Tree Removal Safety Guide

Pictue of an employee trimming a tree with safety equipment.Introduction

Tree removal experts remove quite a number of trees throughout the entire year, and they must take safety measures and practices to ensure their safety. However, there are still reported cases of injuries due to fallen limbs and branches, even with these precautionary measures. This is the reason why we urge homeowners to hire a professional tree removal company to handle their concern. 

We have compiled all the necessary information related to tree removal safety, statistics, the dangers involved in the work, and the equipment required for the task. 

Statistics

In the United States alone, there are 200 tree-related injuries every year. This information is based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ studies. There were 60 fatal injuries due to tree maintenance in 2012 and 120 more casualties in the logging industry. In 2010, there were 120 injury-related deaths in the forestry and logging services and 60 deaths in tree maintenance. There were also cases of falling from trees and injuries caused by tree removal equipment. 

All these numbers only prove how dangerous tree work can be. These numbers don’t include other injuries from tree maintenance and removal in the US, which is also a serious matter. 

Why is tree work risky? 

A Tree removal comes with risks and one of the significant dangers we can associate with it us the equipment being used. Handheld tools such as wood chippers and chainsaws are necessary tools for the job. If you are not skilled in operating these tools, you put yourself at risk of getting injured. This can lead to more problems, including medical expenses and financial liability. Even with proper protective gears, tree experts can still get hurt. If you have no experience in using this equipment, you are up for grave danger. 

We also have to consider the tree in question. Without the right equipment, tree professionals are at risk of falling from the tree. Unhealthy trees with broken or weak limbs are not excellent support for climbing, which is why you should be careful not to step on them. Another danger is working close to power lines. You can get electrocuted when you accidentally fall back to these utility lines. 

It is also possible that the tree itself is hazardous or that there are hazards in it. Some trees have become home to dangerous pests and plants. If you’re not using the right equipment or wearing protective gears, it could spell disaster. It is for this reason that professional tree removal service should wear proper attire when performing tree work. There are also cases of trees having hazardous chemicals dripping from power lines; that is why it is imperative to inspect the tree before removing it carefully. 

Finally, there is the danger of the tree falling on the wrong side of the customer’s property. If not planned carefully, the tree can fall on power lines, roof, or worse, people. It is a must for tree removal companies to prepare everything from cutting each branch down to attaching cords to the tree to ensure it falls in the right direction. Tree removal should be planned ahead and properly executed to avoid injury and damage to property. 

Safety Equipment

Any tree removal technician should wear protective gears from head to toe when performing the job. The OSHA requires every worker to wear protection for their head, eyes, ears, and foot before commencing the process of tree removal. They should also wear safety gear to protect their skin from poisonous chemicals on the tree. 

As a professional tree removal company, you must wear the following: 

Protective helmet

It is vital to protect your head and face from falling debris when working on a tree removal task. It can also be your saving grace in case you fall from the tree. Protective helmets can also help absorb electric shock in the event of a fall near an electrical line. 

Work gloves

Heavy-duty work gloves are required in any tree removal task. Gloves protect your hands from an injury such as bruises and cuts, even from poisonous insects or plants, or chemicals. Work gloves also help tree professionals to have a better hold when climbing a tree and avoid getting hurt when working with a chainsaw. 

Chainsaw pants and chaps

It is important to wear the right clothing when operating equipment such as a chainsaw. Tree experts should wear thick chainsaw pants and chaps to protect them from debris that is produced by the process of cutting with the chainsaw. 

Safety glasses

Tree removal technicians should wear safety glasses to protect their eyes from tree-related debris. They should wear it while cutting the tree down and even on the ground when reducing the limbs into smaller segments. It is always important to secure your eyes from dust because you can be distracted when they get into your eyes while working and lead to unwanted accidents. 

Noise-canceling ear muffs

You don’t only protect your eyes, head, and face against when performing tree work. It is also essential for you to wear earmuffs to protect your inner ear from the noise of the chainsaw. According to research, chainsaw noise can lead to hearing damage. So you are at risk of getting hearing impaired if you don’t wear earplugs. 

Workboots

Keep your feet protected from injuries by wearing the right kind of boots. This will help you have a better grip on the tree while climbing. Don’t use regular shoes or just any type of shoes when performing tree work. Wear boots with strap-on spikes when you need to climb a tree.

