10 Most Common Tree Cutting Injuries / Accidents
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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    10 Most Common Tree Cutting Injuries / Accidents

    Just a reminder, I ran across this and thought I would post it.......as I prepare to trim trees today......So, everyone be careful out there.....

    Source, Tree Removal.com


    Trees require regular pruning, trimming and maintenance. When a tree dies or becomes diseased, it must be cut down in order to avoid human injuries and damage to nearby structures. Tree cutting and pruning are best left to professional arborists as homeowners may experience one or more of these common tree cutting accidents if they attempt DIY tree cutting and maintenance.

    1. Being Struck
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most common tree cutting accident is being struck by a falling object. In most cases, the falling object is a tree branch or limb.

    2. Falls

    Falls are the second most common type of tree cutting accident. The person cutting the tree may fall off a ladder, fall off the roof if accessing the tree via the roof or fall out of the tree if accessing limbs by climbing the tree without proper harnessing.

    3. Electrocution

    When a tree is planted near overhead power lines, there is a real risk of electrocution to anyone trimming the branches near the wires. The person may accidentally touch the wires himself or herself, or a falling branch could knock the wires down and the tree trimmer could step on or be touched by the falling wire.

    4. Impact Injuries

    In the event of an equipment failure such as the malfunctioning of the lift mechanism of a bucket truck or the breaking of a climbing rope, the tree cutter could be thrown against the tree or pinned against another structure, resulting in an injury.

    5. Cuts

    Cuts are another common type of injury that a person may receive while cutting down a tree. In most events, the cuts are a result of improper use of power cutting equipment such as chainsaws or when using manual tools such as a hacksaw.

    6. Amputations

    Using power tools and heavy equipment such as chippers leads to the risk of amputation of fingers, a hand or even part of the arm. This may be a result of an equipment malfunction or operator error.

    7. Eye Injuries

    Sawdust and chips of wood that become airborne while cutting the branches or trunk of a tree may get into a person’s eye and cause a corneal abrasion, scratch or cut to the eye. Eye injuries may also result from chips of wood or sawdust flying out of the chipper when the tree cutter is disposing of the branches or stump at the site of the tree cutting.

    8. Scrapes

    Tree bark that comes into contact with bare skin may result in scrapes. In some cases, splinters of wood may enter the opened skin. Infections may develop if dirt gets into the open wound.

    9. Stings and Bites

    Trees can be home to a wide variety of animals and insects. When these animals or insects are disturbed by actions such as cutting off branches or cutting down the entire tree, they may attack the tree cutter. Raccoons, squirrels and other small animals living in the tree may bite. Bees or wasps with hives in the tree may sting. These insects tend to sting in swarms. Ants living in a tree may also bite or sting.

    10. Poisoning

    Poisonous plants including poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac may grow up a tree. These plants can be difficult to detect as their leaves blend in with those of the tree. Exposure to any part of the poisonous plants may result in dermatitis, blistering, infection and serious allergic reaction.
    Last edited by SulleyBear; 06-22-2019 at 05:48 AM. Reason: fixing layout so it makes sense.....

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    Auguste (06-23-2019)

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    It's a dangerous business

    Thanks for posting.

    Some of those could use a few add on comments. For example, Being Struck is frequently because there's a dead branch or hung up dead limb that the cutter didn't recognize. I hate cutting a dead tree for that reason. Sometimes even the vibration from the saw into the trunk is enough to bring down a dead limb. Falling trees also hit other trees so stuff can be thrown a long ways from the original tree. Tree cutters (harvest machines) have signage saying to stay back 300 feet. That's probably an excessive safety area but it's not uncommon to see stuff thrown 150 feet or so from the original tree.

    Impact injuries are also from limbs or tops under tension. There's a lot of stored energy in a limb that's bent when the tree fell. When it's cut that energy can be released all at once. I made the mistake once of cutting a limb weighing down a telephone cable. I knew what was going to happen but a bystander decided to "help" by catching the cut off chunk. The cable threw it up and hit him. Fortunately a minor injury but it could have been bad. He came from my blind side and I couldn't stop him before the chunk came loose.

