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Cutting Brush & Vegetation

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

What are the Hazards?


Chain saws; sharp-edged tools; poisonous plants and insects; thorns; large clumps of brush; slips, trips and falls on uneven ground; overcrowding of workers; moving equipment; utility lines.



Safe Work Practices


  • Review the safe operating procedures for equipment to be used on the job and perform pre-operational checks.


  • Determine the type of traffic control setup and assign personnel specific duties.


  • Park in areas that provide safe entrance and exit of the work area. Don’t create potential conflicts with other vehicles and equipment operating in the work area. Provide maximum protection for workers getting in and out of vehicles.


  • Hearing and eye protection is required when using chain saws or chippers. In addition, the use of chaps is required when operating a chain saw.


  • Cut and stack limbs and brush in manageable pieces that are easily handled to avoid back injuries. Use equipment to move logs and large pieces of cut-up materials.


  • Be aware of poisonous plants and insects. It is a good practice to wear long-sleeve shirts, gloves, and high-top boots when hazards can’t be avoided.


  • Allow ample space for everyone to work safely. Don’t bunch up. Stay clear of chain-saws unless you’re the operator or helper.


  • Employees on foot must use extreme caution to stay clear of operating equipment. Always establish eye contact with the operator before approaching equipment. Chain saw and chipper operators must be trained to do the job.


  • Use caution when handling tools with sharp edges. Gloves are required when sharpening tools.


  • Be aware of loose materials, tripping hazards, uneven ground, slippery surfaces, and areas where equipment is operating.


  • Don’t cut limbs or trees that may contact overhead utility lines. Stay clear of any and all overhead utilities.


  • Tree trimming which would require climbing must be performed only by a trained employee or with the use of a bucket truck.


Use extreme care when cutting trees and brush that are under stress or additional loads, such as conditions following an ice storm.