Public Accidents with Chainsaws, Hedge Trimmers and Falling Off Ladders

Health & Safety

26th September 2019 | Info

We all want to save a few quid, but many people carry out the jobs that really should be done by professionals, this includes Tree work, which can lead to potentially fatal accidents occurring!


It’s pretty common knowledge that quite often DIY jobs at home lead to trips to A&E… but how common is it really?

According to statistics, 40% of falls from a height in the UK are caused by ladders with roughly 48,000 people a year going to the hospital with ladder-related injuries. It is also claimed that 8,500 people a year are admitted to hospital with Gardening-related injuries too.

Most tree surgeons will have several examples of these accidents. More often than not, a tree surgeon will provide a reasonable quotation for the work required, only to get the reply:

‘That’s far too expensive,I will do it myself.’ 

A few weeks later the same tree surgeon will receive a call from the customer’s husband/wife asking if he can come and complete the work as their partner had had an accident attempting the work themselves

Here are some examples of accidents reported by our tree surgeons:

  • Falls from step ladders – the most common accident resulting in broken bones and in worse cases, spinal injuries.
  • Loss of limb – from severed fingers and toes to amputated hands from chainsaws.
  • Cuts and tears – hedge trimmers, which are often considered relatively safe, cause huge numbers of accidents due to complacency.
  • Eye injuries – scratches from sawdust/debris due to not wearing safety glasses.
  • [Possibly the worst report] – A beheading from chainsaw use in a tree, by an untrained relative insisting he could do ‘tree work’.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy for the public to purchase high hazardous equipment from DIY stores without any PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) or sufficient warnings of the dangers of using this equipment without training. If you do have a one-off job that you want to save money on, please consider the long term risk against employing a professional.

If you have a garden with ongoing maintenance and insist on undertaking work yourself, please contact your local training company and book yourself on a relative course. It can be fun and will give you a real insight into Health and Safety and teach you the correct way to use these potentially hazardous pieces of equipment.

So don’t let these figures be you! The next time you need an arboricultural job doing, PLEASE contact a tree surgeon and have them do it for you.

Statistic sources: and

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