Don’t Suffer Injuries As You Trim Trees This Fall

Posted on September 16, 2013

Now that fall is just about here, many citizens of California will turn to conducting yard work around their homes.  This should be done in a way that limits exposure to injury, but there’s one type of home care that is potentially more dangerous than just about any other activity:  tree trimming.

Many people enter into this action without taking the proper safety precautions.  It’s fairly easy to be endangered by trimming equipment or a falling branch that was cut improperly.  The danger is compounded when there are power lines weaving through or around the tree.  Concerned about the latter, a new report relates some important tips from the Tree Care Industry Association.

There are some who mistakenly believe that if they stay clear from power lines with a chainsaw or pruning shears, they’ll be kept safe from harm.  But one doesn’t actually need to touch the power lines to be placed in danger.  Not only might tree limbs conduct electricity, but there’s also a chance that a branch you cut will swing awkwardly into the power lines, which is a hazard unto itself.

These threats should not be underestimated, nor should the power traveling through a given power line.  The shock one would suffer when coming into contact with a live wire is far greater than what you could expect with an electrical appliance within the home.  Voltage and amp levels are sufficient to kill instantly, and even if that doesn’t occur, a fatality is still a possibility if emergency medical personnel can’t get to the scene immediately.

The best thing you can do to promote safety is not to even attempt to do tree work if there are power lines in or around the branches.   Even if you think you have enough leeway in terms of space, the branches might swing away from the tree when cut.  They could strike you or hit the wires when they do so.

With or without power lines, you must exercise extreme caution if climbing.  Make sure to haul equipment up after you’ve already climbed rather than carry it with you, as you could easily cut yourself otherwise.  Make sure the area beneath is clear so that no one is going to be struck by a stray branch or a dropped power tool, either of which could pose a serious personal injury risk that you’d be liable for.

The best way to promote safety may be to stick to the ground.  If you do that, be careful with extender-type tools.  Keep your distance from falling branches and power lines so that you’re not accidentally cutting any lines.  Finally, if you’re going to use a ladder, make sure it’s rated for yard usage and isn’t placed beneath power lines.

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