Archive for the ‘Tree Safety’ Category

Beware the Ghost Policy!

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Have you ever wondered why there is often such a drastic difference in prices between different tree services? I can answer this in three words: workers compensation insurance.

I know what you are probably thinking right now. You are thinking that before you hire a tree service (or any service provider for that matter) you always request a certificate of insurance (COI) to verify proof of workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, thanks to what is known as a Ghost Policy, a COI does not mean the tree service actually has any real insurance protection for its Beware the Ghost Policy!employees.

A Ghost Policy  is a policy designed for a company with only one member (the owner) and no employees. It is an extremely cheap way for an individual to obtain a COI in order to win bids and projects that require workers comp insurance coverage.

The Ghost Policy, however, has opened a major loophole. Many tree services with employees still purchase this Ghost Policy by claiming either they they have no employees (and pay them off the books) or that their employees are sub-contractors, which is illegal given Federal and State law. By obtaining a Ghost Policy, a tree service is able to show you a COI while saving anywhere from $30,000 to well over $300,000 per year. This allows that service to offer much lower prices – hence the drastic variation in pricing between companies with legitimate insurance and those without.

But here is the incredible danger: by doing this, that service exploits its employees and puts you the client at great risk. If someone is injured on your property, you could be held responsible for medical and related costs.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid hiring such a service. Read our full article The Dangerous Truth About Ghost Insurance Policies to learn more.

Be sure to let us know what you think!

Colin has earned TCIA’s “Certified Treecare Safety Professional” Accreditation!

Monday, December 20th, 2010

After a great deal of work, we are proud to announce that Colin has earned his “Certified Treecare Safety Professional” (CTSP) accreditation from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). This is no small feat. As a matter of fact, there are only two tree services in the RDU/Triangle area that have this accreditation!

So you are probably wondering two things. First, how hard is it to become CTSP accredited? Second, what does this mean for you? So glad you asked!

Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

To answer the first question, this certification requires experience, extensive training, and passing safety-related exams. In addition, CTSPs are required to fulfill 30 continuing education credits, which includes things like ongoing safety training, teaching safety-related classes, writing articles published in industry magazines, and so. But enough about this! What does hiring a CTSP accredited tree service mean for you?

The whole purpose of TCIA’s CTSP program is to decrease work-related injuries and fatalities in the tree care and tree removal industry. After all, this industry is one of the most dangerous in the U.S., ranked on par with the likes of logging and snow crab fishing. According to TCIA’s, “Accident Survey Results: 2008-09 Operations” an accredited member will experience 100% fewer accidents than the non-accredited non-members.

Having a CTSP on staff means that we at Leaf & Limb are committed to the highest level of safe working practices in all areas of our tree service operations. It means that we are devoted to following the latest technological advances and safety regulations affecting the field of safety in our industry. When you employ our services, or the services of any other CTSP certified tree service, you can rest assured knowing that you will have a safe, professional operation managed by highly skilled experts.

Once again, congratulations to Colin for all his hard work! His CTSP accreditation is invaluable to Leaf & Limb Tree Service and brings an extra level of safety awareness necessary to ensure that every tree care and tree removal project is completed with all essential precautions.

Be sure and check out our official press release on PRWeb and on our website.

How to Prevent Tree Damage

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Every year trees cause incredible damage to people and property. In the most tragic of situations, trees even cause death. This occurred here in Raleigh last week when a tree fell into a house and killed a woman. What makes this incident particularly sad is that it could have been prevented. Authorities believe the tree fell due to decay at the base of the tree. Apparently a large portion of the tree broke off during previous years, leaving an exposed gap at the bottom of the trunk, which led to rot. When a storm blew through the area, the base gave way and the tree collapsed. Had the deterioration been identified earlier, and had the tree been removed under controlled circumstances, this tragedy could have been prevented.

In order to prevent tree-related damage, it is essential that you identify potential problems early, before they turn into actual problems. As a homeowner or as somebody who oversees property where trees are present, it is very important that you regularly assess the health of your trees. As much as we all love and appreciate trees, they can be dangerous. Here are a few issues to watch out for:

  • Are there dead trees on your property? For dead trees, it is a matter of “when” they will fall, not “if.” Dead trees are especially dangerous if located near a home, office complex, or area where people are often present.
  • Are there trees with dead branches? Dead branches will eventually fall, and when they do, they have the potential to punch holes in roofs, dent cars, break sheds, or hurt people.
  • Are there any branches hanging in trees? In our industry, we have a special term for hanging branches: “widowmakers” You get the idea.
  • Are there trees with holes or rot at the base? If so, there is a good chance that the base of the tree is weak, which means it has the potential to fall and cause damage at any time.
  • Are mushrooms, cracks, splits, or any other indicators of a dead or dying tree present along the base of the trunk? If so, this is a tree that should be removed.
  • Do you have a tree where branches regularly fall? Not only are the falling branches themselves a hazard, but this could be an indicator of a larger problem.
  • Do you have trees that lean strongly in one direction? In conjunction with the lean, are there roots lifting out of the ground on the back side of the tree? If so, this tree should be carefully assessed, particularly if it is leaning towards a house, office, garage, sidewalk, etc.
  • Are there large branches with open, old, or rotting wounds? A branch like this has a high likelihood of falling.

These are just a few of the many potential problems to look for as you assess your trees. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, or if you simply do not have the time, call your local tree service and ask them to give your property an evaluation. Here at Leaf & Limb Tree Service we offer such evaluations at no charge. Contact us today and we’ll set up a time to meet with you. Remember, the key to preventing tree damage is to identify potential issues early, before they develop into serious problems.