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Tree Care Industry

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Hazard Recognition

Many hazards in the tree care industry are potentially fatal. Overhead power lines, falling branches, and faulty safety equipment are just a few of the dangers. The following references aid in recognizing some of the hazards that may be encountered by tree care professionals.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Reports
  • Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program. Concentrates on investigations of fatal occupational injuries. The primary intent of this program is to provide interested users with access to the full text of hundreds of fatality investigation reports including the following:

Struck-by

Electrocution

Falling

Caught-in

Asphyxia

Common Shop Hazards and Tree Care Considerations
  • Slipping hazards present from oils or solvents on the floor. [29 CFR 1910.22]
  • Fire hazards in shop areas. [29 CFR 1910.106], [29 CFR 1910.157]
  • Adequate fire extinguishers [29 CFR 1910.157] and first aid kits [29 CFR 1910.151] in the shop. It is recommended that consideration be taken to also include extinguishers in work vehicles as appropriate.
  • Emergency response plans. [29 CFR 1910.38]
  • Hazard Communication Issues – the need to identify all hazardous substances within the shop area (carbon monoxide, welding fume, wood dust, metal dust, solvents, fertilizers) and develop a program that addresses MSDSs, labeling, and employee training. [29 CFR 1910.1200]
  • If corrosive chemicals are used, emergency eyewashes and showers are required. [29 CFR 1910.151]
  • Stairways need railings if more than 4 stairs - differences in "open" and "closed" stairs are clarified in. [29 CFR 1910.24]
  • All safety guards must be in place and operational on all shop tools. [29 CFR 1910 Subpart O]
  • Lockout/tagout program requirements. [29 CFR 1910.147]
  • Compressed air used for cleaning purposes must be reduced to less than 30 p.s.i. and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment. [29 CFR 1910.242(b)], [Hazard Information Bulletin]
  • When the periphery of the blades of a fan is less than seven feet above the floor or working level, the blades shall be guarded. [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(5)]
  • Storage issues with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) containers. [29 CFR 1910.110]
  • Workrests and tongue guards of grinders should be properly adjusted. [29 CFR 1910.215]
Additional Resources
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