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Safety with Tree Surgery

Tree surgery can be a profession which carries high risks.  It’s therefore extremely important that tree surgeons are properly qualified and adhere to safety procedures.  If an inexperienced tree surgeon makes a mistake that poses a safety hazard, it could leave the property owner open to a claim.

The following tree surgery safety issues should always be taken into account:

Appropriate Training 

As tree surgeons often work in high-risk conditions, such as at height, in remote environments and during all weathers, it’s of paramount importance that appropriate training is given. As well as working alongside an experienced aborist for a period of time, there has been a common training scheme in place since 2002 provided by Lantra Awards, as well as certificates of competence (CoCs) awarded by the City & Guilds NPTC.

These schemes include skills such as chainsaw maintenance, the felling and processing of trees between 200 – 380mm, how to safely climb trees and conduct aerial rescues, safely operating wood chippers, and the use of a chainsaw from a rope and harness.

A review of current industry practices is also being carried out by AFAG’s Training and Certification Project Group to encourage the recording of on-the-job experience and formal qualifications to help promote good industry practice.

Preventative Measures

Before a tree surgeon’s work begins, there are certain measures which should be in place.  It may sound obvious but having the correct clothing and equipment is just one of these measures.  This should include protective clothing such as a helmet and waterproofs to protect against the cold and damp, as well as a safety harness for stability when working on difficult parts of the tree.

A risk assessment should always be carried out on site before a job begins to ascertain whether there are particular areas of risk or difficulties in order to minimise dangers before work starts. There should also be a comprehensive system for keeping in contact with lone workers, so that should someone be injured when working on their own, they are able to easily call for help. Similarly, first aid training should be in place to enable basic medical assistance to be carried out if needed.

Adequate Insurance

It’s also important that a tree surgeon has adequate insurance for the work they are carrying out. Public liability and employer liability should be in place to protect both those working on trees and the property owners.  Tree surgeons should also be aware of up-to-date health and safety procedures.  If these measures are accurately followed, tree surgery can be carried out safely and to a high standard.

Make sure your tree surgeon adheres to the necessary safety and insurance standards as T.H. Tree Services does.

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