Pennsylvania residents who spend time trimming trees for a living are in a dangerous profession. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided tips for tree workers to keep their job as safe as possible. The dangers of working in trees include the possibility of falling, bad weather, nearby power lines and hazards from the equipment often used, including chainsaws.
Despite the hazards, there are no federal safety standards for the tree care industry. OSHA does have recommended guidelines for tree workers to increase their safety and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. The agency advi advises tree workers to assess the tree and the nearby area before beginning work in order to be aware of potential hazards. If there are nearby power lines, workers should always assume that they are live. Only trained line-clearance workers should work within 10 feet of power lines. Tree work involves the use of equipment including chain saws and wood chippers, which can be dangerous if used by someone who is not fully trained. Equipment should be properly maintained.
It is dangerous for a tree worker to work alone or in bad weather. OSHA says that every tree worker should have at least one other worker nearby and within hearing distance. Working in dangerous weather should be avoided.
Tree workers who are injured on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. At the outset, their status as an employee rather than an independent contractor needs to be established, and an attorney might assist in this regard.