Federal agencies Agriculture, forestry and fishing

OSHA schedules meeting about hazards in tree care industry

Tree trimming worker

Photo: flyfloor/iStockphoto

Washington – OSHA has scheduled an informal stakeholder meeting to discuss the hazards associated with tree care operations, as it considers creating a proposed rule to protect workers in the industry.

The meeting is slated for July 13 in the nation’s capital. Individuals interested in participating must register by July 1. To encourage group interaction, formal presentations by stakeholders will not be permitted. Instead, OSHA says it intends to have conversations about the following:

  • Fatalities and injuries: What are the primary causes, circumstances or factors for incidents in specific organizations and the industry as a whole? What actions do organizations take when a fatality or injury occurs?
  • New technology in the tree care industry: What types of emerging technology have organizations found effective for controlling hazards and protecting workers?
  • National consensus and State Plan standards: What provisions and requirements in formal standards have organizations found most effective? Which provisions or requirements should OSHA consider as it looks toward a proposed rule?
  • Vehicles and mobile equipment: How often do organizations use vehicles and mobile equipment such as bucket trucks, aerial lifts and cranes to perform tree care? What are best practices for using vehicles and mobile equipment while working in the industry?
  • Information and training: What topics do organizations cover during worker training? How do they ensure temporary workers, non-English speaking workers and workers with limited literacy understand the information?

OSHA has deliberated taking action to protect tree care workers for nearly a decade. In 2008, the agency issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to collect information about hazards in the industry and possible solutions but later removed it, citing insufficient resources.

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