LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After the electrocution death of a tree trimming contractor in Delta Township Thursday morning, a certified arborist is ringing the alarms for people to leave the tree trimming to the experts.

“It only takes a fraction of an amp in order to stop the human heart,” says John Sevier, a certified arborist who specializes in teaching tree cutting safety.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows tree trimmers and pruners have an overall fatality rate 15 times higher than any other job, reports TCI Magazine, the Tree Care Industry Association’s publication. Those workers are also three times more likely to suffer a nonfatal fall than other workers.

While looking from the ground it may seem the wires won’t a pose a risk because they are covered, Sevier says that’s not accurate.

“The lines above the little skinny shiny bare wire lines those are the ones with typically 12,000 bolts of uninsulated power going through them,” he says.

So why not just put up insulated lines? 

“They don’t want it to be double the weight that it’s now because the poles will actually be pulled together,” he says.

The easiest way to prevent an accidental electrocution is to leave the trimming to the experts, he says.

“It’s important that the power company keeps the trees trimmed away from the power lines,” he says. “Not just at the time of insulation but, in general, power companies have a program where they re-trim at certain intervals.”

Sevier says if you do trim trees and may be near power lines, investing in insulated tools may provide some protection from electrocution.