Tree trimmer: Be safe, keep your feet on the ground

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Jamey Boyum - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - September 6th, a Tyler man died after he fell 40' while helping his brother trim a tree. Police say they believe Gabino Torrescano, 48, accidentally cut through his safety line before he slipped.

It is the time of year when many East Texans are getting their trees trimmed and some would like to do it themselves. Professional tree-trimmers say you should leave topping trees to the pros and keep your feet on the ground.

Most of us climbed trees as kids. Shane Cox is all grown up and still doing it, but it is his job. He gets tree tops under control. But his #1 priority is dealing with gravity.

"We use ropes for safety and also use tree spurs and a saddle…which I was using and the saddle keeps me safe," he said.

He says tree-topping trainees should use two safety lines because at any time, you could fall.

"I slipped a while ago…I had two ropes on me so these ropes come in handy," Cox stated. "[It happens] all the time in these trees. Especially if you have to get out on these limbs very far, you'll slip. You should always have your tagline on and your safety rope which is your repelling rope. Any time you're cutting a limb, you should always have both lines on."

His advice?

"Don't try it unless you have got the proper training and the right equipment," he says.

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries around 80 people a year were killed in tree-trimming related accidents between 1992 and 2007.

Shane Cox says to make sure the tree trimmer you hire is fully insured in case of injury or accidents.

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