Latest from HSE

Latest from HSE

Fallen trees and branches are again causing a lot of disruption. Following our previous e-bulletin in the aftermath of Storm Arwen, HSE is again reminding people that emergency tree work is dangerous and should only be undertaken by experienced professionals

Extreme weather conditions have caused problems across the country recently, with many communities living with the aftereffects of Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin.

Emergency tree work is complex with many risks, including the tree moving unexpectedly, or the need to carry out work in difficult conditions.


The planning and activity itself must be undertaken by a competent person with the necessary training in emergency tree works such as assisted felling, windblown and part blown trees and emergency planning.


HSE is warning farmers and others to avoid carrying out the work themselves. In many cases this is complex work and requires the right training and equipment.


Arboriculture lead at HSE Christopher Maher said: “While fallen trees due to adverse weather conditions can cause lots of disruption, as a result, it can be tempting to carry out emergency tree work. We want to warn people against attempting this high-risk activity. Get in professional help.


“Fallen trees can be unstable and weigh a significant amount, with inadvertent movement during clearance activities having fatal results. There are also high risks associated with the use of chainsaws and mechanised methods (the law requires a consideration of this) of removal, such as grapple saws and tree shears, are preferred.


“Please seek the services of a professional with the right training and experience to can manage the risks associated with this type of work.”


HSE believes there may have been up to nine work related* fatalities involving falling trees or branches since January 2021 (*subject to investigation).