Tree surgery is a risky but often necessary job that offers a unique career to those pursuing it. With the right care and attention to health and safety, tree surgery can be a safe and reliable job, however, it isn’t without its risks. From falls from heights, chainsaw accidents or even being hit by falling timber, it can be a risky business. Over 1,400 injuries have occurred within the field over the past 10 years, with 24 unfortunate deaths as a result of business activity.
If you’re looking to become a tree surgeon or are already within the business but want to understand the risks better, we are here to help. Here are the most common risks you need to be aware of:
Chainsaws are essential to a tree surgeon, but as we all know, they can be incredibly dangerous if not handled properly. If used incorrectly, they can be incredibly dangerous and result in life-changing or even fatal injuries. Injuries and deaths by chainsaw make up for a significant percentage of the total injuries and can often be avoided with proper training, protective equipment and tool handling. By law, all chainsaw handlers should have adequate training and you should follow all HSE guidelines on competence, maintaining chainsaws, lone working, PPE, first aid and more.
When felling trees, there is always a risk for those on the ground below or working lower than you that they might be hit by falling branches and debris, some of which can be incredibly heavy. Trees are unpredictable and while you can take every care to safely lower any removed branches safely to the ground, something as simple as leaning on a rotting branch or cutting just slightly too far could lead to a problem for anyone below.
While all staff should be wearing adequate PPE, members of the public likely won’t have a hardhat – making sure that you have an adequate perimeter around where you are felling and that you are properly covered with Public Liability Insurance for Tree Surgeons will help protect you and any third parties in the case of an accident.
Just as people can be harmed by falling branches or equipment, so can the property around you. Whether it’s as simple as cracking a garden ornament, or you cause more lasting and serious damage to the property itself or even smash the window of a nearby car, these are all risks that need to be taken into account before starting any work. In the case of an accident, public liability insurance can help protect you and your business against the financial strain of a claim.
Falling From Height
When working high up in the trees, you are always at risk of falling from height, especially if you are not properly secured. While you should always take extra care to follow all safety advice and instruction, including the use of proper equipment for working at height, accidents can still happen and so it’s crucial to make sure you assess the site and the integrity of the tree itself before you go up into its branches.
For more information about insurance for Tree Surgeons, we are on hand to help. Simply get in touch with a member of Ashburnham Insurance for free on 0800 1696137.