Tree care operations, such as pruning and removal, can expose workers to a variety of hazards. OSHA has established regulations for tree pruning and removal operations, such as 29 CFR § 1910.269 (r), which covers line clearing. Additionally, subpart S of 29 CFR § 1910 and the telecommunications standard, 29 CFR § 1910.268, also contain provisions applicable to brushcutter chippers, stump cutters, chainsaws and other machines used in tree care and removal operations. When an arborist needs to climb above three meters, a second person must be on site who is trained in air rescue and has appropriate rescue equipment and procedures.
All climbing equipment must not be marked or modified in any way that could undermine its structural integrity. Chipper and shredder equipment must be equipped with all the manufacturer's safety devices, instructions, warnings and safety measures. Tree contractors may need to complete their tree pruning project partially or completely. It is important for customers, owners or companies that hire tree pruning services to understand the dangers and complexities of public services and trees. Any work that may affect underground services (e.g., gas, water, electricity, telecommunications pipes and cables or broadband and wastewater) must be reported to the appropriate authority. It is also important to have an insurance company that specializes in tree service insurance to cover general liability claims.
Employers who engage in online tree felling covered by 29 CFR § 1910.269 must meet the medical services and first aid requirements of 29 CFR § 1910.269 (b). If your tree service company doesn't have one of these trained workers, it's even more important that you understand the complexities surrounding the business of trimming trees and power lines. Explain the dangers of being close to power lines and help your customer understand that sometimes residential tree crews must work together with the power company's tree contractors or linemen. When felling a tree begins, the scarf and subsequent cutting must be completed before starting with the next tree. The Tree Code (199) restricts work on trees that extend to the “competent worker zone” to “competent tree workers”.By following these regulations and taking all necessary precautions when using tree service equipment in hazardous conditions, you can ensure the safety of your workers and customers.