CERT Safety Minute: Tree trimming & removal safety

Assume that All Power Lines Are Energized!

– Contact the utility company to discuss de-energizing and grounding or shielding of power lines.

– All tree trimming or removal work within ten feet of a power line must be done by trained and experienced line-clearance tree trimmers. A second tree trimmer is required within normal voice communication range.

– Line-clearance tree trimmers must be aware of and maintain the proper minimum approach distances when working around energized power lines.

– Use extreme caution when moving ladders and equipment around downed trees and power lines.

Stay Alert at All Times!

– Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.

– Perform a hazard assessment of the work area before starting work.

– Eliminate or minimize exposure to hazards at the tree and in the surrounding area.

– Operators of chain saws and other equipment should be trained and the equipment properly maintained.

– Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, hearing protection, etc., recommended in the equipment manufacturer’s operating manual.

– Determine the tree’s felling direction. Address forward lean, back lean, and/or side lean issues.

-Determine the proper amount of hinge wood to safely guide the tree’s fall. Provide a retreat path to a safe location.

– Inspect tree limbs for strength and stability before climbing. Tree trimmers working aloft must use appropriate fall protection.

– Do not climb with tools in your hands.

– If broken trees are under pressure, determine the direction of the pressure and make small cuts to release it.

– Use extreme care when felling a tree that has not fallen completely to the ground and is lodged against another tree.

– Never turn your back on a falling tree.

– Be alert and avoid objects thrown back by a tree as it falls.

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