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From the Claims Desk

The Good Steward

July 2018

From the Claims Desk: Leave Tree-trimming to the Professionals

A lovely summer’s day–the perfect time to get a little work done on the grounds. You survey the property and determine that the lawn needs to be mowed, the garden weeded, and the bushes trimmed. You also notice that the big oak near the end of the property line has a few dead limbs that should be removed.

You gather your volunteers and assign them each tasks. One says he feels comfortable trimming the tree, that he has used a chainsaw before and is not afraid of heights. Not having to call a professional could save you a lot of money–but is it a wise choice? That little voice in the back of your mind tells you it seems risky.

Listen to that little voice. While it is important to quickly remove dead limbs from trees before they become projectiles in high winds or fall and injure a parishioner or damage your church, it is equally important that tree-trimming be performed by a professional.

Church staff and volunteers who use dangerous equipment that they’re not entirely comfortable with are at risk for head and brain injuries, serious fractures, deep cuts, and other serious injuries.

Accidents can occur all too easily. People can become disoriented when they’re up in a tree. Claims have resulted from people propping their ladders up against the limbs they were cutting down. When the limbs fell, they fell too and were seriously hurt.

These types of injuries can be devastating. They often have far-reaching, long-term impacts, affecting everything from employment to family members. So do everything you can to avoid putting people in harm’s way.

Just as you should call in the professionals for roofing services, only use experts to trim trees. It may be expensive, but they understand the safety precautions, and they have the proper equipment.

Volunteers can help tremendously and save the church money. But it is best to let them perform the safer outdoor tasks, such as planting and weeding gardens, watering plants, and mowing lawns. When heights and specialty equipment are involved, be sure to call in the professionals.


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