OSHA Focus Program to Protect New England Trees and Landscaping Workers | 2021-11-12

Boston – Driven by an “alarming” and “unacceptable” number of incidents in the arboriculture and landscaping industries across New England in recent years, OSHA has launched a regional escalation program intended to reduce the risk of injury and death faced by workers in these industries. .

Since 2016, OSHA has investigated 31 worker fatalities in the tree pruning and removal, landscaping and site preparation industries in New England, according to a press release from ‘an agency. In one of the incidents, a Connecticut worker was electrocuted when a tree branch he was cutting came into contact with a high-voltage power line.

Scheduled to expire on August 4, 2026, the REP focuses on major hazards such as falls, struck objects, electrocution, and vehicle and traffic hazards. OSHA encourages employers to take action to identify, reduce, and eliminate hazards associated with tree pruning and site preparation, and then implement safety strategies.

Following the initial phase of the program, which ended in October and included outreach efforts, OSHA has now started enforcement activities with scheduled inspections of trees, landscapes, and site preparation sites. In addition, agency inspectors can initiate “on-site” inspections if they observe unsafe conditions as they pass construction sites. The agency urges employers to use its free on-site consultation program for advice on complying with OSHA standards.

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