This is our safety procedures for tree service work.

Accident Prevention Program 

Each of our employees are required to follow the General Safety Requirements



Tools and equipment shall conform to the requirements of this standard.

A qualified arborist should determine whether direct supervision is needed on a job site.

A job briefing shall be performed by the qualified arborist in charge before the start of each job. The briefing shall be communicated to all affected workers. An employee working alone need not conduct a job briefing. However, the employer shall ensure that the tasks are being performed as if a briefing were required.


Traffic Control Around the Job Site 

High visibility safety apparel and headgear, when required, shall conform to ANSI-ISEA

IO7-2004 and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic

Control Devices (MUTCD), when required.

Effective means for controlling pedestrian and vehicular traffic shall be instituted on every job site where necessary, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or applicable state and  local laws and regulations.

Temporary traffic-control devices used in arboricultural operations shall conform to the

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

(MUTCD) and applicable federal and state regulations.


Emergency Procedures and Readiness

Emergency phone numbers shall be available when and where arboricultural operations are being carried out.  Arborists and other workers shall be instructed as to the specific location of such information.

A first-aid kit, adequately stocked and maintained, shall be provided by the employer’ when and where arboricultural operations are being carried out. Arborists and other workers shall be instructed in its use and specific location.

Instruction shall be provided in the identification, preventive measures, and first-aid treatment of common poisonous plants (poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac

stinging and biting insects, and other pests and,indigenous to the area in which work is to be performed.

Employees who may be faced with a rescue decision shall receive training in emergency response and rescue procedures appropriate and applicable to the work to be performed, as well as training to recognize the hazards inherent in rescue efforts.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid training shall be provided in the absence of an infirmary clinic, or hospital near the worksite.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE), as outlined in this section, shall be required when there is a reasonable chance of injury or illness that can be prevented by such protection. Training shall be provided in the use, care, maintenance, fit, and life of personal protective equipment.

Workers engaged in arboricultural operations shall wear head protection (helmets) that conforms to ANSI 289.I.  Class E helmets shall be worn when working in proximity to electrical conductors in accordance with ANSI ZB9.l. Workers shall not place reliance on the dielectric capabilities of such helmets.

Clothing and footwear appropriate to the known job hazards shall be approved by the employer and worn by the employee.

Hearing protection provided by the employer shall be worn when it is not practical to decrease or isolate noise levels that exceed acceptable standards.

Eye protection shall comply with ANSI 287 .I and shall be worn when engaged in arboricultural operations.

Chain-saw-resistant leg protection shall be worn while operating a chain saw during ground operations.


Fire Protection

Equipment shall be refueled only after the engine has stopped. Spilled fuel shall be removed from equipment before restarting.

Equipment shall not be operated within 10 feet (3.05 m) of refueling operations or areas in which refueling has recently taken place.

Flammable liquids shall be stored, handled, and dispensed from approved containers.

Smoking shall be prohibited when handling or working around flammable liquids.

Clothing contaminated by flammable liquid shall be changed as soon as possible.

Open flame and other sources of ignition shall be avoided.



All overhead and underground electrical conductors and all communication wires and cables shall be considered energized with potentially fatal voltages.

The employer shall certify that each employee has been trained to recognize and is appropriately qualified to work within proximity to electrical hazards that are applicable to the employee’s assignment.

Arborists and other workers shall be instructed that

(a)  electrical shock will occur when a person, by either direct contact or indirect

contact with an energized electrical conductor, energized tree limb, tool, equipment,           or other object, provides a path for the flow of electricity to a grounded object or

to the ground itself. Simultaneous contact with two energized conductors phase to phase will also cause electric shock that may result in serious or fatal injury.

(b)  electrical shock may occur as a result of ground fault when a person stands near

a grounded object (for example, if an uninsulated aerial device comes into contact with a conductor with outriggers down).

(c)  in the event of a downed energized electrical conductor or energized grounded

object, there exists the hazard of step potential.

If the minimum approach distance for a qualified line-clearance arborist or for a qualified arborist (see Table 1.) cannot be maintained during arboricultural operations, the electrical system owner/operator shall be advised and an electrical hazard abatement plan shall be implemented before any work is performed in proximity to energized electrical conductors.


Working in Proximity to Electrical Hazards

The items contained in the General Electrical section 2.1(previous) shall always be included in the review of this section.

An inspection shall be made by a qualified arborist to determine whether an electrical hazard exists before climbing, otherwise entering, or performing work in or on a tree.Only qualified line-clearance arborists or qualified line-clearance arborist trainees shall be assigned to work where an electrical hazard exists.  This currently is not in the scope of work that this company performs and is not under consideration.  Again, our arborists are not qualified for line-clearance and therefore must maintain a minimum approach distance as described below in Table 1.

