Tree Trimming Safety
In the world of do-it-yourself home improvement, sometimes the trees are best left to the experts. With many dangers present, those who have been fully trained in using the proper equipment for each tree trimming task may complete the job more quickly and more safely. In addition, tree trimming may require large equipment, like bucket lifts, that are readily available to the tree specialists. However, if you do decide to trim your large trees or bushes yourself, here are some things you’ll need to know.
Contact Your Utility Companies
Before beginning your project, be sure to contact your utility companies. They can come to your home to mark the locations of water, electrical and gas lines. Additionally, if you will be digging near any lines, they can shut off service to your house for the day.
This is especially important if your tree is near power lines. De-energizing these lines can save lives. However, even while your power is off during your tree trimming, be sure to treat the power lines as if they were still energized.
Assess Your Task
Before you cut, ensure that none of your tree trimming tasks will be completed within ten feet of a power line. If any part of your task falls within the ten feet guideline, two trained and experienced tree trimmers will need to be hired to complete the task, (per OSHA guidelines, CHECK YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS).
The day of your task, assess the weather. Tree trimming is dangerous in inclement weather. Cold temperatures can lessen your proper grip on tools, and rain can make ladders and tools slippery. Ideally, tree trimming should be completed on moderate temperature, rain-free days.
Assess Your Tools
Also before you begin, make sure that your tools are properly maintained and that you are familiar with use. If you are unfamiliar with any tools, you may need to read the instructions, practice trimming on lower branches, take classes or reassess your ability to complete the job without fully trained tree trimming assistance.
Dress for the Task
Always wear protective gear, including gloves, hard hats, safety glasses, and hearing protection. Also, if working higher than one and a half stories, you should wear a harness or other fall protection gear.
Always be alert during the full task. Never turn your back on the task at hand; if your assistant is felling a large branch, be alert and direct the branch with rope pulls if necessary. Objects can also be thrown during the cutting; be alert for any thrown objects or kickbacks.
Homeowners can complete large tree trimming when conditions are ideal and precautions are taken. However, if any parts of the tree trimming task call for professional assistance, the experts should be called in. Should the task be straightforward, though, the proper assessments, tools, dress and alertness can make the tree trimming task a successful and safe homeowner endeavor.