The risks associated with tree care operations, such as pruning, removal of branches or entire trees, trimming, and other types of care, are extraordinarily great. The potentially fatal hazards come in many shapes and forms, from falling to a lower level to electrical shock from high voltage power lines. Maryland tree trimmers, pruners, and removers who work for an employer with at least one employee are covered by workers’ compensation when they suffer injury or illness. If you have been injured on the job as a tree care operator, or your loved one passed away while on the job, you are entitled to medical and financial compensation. Call an attorney at once to learn more about your options.
Tree Care Among Most Dangerous Maryland Occupations
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from the study period between 1992 to 2007, 1,285 tree care workers died during tree care and maintenance, which equates to more than 80 deaths per year. Considering that tree maintenance is not a typical form of employment, this is a very high number and represents the extreme dangers that this type of employment entails. Causes of death include the following:
- 42 percent of deaths were due to being struck by or against an object, which were most often trees or branches;
- 34 percent of deaths were due to falls to a lower level (from a ladder, aerial lift bucket, elevated platform, or out of a tree); and
- 14 percent of deaths were caused by electrocution.
In addition to these causes of death, chainsaws and other pruning and maintenance tools pose a great risk to both life and limb. Common injuries inflicted upon tree care maintenance workers, from all types of accidents, include:
- Spinal cord damage;
- Chronic back or neck pain from back or neck trauma;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Broken bones;
- Severed limbs, hands, feet, or fingers that may cause or require complete amputation;
- Lacerations and contusions;
- Internal organ damage from landing impact;
- Severe third degree burns from electric shock; and
- Cardiac or brain trauma from electric shock.
For Many, OSHA Regulatory Standards Will Come Too Late
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking to impose federal regulatory standards within the tree care industry in order to save lives and prevent injuries, thousands of tree care specialists across the country, and hundreds within Maryland, are still being injured each year. Many employers do not provide adequate fall safety equipment or measures, or do not provide adequate training for their employees. Employees are asked to climb dangerous trees or put themselves in potentially fatal positions should things go suddenly wrong. Tree trimming and removal is already a dangerous job, but lack of safety standards is leading to more lives lost than necessary.
Contact Workers’ Compensation Attorney Tara K. Frame From Pasadena, Maryland Today
If you were injured on the job as a tree care specialist, you deserve compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and possible disability into the future. Call Frame & Frame in Maryland today at 410-255-0373 for help with your case.