Tree work health and safety

The tragic accident involving a 42-year-old tree surgeon who was killed while felling a diseased ash tree at a National Trust estate has been in the media recently.

This is a sad reminder of the dangers of working with diseased trees and we want to highlight the importance of managing and controlling these risks.

As a member of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group (AFAG), HSE have urged us to remind members that:

·        it is crucial that all tree work is properly planned, including specific considerations when involving diseased trees

·       the hierarchy of control approach is fully considered before deciding on climbing or using a chainsaw. For example mechanised assistance ( tree shears / grapple saws) or use of MEWPs will normally be safer and more appropriate

·       persons undertaking the work have the right training and competence, and are properly supervised and monitored.

HSE’s investigation into the incident is ongoing, and cannot comment in detail.

Please visit this page for industry-specific health and safety guidance for tree work.

FISA Safety Guides can be found here.

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