A 36-year-old man died while working on trees at a Stanford University housing complex in Palo Alto on Saturday afternoon, Palo Alto fire officials said Monday.
He has been identified as Jesus Silva Romero of San Jose, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office.
Firefighters responded to a report of an injured worker at Stanford West Apartments at 700 Clark Way around 12:40 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Geoffrey Blackshire said.
"He had been cutting limbs in a tree" prior to the accident, Blackshire read from a department incident report.
Dispatchers also received a request for a technical rescue that was later canceled when crews pronounced Romero dead at the scene, Blackshire said. Palo Alto police officers also responded and assisted in cornering off the area.
One dispatch report indicated Romero had been in a tree with a chainsaw, Battalion Chief Bobby Davis said. Romero was found laying on the ground next to a tree roughly 30 feet tall and visible from Sand Hill Road.
Stanford West Apartments is a 628-unit residential complex for university faculty and staff on the northwest side of the campus.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the work-related accident that turned fatal, Cal/OSHA spokesman Luke Brown said. Romero was employed by Arborwell Inc., a tree trimming and maintenance company based out of Hayward.
Cal/OSHA investigators were on scene Saturday looking into the circumstances surrounding the accident. The investigation is expected to take about six months to determine if there were any workplace safety code violations, Brown said.
A search of online Department of Labor records showed the state agency opened five investigations into Arborwell Inc. over the past five years.
The employee was a foreman for Arborwell and died in "climbing-related accident," company spokesman Larry Kamer said in an email Monday night.
"This is the first employee fatality we have ever had in our company's history, and we are shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy," Kamer said.
Arborwell officials have offered their support to Romero's family and are working with Cal/OSHA and other agencies in the investigation into the accident, according to Kamer.
The company also has grief support services available to colleagues and co-workers, Kamer said.
The Fire Department, Cal/OSHA and Kamer didn't provide further details on how the accident played out.