Stanley, NC – Statistics show that the tree care industry has made strides in improving job safety for arborists and related workers. However, the data also shows that tree care remains one of the country’s most hazardous professions.
Last year, 72 tree care workers died as a result of job-site incidents, according to a report by TCIA. Many more were seriously injured. The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) has been working with OSHA to establish clear safety standards for over 10 years, but they are still waiting for industry rules to be written.
What’s more troubling though, is that a recent release from TCIA suggests that knowledge is not the issue, so much as distractions and “complacency.” The conditions, pressures and distractions on the job often lead workers to ignore obvious precautions such as tying off fall protection systems properly or complying with the drop zone policies. Saving lives may require more than new safety guidelines. Perhaps we should be looking at new ways to eliminate distractions as well as some of the hazards inherent in felling, trimming and handling trees.