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The Hazards of Working in the Tree Care Industry

Tree Care IndustryAs we progress into the spring and winter months, we look forward to the inevitable change in seasons. The end of winter means regrowth throughout the country, especially where plants and trees are concerned. The more massive those trees grow, the more damage they cause when they fall. It is crucial to perform proper tree maintenance to detect any issues with the stability of the tree.

Most business and homeowners lack the training and equipment necessary to complete tree maintenance themselves. However, the tree care industry is well-equipped to take care of those needs. Like most labor-intensive professions, tree care faces daily hazards, putting employees at risk for serious injury at work.

The Top Five Hazards

Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a publication addressing the five significant hazards of the tree care industry. OSHA is a government agency created to assure safe working conditions in the United States by creating and verifying industry-specific safety standards. To date, OSHA has not produced a list of actionable items for tree care safety as they have for many of the other industries, despite petitions requesting one. This new piece of writing is a step in the right direction. The article lists the five most dangerous factors of the tree industry as:

  • Traffic control;
  • Drop zones;
  • Wood chippers;
  • Aerial lifts; and
  • Power lines.
Preventative Measures

The two-page publication goes on to offer a myriad of preventative measures to prevent injury or death, including:

  • Using cones, barricades, and flaggers to guide traffic and pedestrians around the work zone;
  • Wearing proper safety equipment, such as a reflective vest, a helmet, as well as hearing and eye protection;
  • Establishing communication between overhead and ground workers;
  • Feeding the cut end into the chipper first, using larger pieces to feed in smaller branches;
  • Tying off to an approved anchor point; and
  • Treating all overhead power and communication lines as energized.
Negligence Puts Everyone at Risk

The tree care industry still goes without specific OSHA regulations to protect our nation's workers. States have taken responsibility and many, including California, have created state-specific safety regulations. This career choice continues to result in injuries and death on a consistent basis.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries while working in the tree care industry, a San Jose, CA workplace injury attorney could help. Medical expenses add up and time out of work can create financial distress. Worker’s compensations benefits do not always cover everything. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. have decades of experience with cases like yours and aim to hold all liable parties financially accountable for your damages. Call us today at (408) 289-1417 to schedule your free consultation to begin exploring your options.

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