Safety Training for Landscape and Tree Care Workers: Good for Workers and Good for Business

Get the Saw Safety Newsletter and Start Your Crew’s Day with a Quick Dose of Tailgate Training

Saw Safety is a weekly newsletter of safety tips created by the UGA Saw Safety Team.  This newsletter is for professionals in tree care and landscape, men and women who put a saw in wood.  The letter offers one tip per week, is short and sweet, easy to share, and perfect for tailgate meetings.  The goal of Saw Safety is to help companies and public sector entities create a culture of safety within their organizations and to encourage safety discussions. The steady stream of safety tips is punctuated with tips on sharpening, equipment, and other great resources. Illustrative, educational, and occasionally funny videos are embedded in the newsletter, when appropriate, and with full respect to copyrights. Events from the Georgia Arborist Association keeps readers up-to-date on trainings offered throughout the state.

In 2014 tree care and logging officially became the most dangerous work in the United States with a discouraging 78 deaths per year. Accidents abound when falling trees, chainsaws, and heights are combined. Arborists are not the only workers using chainsaws. Landscapers, golf course workers, city and county workers, and many others in the public and private sectors all commonly use chainsaws.

In the short time since it was created, subscription has grown steadily and the newsletter is widely recirculated. The Saw Safety newsletter is both deadly serious and lightly humorous. One reader commented, “We recently put together a safety training class for volunteers in our CERT Team (Community Emergency Response Team) and other volunteers. Used some of these videos to illustrate what stupidity really looks like.”

E.M. Bauske

Check Out the Complete Run of Newsletters from the UGA Saw Safety Team

Bad Weather Can Make for a Great Training Opportunity

Raining too hard for the crews to work?  No problem, bring them in and take some time for safety training.

We have created two OSHA-approved safety videos. They are relatively short, lasting about 12 minutes each.  The videos star Warren Williams and Mike Dirkson of North American Training Solutions and were shot on the University of Georgia golf course and at Jim Miller Park in Cobb County.  These are both high quality, professionally produced training videos.

The title of The Five Step Felling Plan: A Safe and Effective Way to Take Down a Tree with a Chainsaw summarizes the content of the video succinctly.  This also demonstrates some handy techniques for determining lean and the height of a tree.

Common Tree Felling Accidents and What You Can Do to Prevent Them covers the six most common causes of tree-felling accidents: kickback, barber chair, entanglement, setback, stump jump, and spring pole.  Each and every one of these accidents has the potential to kill and maim.  The steps to prevent them are clearly outlined and discussed.

Chainsaw Safety and Storm Damaged Tree Cleanup addresses how trees are often damaged in storms and can be extremely dangerous to clean up. Storm damaged trees are subject to all the perils associated with tree felling and much, much more. This cutting Plan and techniques will help keep the saw operator safe and working effectively. For more information and resources on chainsaw safety and use visit

We have also developed trainings based on these videos. All the training materials (including notes and evaluations) are located at:

Landscape Safety Training for the Green Industry

According to a survey sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2009, 32% of the Hispanics surveyed reported on-the-job injuries. Landscape work involves dangerous and loud equipment, pesticide handling, and potentially close contact with harmful plants and animals. Many new workers are hired during peak season, causing safety training needs to overlap with the most significant workload.

A three-part training was developed covering general precautions, equipment safety, and pesticide safety. From 2010-2014, 1,923 landscape workers received 7,867 contact hours of safety training in either English or Spanish. The training was arranged on-location in company facilities, working directly with business owners, before the crews left for the day. On average, knowledge evaluation scores increased by 22%.

The value was built into the training because companies allowed employees to take them during working hours and paid them to attend the training. Certificates, earned after passing the three parts of the training, are available online.

The training is essential to help companies develop a culture of safety. Support for and interest in the training is high; 9 out of 10 supervisors interviewed would recommend repeating the training, and many indicated they would like to have it more than once a year. The training continues with the online certificate safety-training course below.

For more information contact, or

Safety Makes Sense

Safety Makes Sense Online Training is designed to help your landscape crews become safer and more efficient in the workplace. This training is available at no charge.

Five steps must be completed under the supervision of the crew supervisor to receive a certificate of completion from the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture. The video and study guide are available online, and you do not need to print them.

  1. The supervisor oversees the participants as they watch the video. The video is available in Spanish and English.
  2. The supervisor leads a group discussion and review using the study guide listed below. The study guide can be projected, and the supervisor can use the study guide key to help him/her direct the discussion.
  3. The supervisor prints the evaluation below for the employee and the employee completes it.
  4. Print the answer key and score the evaluation. Participants scoring 70% or higher will earn a certificate of completion.
  5. Fill out the participant list below, including your company and supervisor information along with the names of participants who scored 70% or higher.
  6. Contact us to let us know you’re ready for your certificates.

Certificates of Completion for all passing participants will be emailed to the address given by the supervisor.

This training course is also available in Spanish

Study Guide
Study Guide Key
Evaluation Answer Key
Participant List

These training materials and certificate course are brought to you by the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture.

Contact Us

This material was produced under grant number SH-19493-09-60-F-13 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Safety Videos in English

Vídeos de seguridad en español

Welcome to the OSHA “Safety Makes Sense” Online Video Series, presented by the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture. The series is comprised of five short videos, offered in both Spanish and English. Bienvenido a “La Seguridad Tiene Sentido” vídeos en línea presentados por UGA Centro para la Agricultura Urbana y la Administración de Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional (OSHA). La serie se compone de cinco videos cortos que se ofrecen en Español y Inglés.

Understand, manage and empower your Spanish speaking employees