Arboriculture is defined as the cultivation of trees, shrubs and other woody plants. Arboriculture includes, but is not limited to, propagating, transplanting, pruning, application of fertilizer and disease controlling chemicals, and removing trees. Arboriculture (NAICS 561730) is classified as general industry.
What are the hazards associated with arboriculture?
Some of the more serious hazards associated with arboriculture include injuries due to falling, electrocution due to contact with power distribution lines, and serious injuries or deaths due to being crushed by falling trees.
Is there a special emphasis program associated with this topic?
Occupational exposure to hazards encountered in arboriculture falls within the OSH Division logging and arboriculture special emphasis program.
What can I do to protect myself?
Be sure that there is proper clearance from nearby power lines before initiating cuts on trees. Your employer is required to provide employees with all necessary personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, hardhats, gloves, chaps, hearing protection and fall protection equipment, prior to beginning work.
What resources are available to assist employers?
Safety and Health Programs
An arboriculture tree trimming policy, chain saw policy, a PPE hazard assessment and a first aid, CPR and AED policy are available and can be customized to fit the specific hazards and conditions in the work settings in which employees will work.
In addition, customizable programs including those for hearing conservation, bloodborne pathogens, hazard communication, electrical safety, and respiratory protection can be modified to meet the employer's needs where applicable.
Training and Outreach Services
Presentations on hazard communication , walking and working surfaces, electrical safety, struck by/caught between and personal protective equipment can be used to assist employers with training requirements.
In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.
Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).
A-Z Safety and Health Topics
More resource information can be found on the A-Z topics pages for hazard communication, noise, amputations, bloodborne pathogens, PPE, chain saw safety, electrical safety, walking and working surfaces, logging, aerial lifts and respiratory protection.
The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.
Which standards apply?
OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to arboriculture in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic.
29 CFR 1910 Subpart D - walking-working surfaces
29 CFR 1910.106 - flammable liquids
29 CFR 1910.134 - respiratory protection
29 CFR 1910.136 - foot protection
29 CFR 1910.138 - hand protection
29 CFR 1910.151 - medical services and first aid
29 CFR 1910.157 - portable fire extinguishers
29 CFR 1910.268 - telecommunications
29 CFR 1910.332 - electrical, training
29 CFR 1910.334 - electrical, use of equipment
29 CFR 1910.1020 - access to employee exposure and medical records
29 CFR 1910.1030 - bloodborne pathogens
29 CFR 1910.1200 - hazard communication
Other Applicable Standards
Lastly, the Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.
Where can I learn more?
- NCDOL Investigates: Tree Trimming/Logging describes the investigation process when a work-related accident involves tree trimming or tree removal.
- Operational Procedure Notice: OPN 88, Special Emphasis Program for Logging and Arboriculture, describes the conduct of inspections and associated activities under this special emphasis program.
- Compliance Memo: Memo TC 1, Enforcement Inspection Guidance for Tree Care and Tree Removal Operations, establishes enforcement policy and provides an explanation of applicable standards to ensure uniform enforcement.
- Compliance Memo: Memo TC 2, Davey Tree Court Ruling contains court decisions for cases between Davey Tree and OSHA that can be used as guidance in determining the application of the logging standard in tasks involving tree felling and line clearing work
- Industry Guide 49 - OSHA General Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training provides requirements for standards related to arboriculture hazards in general industry.
If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 919-707-7876.