Tree service is a difficult business as it is, but there is a lot of hazards that the average arborist has to face in the tree care world. There are a lot of safety factors to consider and anybody that is going to do any tree trimming, tree removal, stump removal or stump shaving, be it professional tree trimming or work done by a homeowner, needs to be aware of safety. Nobody wants to get shocked by power lines or take a wood chip to the eye or fall from a tree, so let’s be smart and get all the safety stuff together before we go to work.
Hazards in Tree Service
The biggest hazards in tree care is workspaces with power lines in the area. This is not just because power lines are so dangerous but because a lot of tree trimming and tree removal is done specifically because of power lines. Any worker who will be doing any tree trimming or tree removal near power lines needs to make sure that the utility has de-energized the power lines or has shielded their self from making contact with the power lines. Any hoists, ropelines or ladders also must be kept away from power lines when doing any tree service nearby.
The next line of defense for the arborist when working in tree care is all the personal protection devices that are required while doing tree service. These are things like gloves, hard hats, safety harnesses, hearing protection, goggles and anything else that can protect the arborist while doing tree removal or stump removal. One caution to look out for is during the summer time when a tree trimmer might not want to wear heavy clothing that protects them because it gets too hot and sweaty. This is a mistake that can lead to injury and other accidents and it’s not worth the small amount of extra comfort.
The weather should also be considered when doing any tree trimming or tree removal. An arborist should never work in excessive wind, when thunder or lightning is present or in heavy rain. These conditions make it too easy for workers or equipment to fall and cause an accident. Tree service should only be performed in non-hazardous weather conditions. This company has really great safety protocol, I meant them during arborist national convention:
Arborists Amateur vs. Professional!
Arborists, amateur or professional, also need to be trained to use any equipment required to perform the tree service safely and properly. People figure as long as you’re holding the chainsaw on the right end or if you aren’t sticking any appendages into the woodchipper you should be safe, but there is a lot more to the safe handling of this tree care equipment than meets the eye. Even the more benign stuff like ladders, hoists and unpowered tools create all kinds of accidents statistically, so these things require the proper training too. Even if only a short run-down is necessary to operate the tools you use for stump removal or stump shaving, what’s five minutes if it means not getting your hand chopped off or falling a couple stories to your death?
Once your safety equipment and tree care tool training is taken care of, you still have to consider the trees you will be working on in the tree service business. During tree trimming or tree removal, an arborist has to consider the direction a tree will fall and the area it will be falling toward. You don’t want to do some tree removal and end up crushing coworkers or a car or a passerby, so any area where a tree or branch could fall should be roped off with caution tape. Any branches that will be climbed on or otherwise used for support will also need to be checked beforehand for integrity.
We will be reviewing more about this crazy industry soon stay tuned to this blog.