Electricity poses a serious and widespread hazard to arborists, accounting for approximately 15 percent of all fatalities in the tree care industry. It stands as the leading cause of worker fatalities in this field. The danger is not limited to high-voltage power lines; even seemingly innocuous sources like street lamp circuits or phone lines can carry enough voltage to be fatal. Arborists working in the field are inevitably exposed to this risk, and fatalities can occur without direct contact with wires; nearly half of all electrocution fatalities result from indirect contact, with tree branches and other conductive objects posing constant threats.
Recognizing and avoiding these electrical hazards is crucial for all arborists. Specialized training is essential for qualified line-clearance arborists who need to possess a deeper understanding of electrical hazards and employ specific techniques to work safely near electrical conductors.