Top 15 Tree Trimming Safety Tips | Protective Equipment

It can be quite difficult and dangerous to trim branches and limbs from a tree instead of removing them completely. You will need a specific set of skills for doing so, including tree climbing and pruning. You might often need to use portable power tools like trimmers and chainsaws. A person can be at huge risk of falling while trying to tall tree branches, and also the risk of electrocution in case they bump into power lines. Electrocution and falling from heights are two of the leading causes of death while trimming trees. That’s why it’s important to understand the basic tree trimming safety so that any kind of tree trimming accident can be avoided. 

Tree Trimming Safety

What is Tree Trimming and Removal Work?

As said earlier, tree trimming and removal works include trimming and pruning. They also include lopping, repairing, removing, and maintaining amenity trees. Ground operations that are related to tree work, such as root pruning, wood chipping, and stump grinding, are included in these works as well. 

Amenity trees refer to the trees that have functional, recreational, social, ecological, health, environmental, or aesthetic value. They are not used for production or agricultural purposes. 

Tree Trimming Safety Guide

While you are picking up a pruning saw, or in order to trim a tree that is in need of some pruning or trimming, you might think about certain questions. You might wonder if you need to cut a certain brunch or have picked the right time to prune the tree. You can have a proper understanding of all these questions and approach the trimming work in a safe manner by following a proper safety guide for tree trimming. 

It is particularly important to follow the safety guide in situations such as trimming the trees that are near power lines, removing large dangling or dead branches, or removing large branches that are near homes or buildings. This guide will be of huge help to people that have to trim trees on a regular basis as a part of their jobs, such as arborists, gardeners, horticulturalists, tree workers, tree climbers, developers, builders, landscapers, and others that are involved in the amenity tree industry.

This Guide will also be really useful for workers and help ensure the safety and health of other people who might be affected by tree removal and trimming work, including members of the public.

This tree trimming safety guide consists of 15 safety tips that you will need to abide by while getting into the tree trimming or removal work so that you don’t face any kind of danger related to this work. Here goes the 15 tree trimming safety tips that you must follow-

1. Choose a Day With Perfect Weather

It’s important to choose a day with perfect weather for trimming or pruning trees. Late fall, when the trees have shed their leaves, or early winter is the most suitable time to prune deciduous trees. As the branches will be bare, it will allow you to clearly see the structure of the tree. Trees that are most evergreen should be pruned lightly in late winter. You should avoid major pruning from January through early March, which is also known as the “maple sugar time.” 

Also, if the weather forecast for a day looks windy, stormy, wet, or icy, don’t attempt to trim tall trees that will require aerial access or climbing. Then you will be able to avoid dangers easily while conducting the trimming work.

2. Check Out for Potential Hazard

Before the trimming or pruning work, it’s a must that you inspect the tree and ground for potential hazards like electrical lines and broken limbs. Make sure to get rid of those hazards before you start working to remain risk-free. 

3. Use the Right Tools

Make sure to choose the right tools for your work. Before starting your work, properly assess the things that you are going to do during the whole task, and choose the right tools that will help ensure you will be able to do the work efficiently and safely. 

4. Use Protective Equipment to Avoid Accidents

If you are using a chainsaw or a trimmer, it’s best if you protect your hands by wearing leather lineman’s gloves. You should also protect your head with a protective helmet or hard hat, your ears with ear protection, and your eyes with comfortable eye protection. Also, you should wear shoes that have heels and slip-resistant soles to reduce the chance of getting slipped and falling. Wearing long-sleeved and close-fitting clothing with a non-conductive hard hat will help you stay safe if you are working near an electrical wire. 

5. Get a Proper Training

You must not use a chainsaw or an aerial lift if you don’t have the proper training to do so. So, make sure that you have received the proper training to use the tools you will need to do the trimming or pruning work, and at the same time, have the needed training to climb the tree and do the work with proper safety precautions. 

6.  Ensure That Your Tools Are in Good Condition

You must double-check to ensure that your tree trimming tools, harnesses, ladder, climbing ropes, and latches are in good condition. Make sure to properly inspect your tools and sharpen them if needed to ensure efficient functioning and safety. 

7. Supervise Closely

Before getting into the work, supervise closely for weak or dead tree limbs, and cut off or break if you find any that are dead. You must not rely on split, weak, or dead branches for support. Make sure to place your hands or feet on separate limbs while climbing and move only one step at a time. You might have to use an aerial lift if the tree is not safe enough to climb. 

8. Plan Safety Routes in Case of Emergency

It’s better if you can plan some alternate safety routes in advance in case of any emergency. If you or anyone around falls victim to any kind of accident after all, make sure that you have the safety routes planned beforehand. Then you will be able to minimize the effect of the accident as much as possible. 

9. Ensure Safety for Others in the Nearby Area

Before getting into the trimming work, make sure to ensure safety for your co-workers, passerby, and other people in the nearby area by marking the work area off. If the tree you are working on extends over a road, use signs and cones if you feel that it’s necessary to direct people and traffic around the area. You can also wear high-visibility clothing so that people can notice what’s going on from far away.

