Tree Care Safety & Health

Related keywords: Arborists, Tree Trimmers

Arborist in a tree cutting branches and wearing fall protection & personal protective equipment (PPE)

About 20% of tree trimmer deaths are caused by falls and electrocution due to contact with power lines.

Stock photo licensed from ThinkStock.com.

Tree care companies provide services such as pruning, removal, plant health care, cabling and bracing, transplanting, consulting, fertilization, and lightning protection. Arborists and some landscapers conduct tree trimming or removal activities.

Tree trimming is one of the most dangerous activities in the country. Workers can be seriously injured or killed from

  • electrocution;
  • falling from heights (from trees, elevated lift equipment, or ladders);
  • being hit or struck by tree parts;
  • contact with cutting equipment;
  • being pulled into chipping equipment;
  • inclement weather (storms, wind, heat);
  • stinging insects and wildlife;
  • applying pesticides and other chemicals;

No single specific set of safety and health rules apply to all tree trimming or removal activities, but rules in different chapters do — depending on the industry and purpose of the trimming or removal project. For example, line-clearance tree trimming for an electrical utility is covered in Chapter 296-45-015(1)(e) (566 KB PDF), an industry-specific rule. Some tree trimming activities may be covered by other specific industry rules or by general rules found in Chapter 296-24, Chapter 296-800, or Chapter 296-62.

Regardless of their industry, educational or professional background, all tree trimmers face dangerous work and must be provided with proper training, procedures, and equipment to do their jobs safely. A required Accident Prevention Program (APP) can help prevent hazards and costly injuries to ensure that tree trimmers keep safe and working.

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