Although hunting from an elevated platform presents many hunters with a significant advantage in the field, a long line of serious injuries and deaths due to defective equipment and irresponsible safety practices have occurred to those using the stands.
There are many safety concerns that come into play when purchasing and using a hunting tree stand. The most serious safety issue comes from faulty hunting tree stands that suddenly detach from the tree while the hunter is waiting in the perch. A long fall from a perch high up in a tree can cause injuries ranging from sprained ankles to broken bones or even death. In other cases, a hunting tree stand can collapse and leave a hunter hanging in his safety harness in such a way that it can be difficult to get out of the harness and climb down the tree to safety. Many hunting tree stand injuries come in the form of accidents that occur while a hunter is climbing up and down from the platform.
Since many of the injuries caused by hunting tree stands result due to faulty equipment, various models of hunting tree stands have been recalled over the years. Sometimes hunting tree stand manufacturers are able to recall flawed stands before a hunter is seriously injured, but many hunting tree stand recalls are the mandated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after injured hunters have filed lawsuits and official complaints.
In many cases, the manufacturers of defective hunting tree stands have found themselves in court defending themselves against those who have sustained serious injuries due the failure of this dangerous equipment. In early 2009, a jury awarded $157 million dollars to the spouse of a deceased hunter who was killed when his hunting stand came loose from a tree and caused him to lose his life after he was hanged to death by his safety harness. In that case, hunting equipment manufacturer TSR had recalled over 9,000 faulty Ol' Man Tree Stands following the victim's death in 2006.
The Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 was specifically designed to ensure that consumers are protected from faulty consumer products like defective hunting tree stands through the oversight of an independent agency.