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Keep Safety inMind, Prevent Accidents

As we start a new year it is sometimes a good thing to look back at the previous. I do this with safety in mind. 2016 held a number of challenges for the tree care industry with the cool wet spring, one of the hottest summers on record, a drought in the western portion of the state followed by the wildfires and of course hurricane Matthew for those of us in the east. There were accidents and tragedies that occurred during all these events and we need to redouble our efforts as professionals to teach safety to our employees and our customers. After reading the OSHA report from the latest chipper fatality the main finding was a lack of training of the individual. We need to remember the safety briefing at the beginning of the day and make sure our people are trained in the proper operating procedures for the equipment they are using.

                We also need to look at the trees under our care, the accident in California in December shows that you never know when a tree is going to come down. I removed a large scarlet oak that was damaged during hurricane Matthew, when we got to the final cut to remove the tree we found no sound wood beyond 2 inches and that is with a 63 inch DBH. The indicators as to the extent of the damage to the tree were minor at first but since the tree was one that was constantly being monitored we were able to make a quick assessment and remove the tree before it fell and did extensive damage to life or property.

                So remember to keep safety in mind as you go about your day to day work and don’t forget when you go home either. We can’t predict all accidents but we can prevent most of them.


Gene Stano

Grounds Supervisor

East Carolina  university