Nominal voltage in kilovolts (kV)phase to phase* Distanceft-in Distancem
0.0 to 1.0 10-00 3.05
1.1 to 15.0 10-00 3.05
15.1 to 36.0 10-00 3.05
36.1 to 50.0 10-00 3.05
50.1 to 72.5 10-09 3.28
72.6 to 121.0 12-04 3.76
138.0 to 145.0 13-02 4.00
161.0 to 169.0 14-00 4.24
230.00 to 242.0 16-05 4.97
345.0 to 363.0 20-05 6.17
500.0 to 550.0 26-08 8.05
785.0 to 800.0 35-00 10.55



The tie-in position should be above the work area and located in such away that a slip would swing the arborist away from any energized electrical conductor or other identified hazard.

While climbing, the arborist should climb on the side of the tree that is away from energized electrical conductors while maintaining the required distances shown in Table I.

Ladders, platforms, and aerial devices, including insulated aerial devices, shall be subject to minimum approach distances in accordance with Table 1 as applicable. In comparisons among all ladders, the Telescopic ladder could be the best for this form of work.

Aerial devices with attached equipment (such as chippers) brought into contact with energized electrical conductors shall be considered energized. Contact by people and/or equipment shall be avoided. 



Prior to daily use of any vehicles and mobile equipment (units), visual walk-around inspections and operational checks shall be made in accordance with manufacturers’ and owners’ instructions and applicable federal, state, and local requirements.

Units shall be equipped and maintained with manufacturers’ safety devices, instructions, warnings, and safeguards. Arborists and other workers shall follow instructions provided by manufacturers.

Manufacturers’ preventive maintenance inspections and parts replacement procedures shall be followed.

Manufacturer’s instructions shall be followed in detecting hydraulic leaks. No part of the body shall be used to locate or stop hydraulic leaks.

Units shall be operated or maintained only by authorized and qualified personnel in accordance with company policies and federal, state, or local laws.

Material and equipment carded on vehicles shall be properly stored and secured in compliance with the design of the unit in order to prevent the movement of material or equipment.

Step surfaces and platforms on mobile equipment shall be skid resistant.

Safety seat belts, when provided by the manufacturer, shall be worn while a unit is being operated.

Riding or working outside or on top of units shall not be permitted unless the units are designed for that purpose or the operator is performing maintenance or inspection.

Hoisting or lifting equipment on vehicles shall be used within rated capacities as stated by the manufacturers’ specifications.

Units with obscured rear vision, particularly those with towed equipment, should be backed up only when absolutely necessary and then should be used with external rear guidance, such as a spotter, or a backup alarm.

When units are left unattended, keys shall be removed from ignition, the wheels chocked, and, if applicable, the parking brake applied.

Units shall be turned off, keys removed from the ignition, and rotating parts at rest prior to making repairs or adjustments, except where manufacturers’ procedures require otherwise. Defects or malfunctions affecting the safe operation of equipment shall be corrected before such units are placed into use.

Personal protective equipment (for example, eye, head, hand, and ear protection) shall be worn in accordance with the section on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

When towing, safety chains shall be crossed under the tongue of the unit being towed and connected to the towing vehicle.

Care should be taken to ensure that a unit’s exhaust system does not present a fire hazard.

Towed units that detach from another unit (for example, a motorized vehicle) shall be


Brush Chippers 

Please review all items in ‘General’ section of Safe Use of Vehicles, etc.

The items contained in section 3.1 shall always be included in the review of this section.

Access panels (for example, guards) for maintenance and adjustment, including dis- charge chute and cutter housing, shall be closed and secured prior to starting the engine of brush chippers. These access panels shall not be opened or unsecured until the engine and all moving parts have come to a complete stop (see Annex A, General Safety Procedures That Apply to All Tree Work).

Rotary drum or disc brush chippers not equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall be equipped with an infeed hopper not less than 85 inches (2.15 m) measured from the blades or knives to ground level over the center line of the hopper. Side members of the infeed hopper shall have sufficient height so as to prevent workers from contacting the blades or knives during operations.

Rotary drum or disc brush chippers not equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall have a flexible anti-kickback device installed in the infeed hopper to reduce the risk of injury from flying chips and debris.

Chippers equipped with a mechanical infeed system shall have a quick-stop and reversing device on the infeed system. The activating mechanism for the quick-stop and reversing device shall be located across the top, along each side, and close to the feed end of the infeed hopper within easy reach of the worker.

Vision, hearing, and/or other appropriate personal protective equipment shall be worn when in the immediate area of a brush chipper in accordance with section 1.4, Personal

Protective Equipment (PPE).

