Tree Work Safety

Tree work includes:

  • Trimming, pruning, felling, and removing trees and bushes
  • Climbing trees
  • Using portable ladders
  • Being lifted in aerial devices
  • Using power tools while in a tree
  • Working near energized power lines
  • Feeding wood chippers
Workers high up in trees with chainsaws.
Close up of a worker in a tree with a chainsaw.

Tree work injuries can be fatal:

  • Crushing injuries, internal bleeding, and skull fractures after falling from trees or ladders or being struck by falling objects or tree branches
  • Electric shock and arc flash burns from contacting overhead energized electrical lines
  • Lacerations and major blood loss from chainsaw accidents
  • Suffocation from collapsed palm tree skirt
  • Dismemberment or decapitation from being pulled into a wood or brush chipper
  • Anaphylaxis from bee stings and other harmful animals
  • Heat stroke and organ failure from exposure to hot environments.

Tree Work Safety Video

Animated video showing tree worker fatality data and basic safety requirements:

Icon to play video.

→ video transcript

Tree Work Personal Protective Equipment and Safety Equipment:

Illustration of personal tree work safety equipment.

Other Cal/OSHA Resources

  • Tree Work Safety Fact Sheet

    Two-page fact sheet that discusses how to improve tree work safety, with regulations that specifically apply to tree work.

  • Tree Work Safety for Workers and Employers (English and Spanish)

    Trifold pamphlet providing basic information on improving tree work safety, with Cal/OSHA contact information.

  • Tree Work Safety Guide

    Comprehensive 22-page guide to improving tree work safety, includes Cal/OSHA requirements and links to additional resources.

Department of Public Health Resources
(Videos in English and Spanish)

How to Reach Cal/OSHA

If you have questions or need assistance with tree work safety, contact Cal/OSHA's Consultation Services Branch. Statewide toll-free number: (800) 963-9424.

May 2021