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Zoe Mackenzie

Operations Manager

Do you have a tree management system?

Image of fallen tree

Statistics from the HSE say that between 5 and 6 people in the UK die following trees or branches falling on them. Do you have appropriate and effective tree management systems in place?

A recent prosecution by the HSE highlights the devastating consequences of failure to identify and manage risks posed by a decaying tree.

In September 2020 a six year old girl was killed while playing in her school playground due to a decaying tree fell on her. Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, she passed away the morning after the incident. Some other children escaped with minor injuries.

In one of our blog posts last year we spoke about the death of a 71-year-old volunteer who was part of a group of volunteers who were clearing vegetation using a chainsaw alongside a river when he was struck on the head by a falling branch.

Both of these incidents were preventable had the appropriate risk assessments been carried out.

Our top tips for managing  trees are:

  • Ensure a Competent Person inspects trees to identify any issues that have caused (or could lead to) structural defects
  • Complete a Risk Assessment based on the inspection, including scheduled review dates
  • Act on findings! This could include:
    • Tree Removal
    • Tree Management – the creation of plans to manage risk
  • Communication. A risk assessment is only useful when staff are aware of it, are familiar with the risks posed, and warning signs
  • Escalation. Staff should know how to escalate concerns, and managers should understand their responsibilities.


Concerned that you haven’t considered tree-related risks? Get in touch with us today.

Our content is correct at the date of publishing, but should not be taken as legal advice, and our articles don’t replace Risk Assessments. Armour will not be held accountable for any legal actions the reader may take.