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. Provided that any such works are carried out, the property owner or manager (i.e. the duty holder) will 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 any significantly defective trees and calculate the risk of harm arising from those trees. A written report giving the results of the survey and listing any works required to reduce or eliminate the risk is supplied for the client's records. 

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 ISO31000: 2009. It complies fully with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance on risk assessment and the National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) document “Common sense risk management of trees” published by the Forestry Commission in 2011.

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 (unlike many so-called 'tree surgeons'). This means we usually 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. 

© TCG 2021