Tree fatalities continue to concern workers

Tree fatalities continue to concern workers

Over the last 10 years, workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry account for a quarter of total work-related fatalities in Australia. And these statistics show no sign of slowing down.

In Buxton, during July 2019, a farmhand was struck and killed by a falling tree on a property. The incident occurred while he was helping the farmer to fell trees and create a burn pile.

Arborists, tree climbers, horticulturists, gardeners, tree workers, landscapers, builders and developers are just a few examples of workers that may be affected by tree trimming and removal work. This work should be carried out by workers appropriately trained and experienced. When injured, the reported injuries include head, face and eye injuries, lacerations, broken limbs, broken ribs and collar bones.

How can risks of tree trimming and removal work be managed?

Before starting tree lopping, cutting or pruning work, it is essential that a risk assessment of the work site, as well as the tree, be conducted. Hazards usually include:

  • falls from height
  • being hit by falling objects
  • uneven or sloping ground when using Elevated Work Platforms
  • overhead powerlines
  • weather
  • wildlife.

Legal responsibility

Everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety in the workplace.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, an employer must provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment for their employees (including independent contractors) that it is safe and without risks to health. An employer must also provide the requisite information, instruction, training or supervision necessary to enable the worker to perform their work in a safe manner.

Workers and other people at the workplace must take realistic care for their own health and safety, co-operate with reasonable policies, procedures and instructions and not put the health and safety of others at risk.

How Adviceline Injury Lawyers can help

If you have sustained an injury as a result of tree felling or removal work, contact a lawyer for free advice to discuss the prospects of lodging a WorkCover claim, lump sum payment for a permanent impairment and/or sue for further compensation.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of a work-related injury we can help by assisting you to access entitlements to compensation or other payments for those who qualify as a dependant, such as a spouse and/or children. We will give you as much information and advice as we can.

For more information about how we can support and assist you, please call our expert lawyers who can help you access compensation on (03) 9321 9988.

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