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What does a tree planter do?Back to top
Tree planters and other forestry workers perform physically demanding work. Some of their main duties are to:
- Clear brush.
- Climb over stumps, slash, and other obstacles.
- Carry and plant trees using manual tools.
- Feed machines manually.
- Prepare a site for planting.
- Use proper techniques for handling seedlings
- Use, clean, and maintain various equipment.
- Work with chemicals for plant growth, or for weed and pest control.
- Supervise other workers.
What are some health and safety issues for tree planters?Back to top
Tree planters face a variety of physical, biological, chemical, ergonomic and safety hazards. These include:
- Insect bites or stings.
- West Nile virus (mosquitoes).
- Lyme disease or rocky mountain spotted fever.
- Allergic reaction to plants.
- Exposure to bird or rodent droppings:
- Exposure to chemicals, including pesticides.
- Risk of pain or injury from working in awkward positions, performing repetitive tasks or lifting.
- Risk of tendonitis from repetitive work.
- Risk of injury from hitting a hidden rock with a shovel.
- Exposure to extreme temperatures or other extreme weather conditions (including lightning).
- UV radiation (risk of skin cancer from sunlight).
- Driving - vehicle safety hazards.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Work near live electrical lines and equipment.
- Flammable products (e.g., fuel for the power equipment).
- Working with chainsaws and other tools/equipment.
- Working alone.
- Extended work days.
- Working in extreme hot and cold environments.
What are some preventive measures for tree planters?Back to top
- Learn safe lifting procedures.
- Select appropriate tools for the task.
- Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task.
- Wear appropriate footwear.
- Wear clothing appropriate to the hot and cold weather.
- Avoid awkward postures and repetitive manual tasks, or take frequent breaks.
- In the warmer months, cover up for protection from sun, heat and insects.
- Stay hydrated.
- In vehicles, always wear a seatbelt.
- Use insect repellents containing DEET or Icaridin to repel ticks and other insects such as mosquitos, horseflies, black flies, or gnats.
- Carry a first aid kit, as well as an epi-pen if you are allergic to bees, wasps, and hornet stings or have other allergies.
What are some good general safe work practices?Back to top
- Use safety procedures for:
- Safe lifting
- Selection, use, maintenance and storage of PPE
- Working with pesticides and other substances
- Using chainsaws, shovels and other tools or equipment
- Working alone
- Driving – vehicle inspection and distracted driving
- Emergency preparedness
- Follow company safety rules.
- Learn about chemical safety, WHMIS and SDSs.
- Know how to report a hazard.
- Follow good housekeeping procedures.
- Fact sheet last revised: 2020-10-22