Professional tree trimmers and landscapers regularly help homeowners and property managers improve the curb appeal of their real estate. In doing so, they put themselves in situations that can make them more apt to experience on-the-job accidents, including tree trimming injuries. These injuries may be minor or catastrophic. Either way, seasonal, part-time, and full-time employees of tree trimming and landscaping service companies are protected and supported by Workers’ Compensation benefits.
What are the Most Commonly Reported Tree Trimming Injuries?
Tree trimming involves removing anything from small, light branches on low shrubs to high, heavy branches at the top of soaring oaks. Workers use a variety of tools and equipment to complete each job, including ladders, manual saws, chainsaws, shears, cherry pickers, and pole pruners. Therefore, even when workers follow protocols and wear protective gear such as hard hats and goggles, they may end up getting hurt because of unforeseeable accidents and unknown conditions.
Here are the types of tree trimming injuries most frequently seen among workers:
- Falls: Tree trimmers and landscapers can work at extreme heights. This leaves them at a higher-than-average chance of falling. A fall could cause anything from contusions and broken bones to internal bleeding and fatalities.
- Getting hit: Tree trimmers often must negotiate falling tree limbs. Tree limbs do not always fall in a predictable pattern, which can leave anyone on the ground a target.
- Electrical shock: Sometimes, tree trimmers are asked by homeowners, property owners, or municipalities to sever tree limbs in and around electrical wires. One error could send a worker to the hospital from electrocution.
- Insect bites: Mosquitos, bees, yellow jackets, and other insects and creatures make their homes in and around plants and greenery. When disturbed, they can sting, bite, and swarm. Some tree trimmers and landscapers may experience serious allergic reactions.
- Cuts and bruises: Clippers, saws, and shears can cut deep into the skin. Even a small cut can require extensive treatment if the cut affects a nerve, muscle, ligament, or tendon.
- Injuries to the eye: Protective eye gear is mandatory for all people trimming trees. Yet sawdust and other small objects can still get in workers’ eyes, causing irritation, redness, swelling, and sometimes more significant reactions.
What Should a Worker Do after a Tree Trimming Accident?
No tree trimmer or landscaping worker starts the day expecting to get injured. However, when an injury occurs, the employee should know what to do.
After an accident, the tree trimmer should receive medical attention as soon as possible. This could mean anything from having colleagues call 911 to request an ambulance to going to the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility. Keep in mind that tree trimming injuries that seem small can balloon in scope. For instance, a simple bee sting can become life-threatening if it causes anaphylaxis, which hinders breathing. Consequently, all tree trimming injuries need to be diagnosed and treated promptly by a medical professional.
Once the injured worker has been seen and addressed medically, the worker should report the accident to a supervisor or human resources manager either verbally or in writing. Even if the worker does not have to take time off work for the injury, the accident needs to be documented. The worker should also request Workers’ Compensation claims paperwork to complete and submit. That way, any bills related to medical care can be covered by Workers’ Compensation.
Are All Tree Trimming Workers’ Compensation Claims Approved?
Sometimes, insurance carriers and employers will deny a tree trimmer’s Workers’ Compensation claim. In this situation, the worker may want to get advice on filing an appeal with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. Many lawyers who focus their professional practices on helping people who have Workers’ Compensation offer free consultations. These consultations can provide legal insights and recommendations.
All employees who trim trees for a living have the right to Workers’ Compensation through their companies’ Workers’ Compensation benefits. As long as their injury happened while working, they should feel free to submit a claim and receive the coverage they deserve.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Assist Injured Tree Trimmers and Landscapers
If you got hurt during a tree trimming accident while working for an employer, you probably need legal assistance. Navigating the Workers’ Compensation process can be challenging. The West Chester Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC are available to help. We will investigate the circumstances regarding your accident and fight to obtain the benefits for which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.