Felling Trees » Potential Hazards


Potential Hazards:
[29 CFR 1910.266(h)(1) and (h)(2)]

The safe felling of any tree includes evaluating out the surrounding area to identify potential hazards. These hazards should be avoided or eliminated before attempting to fell trees.


Ways to Eliminate or Avoid

As the tree falls through other trees or lands on objects, those objects or branches may get thrown back toward the logger.

If possible, avoid felling into other trees or onto objects. Don't turn your back on the tree as it falls, and look up as you escape along the retreat path.

If the tree falls onto stumps, rocks, or uneven ground, a hazard may be created.

If possible, move the obstacle, or change the felling direction.

Lodged Tree
A tree that has not fallen completely to the ground because it is lodged or leaning against another tree.

Do not work in the presence of lodged trees. Have these death traps pushed or pulled down by a machine.

Broken off limbs that are hanging freely in the tree to be felled or in the trees close by.

Knock them down or pull them down with a machine. Avoid working underneath them.

Standing dead tree, standing broken tree, or a standing rotted tree to be felled or nearby.

Use a machine to bring it down.


It must be felled or avoided by at least two tree lengths, unless the employer can demonstrate that a shorter distance will not create a hazard for an employee.

Spring Pole
A tree, segment of a tree, limb, or sapling which is under stress or tension due to the pressure or weight of another tree or object.

Use a machine to release the tension or release it with a chain saw.

Extreme Weather
Strong wind.

Do not fell trees during high winds.

Vines or limbs of other trees intertwined with the limbs of the tree to be felled.

Undo the entanglement if possible.


Use a machine to fell the tree.

Other workers or machines in the immediate area.

Request the workers or machines to be moved.

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