Safe Tree Removal Processes

On top of the safety equipment that you need to wear while doing tree work, you should also follow safety precautions and practices to pro themselves. The OSHA organized safety measures that tree removal companies should adhere to ensure their protection. It includes the assumption that all power lines are energized which is why it is essential to keep in touch with the utility service to de-energize them before they begin the job. Aside from that, they have other safety tips that involve hazard assessment and being focused on the task on hand. 

One important safety practice that tree removal experts consider is to never work in times where there is bad weather. It is best to put off the task if there is announced hail, snow, or high winds in the area. The risks involved in tree removal significantly increases in the presence of an intense storm. Tree experts also think of a thorough plan before starting any project. They inspect the site for any hazardous situations such as weak limbs, deadwood, or dangerous insects and plants. Professional tree removal companies know where the utility lines are located. They have a rope to tie on the tree to help direct its fall. They consider the size of the tree to know the best way to remove it using the most appropriate equipment to do it. Most of all, they don’t start without wearing their proper protective gears.

Further, professionals employ a systematic procedure to take the tree down efficiently and safely. Tree experts estimate the felling area and make sure that there is enough space for a safe fall. They are never lax while doing the job and are wary of any kickbacks that can cause injury or lead them to fall accidentally. They will carefully drop the tree with the help of the rope and guide it in a safe direction, where no structure or person can be hurt. They also make sure the tree will fall away from any electrical lines. They will take care of the cut limbs and keep them away from the site so as not to cause obstruction while. Once the tree has been successfully taken down, they will cut it further into smaller sections and neatly haul it away. Professional tree removal companies meticulously perform the job from planning down to the final execution to ensure that their workers, as well as their clients, are safe from any unprecedented accidents. 

Property owners are urged not to take on tree removal on their own. The dangers involved are too high to risk. It is recommended to ask assistance from tree removal professionals in your local area to the job for you. They have all the required skills and went through training to ensure safety while they perform the task. Don’t compromise the quality of tree service for a few dollars you save from hiring inexperienced companies.

For more information please call Trinity Tree Service Dayton, OH for more information.

Tree Disputes with Neighbors FAQ

Who owns the tree if most of a big tree is hanging over my yard, but the trunk is on my neighbor’s property?

The tree is your neighbor’s. The law states that if the trunk of a tree stands on one person’s property, the tree is his or hers. The case of a boundary tree happens if the trunk stands partly on the property of more than two people, it belongs to all of them. All owners should take responsibility for taking care of the tree.

Am I entitled to compensation for the tree that my neighbor killed?

Yes, because whoever cuts, eliminates, or harms a tree without consent from the owner should compensate for the damaged caused by the action.

What should I do if my neighbor’s tree seems like it is about to fall on my property?

Most often than not, local governments take responsibility to take down the dangerous tree. But you can also trim the branches that are hanging over your property. Some city ordinances don’t allow homeowners to keep hazardous trees in their yard. This ordinance can require the owner to get rid of the tree or pay a fine.

If the roots of my trees spread to my neighbor’s property, will I be responsible for the damages it caused?

The answer to this question depends on the state where you live. Generally, your neighbor will not be able to sue you. Instead, he can trim the tree. However, there are states where you can be sued if the situation satisfies certain conditions such as when the tree invades your neighbor’s property. The case might be a success if your tree causes significant damage to your neighbor’s property.   More information can be found here.

The branches of my neighbor’s tree hanging over my land, can I trim them off?

Yes. It is legal for you to trim the branches that go beyond your property line. However, you cannot go inside your neighbor’s property or kill the tree in any way.  In most states, anyone who deliberately harms someone else’s tree is responsible for twice or thrice the actual monetary loss caused by the action.

If my neighbors complain that my tree is excessively tall, am I required to trim it?

This is a very common issue among neighbors. The best thing to avoid disputes is to talk with your neighbors to be on the same page when it comes to how much trimming is necessary to solve the issue. Sometimes, a calm conversation is all it takes to handle the situation. If the trimming does not affect the health of the tree, by all means, do it. But don’t do it if there are risks involved, instead, contact a professional tree service to make sure the job is done safely.

If you don’t want your tree to be trimmed because it might lose it’s aesthetic, make sure to check your local tree ordinance. If your tree poses a hazard, you might be violating the law and needs to be trimmed or removed right away.

For more information about law related to tree dispute among property owners, please click here.