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Worker killed felling tree

We regret to let members know of another fatality in our industry. Last week in Shropshire, a worker was crushed and killed when felling a tree.

Being struck by a tree, or branches, when undertaking tree work is the most regular cause of death and major injury in forestry, arboriculture and other land-based industries. Tree work is common, and the risks need to be managed.

Key messages to remember: 

  • Anyone involved in tree work, including felling, must have up to date training and be competent for the task
  • Tree work must be planned and supervised. Check trees for signs of decay and other factors that may affect felling or the work . Where necessary set up exclusion zones. If possible, select and use machine based felling equipment.
  • Look out for dead wood, insecure/unstable branches and broken tops in the tree to be cut, and in adjacent trees
  • During felling, keep other people more than two tree lengths away
  • Keep the escape route and work area clear of obstructions
  • Emergency arrangements should include first aid provision and ability to quickly contact emergency services.


For health and safety guidance, please visit HSE Tree work health & safety web site and the Forestry Industry Safety Accord (FISA)  and Arboricultural Association – Help & Advice ( websites.  Arboricultural Association Safety Guides (

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