Ready to respond

As we are all aware, tree care is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. A comprehensive report summarizing data from Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and investigations conducted by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program concludes that between 1992 and 2007 a total of 1,285 workers died while performing tree care or maintenance. Of these fatalities, the most common causes were being struck by or against an object (42 percent), most commonly a tree or branch; falls to a lower level (34 percent); and electrocutions (14 percent). While many advances have been made in developing better safety gear, establishing industry standards and providing training options, the nature of the industry is inherently dangerous, and pros can’t be too cautious or too prepared for emergency situations. Take every opportunity to help your crew brush up on keeping themselves, each other and the general public safe from harm during tree care operations. Fortunately there are myriad opportunities for continuing education in all aspects of tree care, including safety. Registration is now open for the ISA Annual International Conference and Trade Show, held this year in Portland, Ore., August 11-15. They will be offering a variety of educational sessions focusing on safe practices, covering such topics as chain saw safety, tree risk assessment, safe pruning techniques and electrical hazard awareness programs. Also, see page 7 of this issue to learn more about emergency response. And, coming up in next month’s issue, tree care guru Michael Tain covers proper chain saw PPE.

What’s your story?

Have you ever dealt with a nightmare customer who maxxed out your patience? Did you recently take down your biggest tree yet? Did you help your neighborhood cleanup after a devastating storm? How did you do it? I (and all the Tree Services readers) want to hear your story. Share your wisdom, recount a funny on-the-job memory, or just brag about the great business you’ve built. Contact me and share your story. Who knows? You may end up in the pages of our next issue!

Katie Meyers