How To Reduce Tree Surgery Accidents

Tree surgery accidents

Tree surgery is a highly skilled and dangerous profession that involves working with large trees and heavy machinery. As with any job that involves physical labour and heavy equipment, there is always a risk of accidents and injuries. 

Hiring a professional tree surgeon ensures the safety of your property and surrounding areas, as well as the health and longevity of your trees. By applying the right techniques and know-how, we can avoid some of the top safety mistakes made by untrained professionals. 

As professional tree surgeons here at Scott Davies Tree Surgeon, these are the ways we use our expertise along with specialist equipment to improve safety on the job.  

Is Tree Surgery Dangerous?

From the outside, skilled tree surgeons can make tree pruning and removal look like light work. The reality is it takes extreme skill along with industry-grade tools to carry out tree work safely—especially when scaling heights or removing loose tree branches safely. 

Even when all the proper safety precautions are followed, this is still no guarantee that the risk of injury can be completely eliminated. This is why tree surgery is indeed dangerous, and why it should only be carried out by professionals who are fully trained and competent in tree work. 

What Are The Most Common Tree Surgery Accidents And Injuries? 

Falls from Height

Falls from a height sadly remain one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the UK.

As tree surgeons primarily work at a height, sometimes scaling heights of up to 100 feet, this means they are particularly at risk. Furthermore, the HSE states that falls from a height account for 16% of all work accidents experienced by tree surgeons. 

Tree surgery should never be carried out without the proper fall protection equipment in place, and the risk of falls is why you will always see tree surgeons wearing safety harnesses. Our safety equipment must also be inspected before each use to ensure it is in good working order. 

Struck by Falling Branches

Another common tree surgery accident is being struck by falling branches. According to the HSE, 6% of all injuries reported by tree surgeons arise due to impact with the branches or trunk. 

When a tree surgeon cuts a branch, it can fall unexpectedly, hitting them or other workers on the ground. This is why tree surgeons need to take care with their approach when cutting and removing branches to minimise the risk of injury. 


Tree surgery often involves working near power lines. If a tree surgeon accidentally touches a live wire, they can be electrocuted, which can cause serious injury or even death.

Before scaling a tree, it’s essential to properly assess the area to determine whether hazards such as power lines are present. Tree surgeons also never touch a power line, even if it appears to be inactive.

Equipment Malfunction

Tree surgeons use a variety of heavy machinery, including chainsaws and chippers. If this equipment malfunctions, it can cause serious injury or even death.

Just like with our personal safety equipment, all machinery should also be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure it is in good working order before use. 

Heat and Sun Exposure

Tree surgery often involves working outdoors in hot weather. If a tree surgeon is not properly hydrated, they can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

We always drink plenty of water on the job and also take regular breaks in the shade to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Preventing Tree Surgery Accidents

As with other dangerous professions, the risk of sustaining an injury as a tree surgeon can be reduced by taking the necessary precautions and following the appropriate safety procedures.

These are some of the top aspects that are essential to ensure the job is completed safely, and that tree surgeons return home safe and well at the end of their shift. 

Safety Training

Unfortunately, untrained tree workers operate in the UK and can cause unnecessary hazards to themselves as well as the general public. 

For safety and insurance purposes, tree surgeons should receive adequate training and be familiar with the equipment they are using. They should also have a good understanding of the risks associated with their job by carrying out a risk assessment.

At Scott Davies Tree Surgeon, we have 20 years of experience in tree surgery. We are also Alcumus SafeContractor, CHAS and NHS approved. 

Tree Surgeon Safety Equipment

Tree surgeons require various pieces of safety equipment to ensure they are best protected from the hazards of the job.

To reduce the chances of falls from a height, tree surgeons should always wear safety harnesses and use ropes and pulleys to ensure they are securely attached to the tree at all times. 

As noted above, falling branches can cause serious injuries including head injuries which is why 

safety helmets are also worn to protect our heads. Crucially, tree surgeon helmets are specifically geared towards the forestry and arboricultural sectors in terms of their level of impact protection. Commonly, our safety helmets also feature eye and hearing protection.   

Tree surgeons also need hand protection to prevent skin injury and irritation that can result from handling wood, bark and even coming into contact with splinters. We wear specialist tree surgeon gloves that protect our hands, yet still provide us with excellent grip so that we can safely use our tools. 

General Compliance With Health And Safety 

Even with the best tree surgeon equipment at our disposal, ignoring health and safety advice or not being aware of our surroundings can still lead to accidents and injuries. 

That’s why professional tree surgeons assess the tree and the branches carefully before making any cuts. We also make sure our equipment is properly maintained and in good working order before using it.

Above all else, we look to conduct our general and emergency tree work in the safest way possible to reduce the chances of injury or property damage. 

Thinking Of Pruning Or Removing A Tree In Manchester? – It’s Time To Call The Professionals 

We hope you’ve found our tree surgeon safety tips useful. As experienced tree surgeons in Manchester, safety is a top priority not just to protect our team, but also the general public. 

That’s why if you are in need of a tree surgeon, hiring a professional is crucial for ensuring the safety and health of your trees and property. We can provide the expertise, experience and equipment to handle tree-related tasks safely and effectively, minimising the risk of injury and property damage. 

Additionally, we can provide valuable advice on tree care and ground maintenance to help your trees thrive.

If you are located in Bolton, Salford or Worsley and need tree service, contact the Scott Davies Tree Surgery team! 

Our team is available round the clock, and we are happy to provide free advice and quotes.