Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Utility company warns loggers about workplace accidents

Loggers, tree fellers, landscapers and even those who only trim the branches of trees must never lose sight of the hazards of their jobs. Too many lives have been lost in preventable workplace accidents in this industry. The utility provider Pacific Gas and Electric Company recently reminded California tree workers to research and identify high voltage power cables before they start to fell trees.

Only specially trained workers equipped with properly insulated equipment should work on trees near power lines. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health requires a clearance of at least 10 feet between workers and power lines. All power lines must be assumed energized, including the lower voltage lines between utility poles and buildings.

Utility providers must be asked to shut down the power before work starts on trees that touch power lines. Touching trees that are in contact with energized power lines can cause electrocution. This rule applies to licensed loggers, harvest plan owners, landowners, and even landscapers or contractors who cut down or trim trees.

California workers who have to cope with the consequences of workplace accidents might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance provider will have their backs. However, having to deal with the administrative and legal steps of the benefits claims process can be daunting, especially when injuries caused temporary or permanent disabilities. This is where the skills of an attorney with experience in this field come in. A lawyer can navigate the claims process in pursuit of maximum applicable benefits for the worker.

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