Tree Safety and Risk Assessment

The Occupier's Liability (Scotland) Act 1960, The Occupier's Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 (in England), and The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 place a duty of care on property owners, occupiers or managers to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that people entering onto, or passing by the property do not suffer injury or damage as a result of any act or omission which could reasonably have been foreseen. 

The owner/occupier may be held liable for physical harm or damage to property arising from an accident to a third party, where the cause of the accident was both reasonably foreseeable and reasonably preventable, bearing in mind all the circumstances of the situation.

Regular inspection of trees on a property should therefore be undertaken by a competent person to identify any significant visible defects and assess the risk of those trees causing harm or damage. Recommendations for appropriate remedial works can then be made to control or eliminate the risk. The property owner/occupier/manager can then show that they have done all that can reasonably be required in law to comply with the requirements of the Acts.   

To help clients comply with their duty of care, we carry out surveys to identify hazardous trees, calculate the risk of harm arising from those trees, and on that basis specify any remedial works required to reduce or eliminate the risk. Clients can then use these recommendations to seek quotations from tree work contractors (tree surgeons). 

To calculate the risk of harm, we use the innovative Quantified Tree Risk Assessment system (QTRA), which applies established and accepted risk control principles to tree safety management in accordance with ISO 31000: 2009. The system quantifies the risk of significant harm from tree failure in a statistical way and allows tree owners to balance safety with tree value, and operate to a predetermined limit of reasonable or acceptable risk (as advised by The Health and Safety 

We provide a cost-effective service which gives clients robust protection against litigation in the event of harm arising from tree failure, and also reduces the cost to their trees and finances of excessively cautious management. As we do not carry out tree work ourselves, we have no financial interest in specifying unnecessary and expensive work. This means we often save clients considerably more than our fees have cost.

To learn more about how our services can be of benefit to you, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to answer any queries you may have. 

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