10. Eliminate Anything That Blocks Your Sight

If any obstacles keep blocking your sight, it can cause huge problems in your work. Also, the risk of accidents will increase a lot. So, it’s important that you eliminate anything that’s blocking your sight before starting the trimming. 

11. Mind the Electronics to Avoid Electrical Hazards

Pole trimmers, ladders, and some other pruning tools can conduct electricity if they come into contact with electrical conductors or overhead power lines. A downed power line might contain enough energy still, and it can cause serious injury. So, to ensure proper safety, just assume that the power lines are energized before confirming that they are not. Also, make sure to be highly cautious while moving conductive tools around the power lines. 

12. Take Precautions to Avoid Falling

If you are using a ladder to climb up and conduct the trimming work, make sure to tie it properly with a sturdy branch of the tree. If you are making an even higher climb, you must use an aerial lift or a fall protection harness climbing rope. It will protect you in case you fall from the tree accidentally. 

13. Assess Post Trimming Hazards

Hazards can still occur after you are done with your trimming work. Assess the hazards that can risk your safety and others even after the work is done, and make sure to aptly take care of them. 

14. Work With a Partner

If you have to climb up the tree, then it’s for the best if you work with a partner who will stay on the ground during the trimming work. You will need a partner for work within 10 feet of power lines. Also, never do the climb with your tools in your hand. Have your partner pass them up to you after you’ve done the climb.

15. Avoid Trimming Trees Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

It’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t indulge in any kind of precise work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and when it comes to risky jobs, it’s a must that you avoid doing them in that condition. So, make sure that you aren’t drunk or under the influence of any other drugs while you are getting into the trimming or pruning work. Otherwise, you will risk your own life and the lives of other people around the area too. 

TIP: If you are concerned about the health and safety of the trees on your property, call (800) 478-7966, our Tree Management Service. Our experienced arborists will assess the health condition of your trees and recommend the best treatment and management plan.

Safety Equipment

You need to use specific tree trimming safety equipment to keep yourself safe from all the potential hazards. Using them is necessary while doing the work; otherwise, you will be at huge risk of various injuries and problems. These equipment are-

1. Hard Hat

You should wear a hard hat to protect your head from the tree’s falling limbs.

2. Non-Slip and Sturdy Boots

You will be able to keep a firm footing on the ground by wearing non-slip and sturdy boots. The risk of slipping and falling will also decrease.

3. Gloves

You need to wear gloves for protecting your hands from cuts and puncture wounds.

4. Climbing Equipment

You need to use specific climbing equipment such as ropes, belts, safety harnesses, carabiners, slings, and lanyards, which will help you conduct the job appropriately. At the same time, they will help you to remain safe and secured while doing the trimming or pruning work.

When you are operating a chainsaw, you will need to wear these specific pieces of safety equipment-

5. Face Shield

You should wear a face shield for protecting your face from debris and the kickback of the machine.

6. Hearing Protection

If you get exposed to loud noises of trimming work without wearing hearing protection, you will lose hearing over time. Plugs and muffs are two common types of hearing protection. Ear muffs will properly seal around your ears to muffle loud noises and keep your hearing safe. Disposable ear plugs have to be discarded after each use.

7. Goggles or Safety Glasses

You must wear goggles or safety glasses during work to keep your eyes safe from foreign objects.

8. Leg Protection

When you are performing ground operations, you must wear leg protection. The material of your leg protection should be cut-resistant. The protection should cover the entire thigh to the top of the boots.

Hire Atlas Tree

Atlas Tree

As you can see, the tree trimming safety checklist does come with a plethora of things, which can be quite difficult to take care of. On top of that, you may not have all the necessary safety equipment at your disposal. That’s why it’s recommended that you hire expert professionals.

When it comes to professionals, Atlas Tree is one of the bests in Northern California. We have been in the business for more than 40 years, and serve hundreds of clients every year. Have a look at our wide range of services

Final Words

Trimming and pruning trees is not an easy task at all. It is a really complicated and, at the same time, a highly risky task too. Whenever someone gets into trimming or pruning work, they have to face a lot of hazards and dangerous situations. If you are looking forward to trimming a tree, it’s important that you are highly cautious and take proper safety precautions. If you are not cautious enough and fail to take safety measures, you can fall victim to various accidents and injuries. Also, taking safety measures will help you finish your work efficiently too. Moreover, you need to follow the above-mentioned safety guide not only for the safety and efficiency of your work, but you also need to follow those measures to ensure the safety of the people nearby. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common types of injury during tree trimming?

The most common types of injury during tree trimming are falls, electrocution, and being struck by trees.

How do you secure tree branches?

Pruning away dead or damaged branches, removing water sprouts, and placing rods across split trunks. 

What things should you avoid while trimming a tree?

Wrong timing, pruning the wrong branches, trimming the branch collar with the branches, trimming with blunt shears, and neglecting sanitary practices. 

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