Workers who are employed in the tree-care industry put their lives at risk every day in United States. They regularly risk being struck by falling limbs, getting an arm caught in a stump grinding machine, being electrocuted, slipping or falling from ridiculous heights. As many as 80 tree-care workers die each year in the U.S. alone.
When violent storms strike, oftentimes poorly trained chainsaw operators are sent in to cut down trees and limbs so that roadways can be re-opened, power can be restored or potentially dangerous situations averted. It’s in these instances that as many as 23,000 workers suffer chainsaw injuries and have to be transported to emergency rooms.
Researchers recently published a study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that suggests that tree-care workers employed in certain sectors are more likely to be extensively trained on safety than others.
Some of the most well-trained tree-care workers, they found, are those working for either licensed arborists or tree-care experts. They tend to undergo more thorough training as to how to best wear personal protective equipment (PPE), which is equipment designed to minimize a worker’s risk of injury.
In contrast, those tree-care workers who are employed by nonarboriculture companies tend to receive the least training. The researchers noted that workers employed in a day laborer capacity who only speak Spanish are perhaps the least trained of all in how to use PPE.
One of the researchers working on the study noted that most people perceive cutting down trees to be a profession that requires little expertise. She notes that is far from the case, though.
Instead, she says that it’s because a worker knows very little about the logistics involved in removing trees or using related machinery and safety equipment that workers suffer injuries. She notes these individuals understanding how different trees react to exposure to different weather patterns or seasons is critical to keeping them safe.
If you’ve been hurt on the job due to having received little to no safety or job training from your employer, then a Dauphin attorney can advise you of legal options available to you in your case.