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Safety Enforcement Is Up for New Jersey’s Most Deadly Tree & Landscaping Jobs

Worker in a tree with a chainsaw

A New Jersey workers' comp attorney discusses the dangers workers face

Logging workers are often among those with the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

Every year, there are about 111 deaths per 100,000 workers, according to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News. This is 33-times the national fatal accident rate. To reduce injuries and deaths, this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is increasing its enforcement of safety standards on the east coast.

Emphasis on tree worker safety

New Jersey is among the states with regional emphasis programs that increase inspections to reduce workplace fatalities and serious injuries during things like tree removal, trimming, and land clearing.

Recent data was not readily available, but according to state reports, 95 people died doing tree removal or trimming in New Jersey (1990-2015). Many more people were seriously and permanently injured.

Among the riskiest jobs in the tree industry are arborist service providers, ornamental tree and bush planters, and those who do pruning, spraying, and utility line trimming. When people in the tree-working and landscaping industries are injured, it is usually in one of four ways:

  • Getting struck by an object, usually by a tree or part of a tree.
  • Falling from height to a lower level, typically out of a tree or from a ladder.
  • Contact with electric current such as when a tree limb or aerial device comes in contact with a live electrical wire/power line.
  • Transportation incidents, such as getting hit by heavy machinery in a work zone.

Safety standards

People in the tree and landscaping industries face many opportunities for injury — heavy machinery, buzzing chainsaws, constant loud noise, huge falling objects, to name a few. That is why it is so important that employers follow best practices and industry safety standards.

In general, employers in these industries must or should do the following to keep their workers safe:

  • Maintain safe ladders, stairways, and dock boards.
  • Provide fall protection training, equipment, and procedures.
  • Ensure safe operation of well-maintained vehicle-mounted elevating and rotating work platforms.
  • Warn workers about flammable liquids (e.g., gasoline) and take appropriate safety measures.
  • Provide respiratory protection.
  • Provide foot and hand protection.
  • Make first aid equipment and kits readily available at worksites.
  • Protect workers from exposure to toxic and hazardous substances.
  • Report fatalities, hospitalizations, and major injuries to the proper authorities.

Legal help is available for injured tree workers

When people are injured within the scope of their work, they have the right to apply for workers' compensation benefits. Benefits can pay for medical expenses as well as partial wages while the injured or sick worker recovers.

The problem is navigating the workers' comp system in New Jersey can be complicated, and there is no guarantee that you will obtain the benefits you need and deserve.

At Shebell & Shebell, our attorneys have been helping injured workers in New Jersey for years and understand what it takes to get results. Our law firm is passionate about making sure our clients get the workers' comp benefits they're entitled to, which is why we work so hard to get the best possible outcome in each and every case we handle.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey workers' comp attorney.

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