Tree care operations require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of workers. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, lawn service workers account for 3.5 percent of all workplace deaths, with 75 percent of fatalities related to tree removal or pruning. To protect yourself while performing tree care operations, it is important to understand the basic PPE requirements. The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is the leading source of information on tree care safety. The TCIA magazine is the most widely read periodical in the tree care industry and provides detailed guidance on PPE requirements for tree care operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) logging operations standard (29 CFR 1910.26) covers limited types of tree removal operations.
In addition, there are other general OSHA industry standards that apply to many tree care operations, including regulations on ladders, liftable and swivel work platforms mounted on vehicles, PPE, portable power tools, machine protection, and work practices related to electrical safety. When performing tree care operations, it is essential to wear the appropriate PPE. This includes a hard hat, safety glasses or goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and a face shield if necessary. If a climber also plans to use a chainsaw, then it is necessary to use hearing protection as well as a second means of attachment (such as a cord to position him at work).It is also important to be aware of any additional PPE requirements that may be specific to your job site or task. For example, if you are working in an area with hazardous materials or chemicals, you may need additional protective clothing or respirators. By understanding the basic PPE requirements for tree care operations and any additional requirements specific to your job site or task, you can ensure your safety while performing tree care operations.