    Health issues from overexertion. Running a chain saw is always a little exciting so there's a little adrenaline and it's easy to overdo it. Next day aches and pains are expected, but like shoveling snow it's common for people to get in real trouble because they pushed their bodies too hard for too long. Heat exhaustion, heart attacks, strokes etc. are not unknown and if you are by yourself, you might not be able to call for help.

    Burns are an issue. Small ones like touching a hot part of the saw or larger ones from spilling fuel that ignites. Even spilled gas that doesn't ignite can give you a chemical burn if it soaks gloves or clothes.

    Lots of other issues as well but the bottom line is forestry work is dangerous. Recognize the dangers, plan to mitigate the risks. Plan to stay safe and keep others safe and be able to go home at night instead of to the hospital or worse.

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    As an amateur that fell a tree that was too large and too close to the house.....
    There's a reason people do this professionally, and we should swallow our pride and hire them.

    Every cut has the potential for unintended results
    The most important thing is think it through very thoroughly because once you begin a cut, you're usually committed to it. (and midway through the cut you will realize the way you should have cut it)
    fdmars, BigJim55, mark02tj and 5 others like this.

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    theduke's Avatar
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    I'll take # 10

    Poison Oak for $200..alex
    Dan


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    Quote Originally Posted by theduke View Post
    I'll take # 10

    Poison Oak for $200..alex
    BigJim55 and SulleyBear like this.

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    Oak/Ivy are no fun

    Quote Originally Posted by theduke View Post
    I'll take # 10

    Poison Oak for $200..alex
    You can have it. . .

    As a kid, I was basically immune to poison ivy until one time I got in the smoke from burning a brush pile with poison ivy in it. That flipped a switch for me and I'm sensitived. My brother is still pretty much immune, lucky him.

    Treefarmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post

    Just a reminder, I ran across this and thought I would post it.......as I prepare to trim trees today......So, everyone be careful out there.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Thanks for posting.

    Some of those could use a few add on comments.

    THANKS for the safety pointers . . . you may have saved someone on this forum from serious injury or worse!

    My brother (who works at a golf course and is responsible for the trees) and I surveyed the trees on my property and we cut down 6 that were dieing (sp?) or were in the way of building my barn.

    Two maple trees (more than 150 years old) each had a branch that were 16" in diameter where they attached to the trunk of the tree . . . they were over 30 feet long; and if they fell they would have landed on the to-be-built barn . . . we decided to hire a professional with a bucket truck.

    In under two hours the branches were cut, the larger branches cut to fire wood length, all smaller branches chipped, and they raked the chain saw sawdust . . . hard to tell that the tree cutters were there except for the 10 ft long pile of firewood


    Money well spent in my opinion . . . yes I did sit down in chair to watch . . . and yes I had a couple of brews


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    Excellent topic!

    I find that one of the problems with cutting down trees is it looks so damned easy. I have a history of under-estimating tasks anyway and probably would have been tempted to try those two 150-year-old maples. You guys have given me my reminder for this month that it's better to: (1) not be a fool and (2) sit back with a cold one and watch how the real tree cutters do it. Thanks!
    fdmars, rtgt, mark02tj and 3 others like this.

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    Several years ago a maintenance employee of our local school district was killed by a branch that was caught on a loader bucket. Once it cleared the bucket it snapped back and hit him in the head. I remember it every time I am near a tree.
    SulleyBear likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Thanks for posting.

    Some of those could use a few add on comments. For example, Being Struck is frequently because there's a dead branch or hung up dead limb that the cutter didn't recognize. I hate cutting a dead tree for that reason. Sometimes even the vibration from the saw into the trunk is enough to bring down a dead limb.


    Treefarmer
    That there is my biggest fear, dead trees and dead branches way up high.

    Already have shot a leader line up with my bow, pulled a rope up, then used the rope to pull my 3/8" cable up.

    Then pull like heck with the tractor, sometimes the branch stays up and sometimes it snaps and comes crashing down,
    sometimes without much pulling.

    Extra work, but you never know.
    Neil

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