Arborists, mechanics, and other workers shall not, under any circumstances, reach into the infeed hopper when the cutter disc, rotary drum, or feed rollers are moving.

When trailer chippers are detached from the vehicles, they shall be chocked or otherwise secured in place.

When in a towing position, chipper safety chains shall be crossed under the tongue of the chipper and properly affixed to the towing vehicle.

See section 6.6, Brush Removal and Chipping, for additional requirements.


Equipment-Mounted Winches 

Please review all items in ‘General’ section of Safe Use of Vehicles, etc.

Operators shall wear the appropriate personal protective equipment during winch operations.

The winch cable shall be inspected daily for broken or worn strands, bird caging, and major kinks. Damaged cables shall be taken out of service.

Cable hooks and attachment points shall be inspected for damage. Damaged hooks or attachment assemblies shall be taken out of service.

All mounting bolts and hardware shall be inspected for loose or missing components.

The winch shall not be used until complete repairs are made to damaged or missing bolts and hardware.

Operators shall be aware of the dangers of load or cable breakage and ensure that all personnel remain clear of the recoil area in the event of load or cable breakage.

All winch operators shall be properly trained and be aware of the inherent dangers associated with winch operations.

Operators shall be aware of the winch cable at all times during extension and ensure that it does not become a hazard to personnel or machinery.

Winch systems and cables shall be used only as intended and instructed by the manufacturer.

The winch shall never be used with personnel, including the operator, within the span of the winch cable and the winch.

Pinch point hazards develop during winching operations, therefore, all operators involved in the winching operation shall constantly be aware of such hazards and stand clear of these areas.

All loads shall be pulled in such a manner as to avoid angles that may result in tipping, cause the vehicle to become unstable , or result in unintended movement of the vehicle.

Pulling loads from the side requires special equipment and techniques. Therefore, loads shall be pulled in line with the winch unless the winch is properly equipped with a fair lead and the operator is trained to pull loads at an angle.

The operator shall ensure that the vehicle supporting the winch is secured to avoid unintended movement.

The operator shall ensure that all rigging points comply with section on Rigging.

To ensure precise communication, an effective means of communication shall be established and used with all workers involved in the winching operations.  This means of communication shall be the same or similar in type when needed for other operations. 



The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines for arborists and other workers pertaining to the safe use and care of portable power hand tools.

Manufacturers’ operating and safety instructions shall be followed unless modified by this standard.


Communications shall be established among arborists working aloft, either in a tree or from an aerial device, and arborists and other workers on the ground, before starting or otherwise using any portable power hand tools. The command “stand clear” from aloft and response “all clear” from the ground are terms that may be used for this purpose. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used. Arborists and other workers returning to the work area shall be acknowledged by arborists aloft.



Portable Electric Power Tools


Corded electric power tools shall not be used in trees or aerial devices near energized, electrical conductors where there is a possibility of power tools or supply cords contacting the conductor.


All corded portable electric power tools shall be


(a) equipped with three-wire cords having the ground wire permanently connected to the tool frame and a means for grounding the other end; or


(b) double insulated and permanently labeled as “double insulated”; or


(c) connected to power supplies by means of an isolating transformer or other isolated power supply.


Extension cords shall be maintained in safe condition. Exposed metal sockets shall not

be used.


Arborists and other workers shall


(a) prevent cords from becoming entangled, damaged, or cut by blades and bits;


(b) avoid laying extension cords in water, and


(c) support electric power tools and supply cords by a tool lanyard or separate line, as appropriate to the work, when used aloft.


Chain saws


When an arborist or other worker is working in a tree other than from an aerial device, chain saws weighing more than 15 pounds (6.8 kg) service weight shall be made safe against falling (i.e., supported by a separate line or tool lanyard).


Secure footing shall be maintained when starting the chain saw.


When starting a chain saw, the operator shall hold the saw firmly in place on the ground or otherwise support the saw in a manner that minimizes movement of the saw when pulling the starter handle. The chain saw shall be started with the chain brake engaged, on saws so equipped. Drop-starting a chain saw is prohibited.

Chain-saw engines shall be started and operated only when other arborists and workers are clear of the chain saw.

When operating a chain saw the arborist or other worker shall hold the saw firmly with both hands, keeping the thumb and fingers wrapped around the handle.


Arborists shall use a second point of attachment (for example, lanyard or double-crotched climbing line) when operating a chain saw in a tree, unless the employer demonstrates that a greater hazard is posed by using a second point of attachment while operating a chain saw in that particular situation. Using both ends of a two-in-one lanyard shall not be considered two points of attachment when using a chain saw.


Chain-saw mufflers and spark arresters (if the latter are provided) shall be maintained in good condition.


The chain brake shall be engaged, or the engine shut off, before setting a chain saw down.


