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

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue