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Tree Trimming & Removal Safety Bulletin - MOSH

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Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), has kicked off a worker safety awareness campaign to prevent injuries and death caused by serious hazards associated with tree trimming and removal work. The MOSH Training and Education Outreach Unit offers free seminars, publications, and speakers at locations across the State to provide Maryland employers and employees with information about MOSH safety and health requirements. This Bulletin provides some prevention safety tips on tree trimming and removal safety.

  • Perform a hazard assessment of the work area before starting work especially.
  • Look for potential electrical hazards.
  • Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.
  • Eliminate or minimize exposure to hazards at the tree and in the surrounding area.
  • Operators of chain saws and other equipment should be trained and the equipment properly maintained.
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, hearing protection, etc., recommended in the equipment manufacturer’s operating manual.
  • Determine the tree’s felling direction. Address forward lean, back lean, and/or side lean issues.
  • Determine the proper amount of hinge wood to safely guide the tree’s fall. Provide a retreat path to a safe location.
  • Determine whether or not the tree is rotten.
  • Inspect tree limbs for strength and stability before climbing. Tree trimmers working aloft must use appropriate fall protection.
  • Do not climb with tools in your hands.
  • If broken trees are under pressure, determine the direction of the pressure and make small cuts to release it.
  • Use extreme care when felling a tree that has not fallen completely to the ground and is lodged against another tree.
  • Never turn your back on a falling tree.
  • Be alert and avoid objects thrown back by a tree as it falls.

For information on regulatory requirements in Maryland, refer to COMAR 09.12.28 Maryland Tree Care and Removal Regulations.

For Assistance Contact Us

CONSULTATION SERVICES call 410-527-4472 for workplace surveys, hazard evaluations and suggestions on hazard elimination.

MOSH OUTREACH call 410-527-2091


Region I: Eastern Shore counties


Region III: Baltimore City


Region IV: Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery & Washington counties


Region V: Anne Arundel and Howard counties


Region VI: Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, & St. Mary’s counties


Region VII: Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford & Cecil counties


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