When the weather gets warm and the plants start to grow, Boston and surrounding areas become more beautiful than ever. Unfortunately, as trees grow larger, they can sometimes become dangerous. They may overhang public spaces, encroach on power lines, or otherwise grow in troubling ways. Many trees need to be cut in order to no longer present a risk to the public and to property. Workers perform tree trimming services during the summer and, unfortunately, this is a high-risk profession with a significant chance of workplace injuries.
If a tree trimmer gets hurt while performing work duties, that tree trimmer can pursue a work injury claim with help from a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer. Workers’ compensation benefits should pay for medical care costs and should provide disability income if the tree trimmer’s injuries prevent him from being able to work or cause him to experience a reduction in pay because his ability to do his job is limited by his injuries.
Preventing injuries must be a top goal for employers and employees so workers are not forced to take time off and cope with the aftermath of a devastating accident. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides important information on tree trimming safety, which both trimmers and their employers should read carefully so they can follow best practices for safety.
Preventing Tree Trimming Injuries in Boston This Summer
OSHA has many different safety recommendations for tree trimmers and their employers, including the following:
- Workers should be provided with, and utilize, appropriate personal protective gear including a hard hat to protect against overhead impact; eye protection with side shields; and gloves to protect against injury when handling sharp-edged debris.
- Workers should inspect trees and tree limbs before climbing the tree and before beginning to cut in order to identify whether there are any structural weaknesses in the tree.
- Workers should use safe climbing procedures. This includes putting the hands and feet on different limbs; limiting shinning distances to no more than 15 feet; and breaking off dead tree limbs or cutting dead tree limbs while climbing the tree.
- Protocols for safe work practices should be developed in order to make certain lanyards, climbing ropes, safety belts, straps, and other fall protection equipment is not cut or damaged while performing tree cutting tasks.
- Workers should be provided with and trained in using a personal fall arrest system appropriate for each job. This should include connectors, anchors and anchor points, lanyards, lifelines, and any other equipment necessary to reduce the risk a tree trimmer could suffer a fall. ‘
- If aerial or heavy equipment is to be used, workers should be provided with hearing protection to avoid damage to the ears. Workers who are performing their work from an arial lift should use a properly-attached body harness or a body belt for tethering and restraint in order to reduce the risk of fall injuries.
By following these best practices for safety, hopefully injuries associated with cutting trees during the summer work season can be reduced. Employers ultimately have the obligation to provide workers with the equipment and education they need to be safe, and workers need to know their rights if an accident does occur.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Tree Trimming, OSHA
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