New York — A new Regional Emphasis Program from OSHA is aimed at curbing worker fatalities and injuries in the tree and landscape services industries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that – nationwide in 2022 – 222 workers in these industries suffered fatal injuries or illnesses. The causes included falls from trees or elevated work platforms, being struck by falling trees/branches or vehicles, electrocution, and heat or chemical exposure.
The REP, scheduled to continue through September 2028, applies to employers in OSHA’s Region 2 – which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The initiative began with a three-month outreach period that kicked off in October and was focused on education and prevention. The agency is now conducting targeted safety and health inspections of tree trimming/removal and landscaping services (North American Industry Classification System code 561730) and site preparation contractors (NAICS code 238910) to assess employer compliance and reduce worker exposure to hazards.
“We want to make these workplaces safer for all workers in this industry,” OSHA Region 2 Administrator Richard Mendelson said in a press release. “By intensifying our focus on the tree and landscaping industries, we can help employers provide effective management of worker safety and health protection to reduce the extent and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses.”