Choose your arborist wisely

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Tree care operations is the third deadliest industry in the United States.[1]

Accidents in tree care can be caused by stinging insects, noxious chemicals, chainsaws, vehicles, and wood chippers. Improper safety equipment and failure to adhere to the advised safety protocols are a major cause of accidents; not identifying deadwood before climbing, making improper cuts, or misjudging the test strength of a branch are just a few examples. The leading causes of death on this job are falls from a tree, being struck by a falling tree or branch, and contact with electrical lines.

Prevention steps are numerous, but self-enforced. Only a quality outfit will follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s guidelines, and an arboriculture service requires a certified arborist. Our certified arborist here at Sycamore Services LLC is Bruce Leonard. We depend on his judgement and expertise. He identifies the type of tree and the care and approach that the species needs. He makes sure that any needed rigging is correctly set up, that we are at a proper distance from power lines, and that we have emergency procedures in place in case the unexpected happens. He designates drops zones where objects are expected to fall, inspects the equipment, and trains his workers. If a tree needs felling, he is an expert of the kind of cuts required to keep your property from being damaged. At Sycamore Services, we take all the proper precautions, to safeguard our employees and ensure your business with us is quick and hassle-free.


[1] The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps arborists in with grounds maintenance workers, which has the tenth most fatalities per year, per 100,000 workers. However, a more accurate picture of the danger of tree work specifically can be found by comparing both the BLS report and these findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, deaths per 100,000 among tree trimmers was eighty per year from 1992-2007. As a rough metric, the International Society of Arboriculture’s statistics reveal that in 2002 there were 157,000 arboriculture service workers. This means that there were roughly 51 deaths to every 100,000 workers, third behind fishing workers at 55. Airline pilots, roofers, and garbage collectors are only slightly less dangerous than tree work. Logging, as a profession, is the deadliest in America by far; 133 per 100K.
Granted, searching the OSHA’s website for “tree trimming,” generates only about 40 reported deaths in the same date range. However, these deaths are all from tree care employers; after subtracting the non-employee workers from the total, the true death rate would still be the third deadliest. And considering that self-employed tree trimmers are not included in public reports, these numbers do not necessarily conflict with the CDC report.


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