Risk of being killed is scaremongering

Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield
Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield
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Over the last few months, we have heard of a lot of scaremongering about the safety of roadside trees from Sheffield City Council’s Streets Ahead and their contractor Amey as they seek to justify their disproportionate action of chopping down the city’s green assets.

These are the facts from the National Tree Safety Group, and a separate, independent Health and Safety Executive report:

“So far as non-fatal injuries in the UK are concerned, the number of accident and emergency cases, (A&E), attributable to being struck by trees, (about 55 a year), is exceedingly small compared with the roughly 2.9 million leisure-related A&E cases per year.

Footballs, (262,000), children’s swings, (10,900), and even wheelie bins, (2,200), are involved in many more incidents.” – National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) report.

“What is the risk?

Each year between five and six people in the UK are killed when trees fall on them.

Thus the risk of being struck and killed by a tree falling is extremely low.

Around three people are killed each year by trees in public spaces; but as almost the entire population of the UK is exposed, the risk per person is about one in 20 million.

The risk, per tree, of causing fatality is of the order of one in 150 million for all trees in Britain or one in 10 million for those trees in, or adjacent to areas of high public use.

However the low level of overall risk *may not be perceived in this way by the public, particularly following an incident.” – from SIM, (Health and safety executive [2007].

Management of the risk from falling trees.

HSE sector information minute, sim 01/2007/05. (guidance for HSE inspectors and local authority enforcement officers).

*This is to emphasise that there is a duty of care not to exaggerate, scaremonger or exploit misperceptions – especially by those acting on behalf of the public, paid for by the public and/or elected by the public.

SORT Supporter and former Labour Voter

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