A high number of tree trimming and clearing fatalities in OSHA

OSHA Launches Tree Trimming Safety Emphasis Program

The regional program is an effort of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. In the larger Philadelphia Region, 47 fatalities resulted from tree trimming and clearing from 2009 through 2013, according to the agency.

A new regional emphasis program has been launched in OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office that is focused on safety in tree trimming operations. There were 243 worker deaths nationwide in 2012 during tree trimming and clearing activities, according to OSHA. In OSHA's Philadelphia Region -- Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, Virginia – 47 occurred from 2009 through 2013, and 79 percent of the deaths involved employers with 10 or fewer workers.

The Philadelphia Area Office includes Philadelphia, Chester, and Delaware counties. "Tree trimming and clearing can be hazardous work that results in worker fatalities. These hazards exist whether the work is performed as part of landscaping/horticultural service or site clearing by construction workers," said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA's regional administrator in Philadelphia. "It is vital that employers take the necessary steps to protect workers engaged in these activities."

As part of the emphasis program, personnel from the Area Office will inspect employers in the industry and will offer compliance assistance. Philadelphia Region Area Offices are sending notification letters to 2,110 stakeholders, including employers, employee labor groups, and tree care trade associations.

According to OSHA, the four leading causes of these deaths are struck-by hazards, caught-in hazards, falls from elevation, and electrical shock. "These accidents included, but were not limited to workers being struck by falling trees and limbs; workers struck by motorized equipment; falls from trees, lifts, and ladders; workers caught in chippers; and electrical shock suffered while working near overhead power lines," according to the agency's announcement.

For information on tree trimming safety and relevant OSHA standards, visit http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/treecare/index.html#recognition.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • What is Behavior Based Safety?

    Learn the ins and outs of Behavior Based Safety (BBS), a process that informs management and employees of the overall safety of the workplace through safety observations.

  • How to Properly Use Job Safety Observations

    While there are many pros and cons of behavior based safety programs, often times these programs fail because of poor implementation. Learn how to properly use safety observations that result in improvement.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix:

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. In the following blog article, we break down the three most popular sizes of a risk matrix — 3x3, 4x4, and 5x5 — and reveal the pros and cons of each.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2020

    March 2020

    Featuring:

    • HUMAN FACTORS
      The Case for Managing Human Factors at Heights
    • DRUG TESTING
      An Overview of SAMHSA'S New Oral Fluid Testing Guidelines
    • HAND PROTECTION
      Cutting to the Chase
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Choosing the Right Protective Clothing
    View This Issue