Extreme weather conditions have caused problems across the country recently, with many communities living with the aftereffects of Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin.
Fallen trees and branches are again causing a lot of disruption. As a member of the HSE’s Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG), we want to stress again to members that this kind of emergency tree work can be extremely dangerous and should only be carried out by experienced professionals.
The HSE has issued a notice stressing that the planning and activity itself must be undertaken by those with necessary training in emergency tree works such as assisted felling, windblown and part blown trees and emergency planning. If you are working with farmers or landowners, members should stress that they should not be carrying out the work themselves in difficult conditions and without specialist equipment.
Arboriculture lead at HSE Christopher Maher said:
“While fallen trees due to adverse weather conditions can cause lots of disruption, as a result, it can be tempting to carry out emergency tree work. We want to warn people against attempting this high-risk activity. Get in professional help.
Fallen trees can be unstable and weigh a significant amount, with inadvertent movement during clearance activities having fatal results. There are also high risks associated with the use of chainsaws and mechanised methods (the law requires a consideration of this) of removal, such as grapple saws and tree shears, are preferred.
Please seek the services of a professional with the right training and experience to can manage the risks associated with this type of work.”
Please take care when carrying out emergency tree work and remind yourself of the latest health and safety guidance here.