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California FACE Program Action Page - Preventing Palm Tree Trimmer Fatalities

The California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program investigates work-related fatalities to identify the causes and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.  

This video explains how Roberto, a 35-year-old tree trimmer, died of suffocation when the palm fronds he was cutting fell on him... and what can be done to prevent this from happening again.  

Digital stories are best used as educational triggers that can kick off a worker training session and facilitate discussion. See below for video discussion questions, fact sheets, the corresponding FACE investigation report, and video download instructions.

Palm Tree Video (6.56 minutes) Spanish Palm Tree Video (7.23 minutes)
View Palm Tree Trimmer Fatality video on YouTube View Palm Tree Trimmer Fatality video in Spanish on YouTube

Additional Educational Materials

Palm Tree Digital Story Discussion Questions

  • What caused Roberto to be suffocated?
  • Have you or someone you know ever faced a similar hazard?
  • What are some alternative climbing techniques and equipment that could have been used at Roberto's jobsite?
  • What needs to be done to identify potential tree trimming hazards prior to starting a job?  

   Palm Tree Fatality Alert (PDF)Opens in new browser window 

   Palm Tree Fatality Investigation Reports:   this case (PDF)Opens in new browser window…  Case 10CA002 …  Case 12CA011

To obtain copies of the video

Download from Vimeo (links below), or order by calling 510-620-5757 or e-mail FACE@cdph.ca.gov

Palm Tree Trimmer Video from Vimeo



Download Palm Video

Download Spanish Palm video











We appreciate your feedback!  To evaluate the FACE palm tree trimmer video, please complete this short form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PalmVideo. To sign-up to receive future FACE fatality reports: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FACESign-up.

FACE Digital Stories main page

Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program home page

Occupational Health Branch home page

Last modified on: 4/30/2014 3:36 PM