‘Tree work has a major injury incidence rate higher than that of the construction industry’ Health and Safety Executive (HSE.Gov.UK)
- ‘56 year old died when he fell from a ladder’
- ‘44 year old died when he fell from a tree’
- ‘man working alone fell and died from head injuries’
- ‘tree sprang back and killed him’
These are part of the catalogue of injuries associated with tree work. The statistics show that most fatalities and major injuries in tree work are associated with chainsaw operations, being hit by a tree or branch, or falling to the ground.
Tree surgery is a dangerous business. At some point you’ve seen a tragic story on the TV or in the local paper. Sometimes a day that was all about making the garden a better place ends with shattered lives. If these injuries and fatalities can happen to professionals you can see how the statistical probability of accidents increases when amateurs pick up dangerous equipment.
Step back and think: nobody would dream of setting foot on a deep sea arctic trawler because they knew how to catch a crab with a bit of string from a seaside pier.
Treework is dangerous. Tree surgery is a risk and liability.
- increase the chances of accident or injury
- increase the chances that you will be held legally responsible in the event of an accident. Property owners have a common law duty of care to ‘to avoid acts or omissions which they can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure their neighbour’
Risk management in the garden
The accident statistics for work at heights and work with chainsaws are frightening.
Staff competency and experience are the key to getting the job done safely. To highlight the difference between a professional low risk approach and an amateur high risk approach here’s a look at how it should be done.
What does safe tree surgery look like?
These are some of the key safety factors to reduce risk, liability and the chances of accident:
- Initial site survey – It always begins with a proper plan. Get a tree assessment. If you need work done we’re happy to come out and tell you if it’s a job for a professional. We’ll do a risk assessment and plan our work
- Aerial tree work – Working from height and tree climbing is best left to professionals
- Working on the ground – Can be as hazardous as working in a tree. Gravity and falling wood can do a lot of damage
- Lone working – Avoid. The ability to contact others in the event of any accident is critical
- Training – Remember, nobody goes to sea because they can catch a crab from the pier
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Essential
- Escape routes – Planned before any chainsaw or equipment is turned on
Between April 2000 and the end of March 2013 60 people have been killed as a result of tree work activities. So many more have been injured and had family lives shattered forever.
We hate drama at Ashley but this is serious business. If this little wake up call persuades you to put down the diy chainsaw and give us a call instead then it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Think of your beautiful garden in the future.
Of course we want your work but more importantly we want you to stay safe. We hope this helps. Remember, it’s all about planning and preparation. Ashley tree Services