Safe Work Australia has published a new guide to help arborists, tree climbers, horticulturalists, gardeners, tree workers, landscapers, builders, developers and others involved in the amenity tree industry.
Tree trimming and removal work includes lopping, pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining and removing amenity trees as well as wood chipping and stump grinding operations.
This work presents various hazards for workers, such as:
- slips, trips and falls
- manual tasks like lifting and holding machinery
- punctures and cuts from branches
- falling objects like branches or felled trees.
Injuries in this line of work can range from small cuts, to more serious trauma, and in some cases, death.
From 2010-2014, 33 workers were killed by falling vegetation, mainly trees, accounting for 3% of all worker fatalities for that period. (Safe Work Australia, 2015).
The Guide to managing risks of tree trimming and removal work was developed in collaboration with industry experts, and provides information on the duties of employers and workers and how they can safely approach and conduct work on trees. Managing the risks associated with this work will help workers to be safe and reduce the chance of injury, illness and death.