Shade Tree Notes Blog

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a multi-year program to reduce worker fatalities and injuries in the tree and landscape services industries in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 222 workers in these industries suffered fatal workplace injuries and illnesses nationwide. The causes include falls from trees and elevated work platforms, being struck by falling trees, branches and vehicles, electrocution, heat and chemical exposures.

“We want to make these workplaces safer for all workers in this industry,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “By intensifying our focus on the tree and landscaping industries, we can help employers provide effective management of worker safety and health protection to reduce the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses.”

OSHA’s new regional emphasis program covers workers and employers in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and includes two elements. First, the program will provide initial and ongoing outreach to employers, employees and stakeholders to raise their awareness of the hazards associated with tree trimming and landscape operations. Second, OSHA will conduct targeted safety and health inspections of tree trimming and removal, landscaping services and site preparation contractors to assess employer compliance and reduce employees’ exposure to hazards.

Workers in these industries are exposed to hazards associated with the use of heavy equipment such as cranes, grapplers, stump grinders, loaders and chippers; working at elevation on aerial lifts and other devices; climbing, trimming and removing trees; and operating powered equipment. These activities expose workers to dangers that are among OSHA’s strategic emphasis areas, including falls, amputations, noise, electrical and struck-by injuries.

The program is scheduled to run through fall 2028.

OSHA encourages small employers to use the agency’s On-Site Consultation Program, which provides no-cost assistance with safety strategies and compliance with federal safety and health standards.In response to the number of fatalities and serious injuries related to tree trimming and landscaping, OSHA Region 2 developed and issued on October 1st an emphasis program directed at these industries. The goal of this emphasis program is to reduce fatalities and injuries associated with tree trimming, removal, site preparation as well as landscaping operations. NAICS codes 561730 (Tree Trimming & Removal and Landscaping Service Industries) and 238910 (Site Preparation Contractors) are the focus industries of this program. The outreach period has ended and target inspections to reduce worker exposure to hazards found in tree trimming and landscaping have begun. 

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REGIONAL OSHA PROGRAM:
In response to the number of fatalities and serious injuries related to tree trimming and landscaping, OSHA Region 2 developed and issued on October 1st an emphasis program directed at these industries. The goal of this emphasis program is to reduce fatalities and injuries associated with tree trimming, removal, site preparation as well as landscaping operations. NAICS codes 561730 (Tree Trimming & Removal and Landscaping Service Industries) and 238910 (Site Preparation Contractors) are the focus industries of this program.   The outreach period has ended and target inspections to reduce worker exposure to hazards found in tree trimming and landscaping have begun. 

OSHA Region 2 CAS will be conducting a FREE virtual webinar on February 28 at 12:00 noon for industry representative and employers. During the webinar this inspection emphasis program and related topics will be reviewed.  Discussed will be common hazards found in the landscaping and tree trimming industries, applicable OSHA regulations, resources for correcting these hazards and OSHA fatality investigations related to these industries.  Sufficient time will be made available for questions. Please encourage your members to join OSHA Region 2 for an exciting online webinar that aims to enhance safety practices in the landscaping and tree trimming industry. Whether you're a professional or simply interested in these fields, this event will offer a wealth of knowledge. Discover the most frequently cited OSHA standard for these industries, OSHA regulations, and safe practices through engaging presentations, and expert panel discussions. Don't miss out on this valuable chance to connect with industry leaders and expand your understanding of safety in landscaping and tree trimming. Register now to secure your spot and be part of this informative event HERE!