Summer thunderstorms often leave behind downed trees and branches, placing tree
removal crews very much in demand. When power lines are involved, there can be
a number of hazards inherent in tree trimming or removal of debris. Employees
working to clear away trees should have an understanding of proper safety
measures. Here are a few recommendations from the U.S. American Department of
Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):
- Do not do any tree trimming or removal work within ten feet of a power line
unless you are a trained line-clearance tree trimmer.
- Do not trim or remove trees in hazardous weather conditions.
- Only use heavy equipment, such as chain saws, if you have received proper
training to operate it safely.
- Determine the tree's falling direction before cutting it down.
More Tree Trimming & Removal Safety Tips out of the U.S. American Department of
Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration's 'Quick Card':
Assume that All Power Lines Are Energized!
- Contact the utility company to discuss de-energizing and grounding or
shielding of power lines.
- All tree trimming or removal work within ten feet of a power line must be done
by trained and experienced line-clearance tree trimmers. A second tree trimmer
is required within normal voice communication range.
- Line-clearance tree trimmers must be aware of and maintain the proper minimum
approach distances when working around energized power lines.
- Use extreme caution when moving ladders and equipment around downed trees and
Stay Alert at All Times!
- Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.
- Perform a hazard assessment of the work area before starting work.
- Eliminate or minimize exposure to hazards at the tree and in the surrounding
- Operators of chain saws and other equipment should be trained and the
equipment properly maintained.
- Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, hard hats,
hearing protection, etc., recommended in the equipment manufacturers operating
- Determine the trees felling direction. Address forward lean, back lean, and/or
side lean issues.
- Determine the proper amount of hinge wood to safely guide the trees fall.
Provide a retreat path to a safe location.
- Inspect tree limbs for strength and stability before climbing. Tree trimmers
working aloft must use appropriate fall protection.
- Do not climb with tools in your hands.
- If broken trees are under pressure, determine the direction of the pressure
and make small cuts to release it.
- Use extreme care when felling a tree that has not fallen completely to the
ground and is lodged against another tree.
- Never turn your back on a falling tree.
- Be alert and avoid objects thrown back by a tree as it falls.
AplusA-online.de - Source: U.S. American Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration