Longtime arborist and forester Stuart Sutphin was pinned by a falling tree after a removal job went wrong. According to an article on godanriver.com, Sutphin was able to wiggle out from under the wood and walked away with just a sprained ankle.
Virginia tree removal experts in the Dan River region told the website that even decades of experience cannot prevent the dangers of this job.
Nationally, 84 tree trimmers and pruners died from fatal workplace injuries in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, in an analysis of news media reports, 153 tree care-related incidents were discovered in 2016 by the Tree Care Industry Association trade advocacy group.
Danger from trees is one reason Jeff Hoskins, owner of the J & S Stump Grinding and Tree Work in Danville, Virginia, doesn’t take any chances when he has to chop one down. Hoskins told godanriver.com that his workers will cut tree limbs from the top down before felling the center, either with a man in the tree or using a bucket truck.
Sutphin also enforced the message to take every precaution you can when dealing with trees, even encouraging having someone come out and check your work instead of working alone.