Tree trimming can be a hazardous job and deadly accidents involving falling debris can take place. A task such as this one is even more risky when it must be done 20 feet or more above the ground using a forestry truck. Pruning brings with it risks and hazards especially when using power tools such as chainsaws, so proper safety knowledge should be taught before any work begins. Falling and electrocution are two of the recorded causes of death associated with tree maintenance, emphasizing the need to always be careful when performing this job.
Job site safety is a vital function and responsibility of both employers and employees. Every worker has the right to be free from harm – and employers have the responsibility to deliver safety measures that protect the life and dignity of all workers. Listed below are some helpful tips to avoid the hazard of tree trimming accidents, some precautionary measures to do before and during any trimming activity.
Tree Condition – Assess tree condition that are scheduled to be pruned. Check for weak branches and limbs that could crack and fall onto equipment or workers.
Chainsaw – Ensure the proper use of cutting tools especially the power chainsaw. Controls, lubrication system, and chain tension of this power tool should be checked as well as the gas level. When refueling, be sure that the refilling is done away any ignition sources.
- Operations – Workers must know about the correct operation of a forestry bucket truck and follow all such designated instructions.
Work Site – Assess a work site for the presence of possible hazards such as power lines, cracked branches, and bystanders.
Power Lines – Always assume that electric power lines are live. When working near utility lines, be sure that they are temporarily shut off. Per OSHA rules, the cutting of tree limbs near power lines should only be done by line-clearance tree trimmers who must stay within the correct minimum approach distance.
- Know the Job – Determine which branches require trimming.
Use PPE – Personal protective equipment must be worn at all times such as goggles, ear protection, helmet, leather shoes, and heavy-duty gloves.
Grip Handle – When a chainsaw is running, the handle should be properly gripped and a strong footing should be established.
Use Two Hands – Control the saw using two hands and avoid operating equipment using one hand.
Overhead – Avoid cutting directly overhead. Position the blade directly above any limbs to be trimmed.
Small Branches – Be extremely cautious when cutting small branches, as they could spring back and disturb the operator’s balance.
Usage of Force – Avoid putting too much force behind a chainsaw when cutting tree limbs to avoid kickbacks.
Danger is always present at a job site and accidents can happen to anyone. It is very important to learn and know about safety training as related to tree trimming. Workers must be trained in the proper use of cutting tools as well as the correct handling of a forestry truck to help finish all jobs on time. Of course, training is ineffective without putting such learning into practice. Proper rules and practices should be applied at every job and work site. Training must be conducted to educate all personnel about being efficient, decreasing and preventing potential risks, and increasing awareness to achieve a safe working environment.
Being careful when pruning trees must always be a prime consideration because so many have died due to negligence and lack of training. When loggers or trimmers are well-trained and knowledgeable about job performance, hazards can be identified and the possibility of unwanted dangers occurring can be lowered or eliminated. This is achieved by following safe working procedures, ensuring the use of personal protective equipment, knowing the proper use of forestry trucks, and always referring to a manufacturer’s manual.
By strictly following proper safety procedures, potential losses related to unwanted accidents and injuries that translate into expensive claims, high insurance costs, liability costs, and decrease overall productivity can be effectively eliminated and safe tree trimming with a forestry truck can be accomplished!