News Release

US Department of Labor launches program to stem fatalities, promote workplace safety in tree, landscape services industries

Focused on New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a multi-year program to reduce worker fatalities and injuries in the tree and landscape services industries in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 222 workers in these industries suffered fatal workplace injuries and illnesses nationwide. The causes include falls from trees and elevated work platforms, being struck by falling trees, branches and vehicles, electrocution, heat and chemical exposures.

“We want to make these workplaces safer for all workers in this industry,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York. “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.” 

OSHA’s new regional emphasis program covers workers and employers in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and includes two elements. First, the program will provide initial and ongoing outreach to employers, employees and stakeholders to raise their awareness of the hazards associated with tree trimming and landscape operations. Second, OSHA will conduct targeted safety and health inspections of tree trimming and removal, landscaping services and site preparation contractors to assess employer compliance and reduce employees’ exposure to hazards.

Workers in these industries are exposed to hazards associated with the use of heavy equipment such as cranes, grapplers, stump grinders, loaders and chippers; working at elevation on aerial lifts and other devices; climbing, trimming and removing trees; and operating powered equipment. These activities expose workers to dangers that are among OSHA’s strategic emphasis areas, including falls, amputations, noise, electrical and struck-by injuries.

The program is scheduled to run through fall 2028.

OSHA encourages small employers to use the agency’s On-Site Consultation Program, which provides no-cost assistance with safety strategies and compliance with federal safety and health standards.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration
January 11, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: James C. Lally
Phone Number
Media Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
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