall in Gardner - KCTV5


Tree trimmer dies after fall in Gardner

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Twice in one week local tree trimmers were killed on the job.

First in Parkville where a man was electrocuted. Then Friday morning 47-year-old Larry Dean Webb of Olathe, KS, fell to his death.

Authorities were called to the scene about 11:45 a.m. Friday. The scene was at 235 N. Maple St.

According to a news release from the Gardner Police Department, the tree trimmer fell about 60 feet.

Webb died at the scene from his injuries. The homeowner who hired the crew said the man was wearing a harness and he wasn't sure if the tree trimmer's rope snapped. The homeowner said he hired two men to cut down a tree on his property.

Police remain on the scene as of 4:30 p.m. as they continue to conduct their investigation.

While uncommon, these kind of tragedies do happen.

"It's shocking, frankly, to have deaths. We have a lot of injuries in the industry, but to actually have somebody die is a shocking thing," said Brian Beach with JCB Tree Service.

Beach just returned from a safety conference hosted by the Kansas Arborists Association. He said it's important for tree trimmers to communicate with each other before and during the job.

"When we come on the job to do a tree job, I get two or three of the climbers and the ground guys together to go over the procedure. We look for the risks. If there's power lines, we look to see what the targets are," he said.

Another factor is making sure the tree trimmer a person hires is licensed and has insurance to cover any injuries to his employees and potential damage to the property. The man who hired the tree trimmers in Gardner said they had experience and took safety precautions.

The following week, Gardner Police  said Webb's death had been ruled as accidental from a long fall.

Earlier this week a tree trimmer was electrocuted in the Northland when his strap became loose and a metal part collided with a live wire, killing 35-year-old Carlos Gomez Escobar.

KCP&L says, whenever working near power lines, they recommend calling the power company so they can temporarily turn off the power there.

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