Trees add immeasurable value to your property but maintaining them comes with a cost. They need pruning, sometimes heavy trimming or removal.
The most common types of serious tree trimming accidents are:
- Electrocution. You can be seriously injured or killed if you come into contact with an electric line. It’s easy to misjudge the height of a tree or length of a branch. If there’s a chance power lines might be involved at all, always call your electric utility first and its experts will come out and advise you. Even when you think there’s room, if the wind blows a limb into a power line as you’re trimming it, you can be electrocuted.
- Falling. You can be seriously injured or killed if you fall from a tree. Pruning branches or trimming out dead or overgrown limbs sometimes requires getting into the tree. Always make sure you are using appropriate safety harnesses and ropes when climbing. Also wear safety googles, hard hat, gloves, long-sleeve shirt, long pants and appropriate work shoes. Before climbing, inspect the tree to make sure no power lines run through or near the tree.
- Being struck. You can be seriously injured or killed if you are struck by falling trees or limbs. Cutting large limbs and trees can be tricky. Improper cutting can cause the tree to fall where you hadn’t planned. Always have two escape routes planned ahead of time in case the tree starts going the wrong way. A falling tree hits the ground with great force. Branches and limbs crack, bounce, snap and recoil, especially if dead wood is present. Snapped branches can be flung surprisingly far in multiple directions. Tie off limbs to be cut and lower them to the ground with rope. Never turn your back to a falling tree, and always wear a hard hat when trimming and cutting.
- Overestimating. You can be seriously injured or killed if you overestimate your abilities.