At the time of this writing, the forecast for Sandy, an unprecedented hurricane/nor’easter combination bearing down on the northeast coast of the United States, appears ominous. Nicknamed “Frankenstorm”, both for its proximity to Halloween on the calendar, as well as its monstrous potential for damage, this storm is poised to be epic. News reports declare, with extraordinary certainty, that there will be widespread and long-term loss of power related to downed trees and wires.
There’s no doubt that professional tree workers responsible for the safe removal of uprooted, broken and otherwise damaged trees, as well as private citizens performing cleanup activities, will be a common sight over the next weeks and months — from the Carolinas up through New England. This activity is hazardous and must be approached with the upmost of caution.
The following safety tips for clearing trees after a storm are provided by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC):
- Always assume that power lines are energized!
- Before clearing trees, contact the utility company to discuss de-energizing, grounding, or shielding of power lines.
- Wear proper personal protective equipment including eye, face, head, hand, and foot protection.
- Be aware of broken or hanging branches, attached vines, or dead trees that are leaning.
- If a tree is broken and under pressure, make small cuts to release some of the pressure before cutting into the section.
- Be careful of young trees that other trees have fallen against. They can act like spring poles and can propel back, projecting limbs and branches.
- Watch trees carefully while they fall. Trees may fall through other trees or objects and throw branches and objects back towards the worker. Workers should take refuge behind a standing tree, if possible, as protection from limbs and other debris that may become projectiles.
Liberty Financial Group provides direct financing and leasing for all types of new and used essential commercial equipment, including equipment for tree care and landscaping companies. The management team at Liberty Financial Group creates leasing and loan opportunities for their customers to grow and prosper by bringing strong business experience and the knowledge of many specialty companies such as tree service, waste, septic, and trucking industries.