Tree trimmers serve a vital purpose in their communities. They take down dead trees before they can fall on power lines, trim trees to prevent their overgrowth from obstructing power lines or roads and remove fallen trees. Since tree trimmers work with dangerous equipment and are often many feet above the ground, their job is sometimes dangerous. Below are examples of some equipment that will help keep tree trimmers safe while they work:
A big danger for tree trimmers is falling from a tree. For this reason, safety harnesses are necessary. These are usually made of nylon and are sometimes called a climbing harness. This means they have straps that fit around the worker’s waist and thighs. High-quality ropes and carabiners are also incorporated to assure a worker’s safety.
Other safety gear:
Since tree trimmers use high-powered tools such as chain saws and wood chippers, they need ear and eye protection. Workers should wear safety goggles while operating a chainsaw or any other piece of equipment that could throw debris. Loud machinery can damage hearing, so wearing ear protection is important. Another risk worker’s face is falling debris. For this reason, they should wear hard hats as a means of protection. Of course, gloves are also a good idea to prevent scratches and blisters from trees or ropes.
Awareness is not an object used in keeping a worker safe. However, it is vitally important. Due to the nature of their work, tree trimmers are often working very close to power lines. They should always be aware of their surroundings and how close they are to those lines. Since they are high above the ground while working, they also must stay abreast on the weather because it is not a good idea for them to remain in a tree if a storm is approaching.
Another important safety step is to check safety equipment regularly for fraying or other signs of wear. This is extremely important because a rope and harness is all that is keeping a worker from falling out of a tree in many instances. That means ropes and harnesses as well as connectors and ladders all require regular inspection and proper maintenance.
Safety equipment does no good if it is not used properly. Tree trimmers must have the training on the proper use of a chain saw and other equipment. They also should understand how to climb a tree safely using a harness and a rope. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has many regulations in regards to a tree trimmer’s safety, and their resources are invaluable for training new workers on the proper use of safety gear.
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Eric Blair writes about construction safety quipment such as Ladder Safety Systems and Arc Flash Harnesses available online to large and small companies.