Tree work can be dangerous, warns OSHA

There is always a risk of falling when people climb trees to trim them. If the trees are located near power lines, the risk of injury is even greater. Maryland landscapers who do tree work like trimming branches and removing dead or diseased trees face many hazards on the job.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety warning to tree workers and published a list of safety tips to help tree workers avoid serious workplace injuries. OSHA says that tree workers should always take the time to thoroughly assess their work environment before beginning a job. Workers should pay attention to how trees are leaning and try to determine how they are likely to fall after they are cut.

Tree workers often do work near power lines, and OSHA advises them to assume that all power lines are energized. Before tree work starts, the employer may be able to shield power lines to protect its workers or ask the local power company if the power lines can be temporarily deactivated. In its list of safety tips, OSHA warns tree workers to refrain from doing any work during dangerous weather conditions.

Tree workers who have been injured on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. They should know that these benefits, which could include the furnishing of medical care as well as partial wage replacement, may be available regardless of who was at fault for the accident. An attorney can often assist a worker in preparing and filing the required claim.

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