07/11/2008

Tree Care Industry

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
    power lines.

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
    area.

  • 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
    manual.

  • 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.



More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: U.S. American Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration