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Tree care workers suffer high risk of on-the-job injury

In general, those who work in blue collar occupations are often considered to possess only average job skills. However, in many of these fields, workers must adapt to a variety of adverse conditions and have sufficient knowledge and experience with handling a variety of equipment in order to avoid the possibility of suffering a serious on\-the\-job injury. Countless laborers throughout Missouri provide a valuable service to consumers and the general public that may go unnoticed until a serious natural disaster occurs.

One of those under-appreciated but essential jobs is tree care and removal services. Those who are employed in the tree care field must have extensive knowledge of the different tree species along with experience in handling a variety of specialized tools and adverse working conditions. Studies have shown that, when these workers are not carefully trained, they experience a higher risk of suffering a serious or fatal work accident. Those who are employed by professional arborists are more likely to receive thorough training and have access to proper protective gear.

Unfortunately, temporary workers or those who are employed by tree removal services, are less likely to have received the proper training and often do not have adequate protective equipment. Each year, this field sees an estimated 80 worker fatalities and more than 23,000 injuries related to equipment use. Cities and other municipalities often rely on under-trained workers to remove downed trees after severe storms result in property damages and power outages.

Researchers have urged companies and municipalities to ensure that workers receive thorough training in their native language and that all equipment and power tools are properly maintained. Regardless of the type of work one performs, there is always a risk of suffering an on-the-job injury. Missouri workers who have been injured through no fault of their own may seek the assistance of an experienced attorney when filing a qualifying claim for workers' compensation in order to receive all of the benefits to which one may be entitled.

Source: futurity.org, "Tree removal workers need better training", Patti Verbanas-Rutgers, March 19, 2018

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