When a chain saw is being carried more than two steps, the chain brake shall be engaged or the engine shut off. The chain saw shall be carried in a manner that will prevent operator contact with the cutting chain and the muffler.


The chain-saw operator shall be certain of footing before starting to cut. The chain saw shall not be used in a position or at a distance that could cause the operator to become off-balance, have insecure footing, or relinquish a firm grip on the saw.


Powered Pole Tools and Backpack Power Units


Only workers operating the equipment shall be within 10 feet (3.05 m) of the cutting head of a brush saw during operations.


Power units shall be equipped with a readily accessible, quick shutoff switch.


Operators shall observe the position of all other workers in the vicinity while the equipment is running.


Engines shall be stopped for all cleaning, refueling, adjustments, and repairs to the saw or engine, except where manufacturers’ procedures require otherwise.


Powered pole tools with poles made of metal or other conductive material shall not be used in operations where electrical hazards exist.





Correct hand tools and equipment shall be selected for the job.


Hand tools and equipment that have been made unsafe by damage or defect, including

tools with loose or cracked heads or cracked, splintered, or weakened handles, shall not be used.


Workers shall maintain a safe working distance from other workers when using hand tools and equipment.


When climbing into a tree, arborists shall not carry hand tools and equipment in their hands unless the tools are used to assist them in climbing. Tools other than ropes or throwlines shall not be thrown into a tree or between workers aloft.


Arborist climbing lines or handlines should be used for raising and lowering hand tools and equipment. Arborists should raise or lower hand tools and equipment in a manner such that the cutting edge will not contact the arborist climbing line or handline.


Hand tools and equipment shall be properly stored or placed in plain sight out of the immediate work area when not in use.


Cant Hooks, Cant Dogs, Peaveys, and Tongs


Cant hooks should be firmly set before applying force.


Arborists, and other workers shall always stand uphill from rolling logs, and all workers shall be warned and in the clear before logs are moved.




Ladders made of metal or other conductive material shall not be used around electrical hazards.


All ladders shall be inspected before use and removed from service if found defective.


Cleats, metal points, skid-resistant feet, lashing, or other effective means of securing the ladder shall be used when there is danger of slipping.


Ladders shall not be used as bridges or inclined planes to load or handle logs or other material.


Ladders shall be supported while in storage to prevent sagging. Except when on mobile equipment, ladders should be stored under suitable cover, protected from the weather, and kept in a dry location away from excessive heat.


The third, or hinged, leg of a tripod./orchard ladder shall be braced or fastened when on hard or slick surfaces.


All ladders shall be used in accordance to the manufacturers’ recommendations and shall not be altered in a way that contradicts those recommendations.


 Ropes and Arborist Climbing Equipment


A visual hazard assessment, including a root collar inspection, shall be performed prior to climbing, entering, or performing any work in a tree.


A second arborist or other worker trained in emergency procedures shall be within visual or voice communication during arboricultural operations above 12 feet (3.65 m).


Climbing lines used in a split-tail system and split-tails shall be terminated with an eye splice or a knot that interfaces appropriately with the connecting link that it is attached to. The termination knot selected shall remain secure under normal loading and unloading. When using a carabiner without a captive eye, the knot or eye splice shall cinch in place to prevent accidental opening and/or side-loading of the carabiner.


Arborists shall inspect climbing lines, worklines, Ianyards, and other climbing equipment for damage, cuts, abrasion, and/or deterioration before each use and shall remove them from service if signs of excessive wear or damage are found.


Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall be identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing.


Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall not be altered in a manner that would compromise the integrity of the equipment.



Hardware used in the manufacture of arborist saddles shall meet the hardware material, strength, and testing requirements outlined in ANSI 359. l.


Arborist climbing lines shall have a minimum diameter of I/2 inch (12.7 mm) and be constructed from a synthetic fiber, with a minimum breaking strength of 5,400 pounds

(24.02 kilonewtons (kN)) when new. Maximum working elongation shall not exceed 7 percent at a load of 540 pounds (2.402 kN). Arborist climbing lines shall be identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing.



In arboricultural operations not subject to regulations that supersede Z133.1, a line

of not less than 7 /16 inch (11 mm) diameter may be used, provided the employer            can demonstrate it does not create a safety hazard for the arborist and the arborist      has been instructed in its use. The strength and elongation ratings of the line           selected shall meet or exceed that of 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) arborist climbing line.


Prusik loops, split-tails, and work-positioning lanyards used in a climbing system shall meet the minimum strength standards for arborist climbing lines.


Snap hooks (rope snaps) used in climbing shall be self-closing and self-locking, with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 kN).


Carabiners used in climbing shall be self-closing and self-locking, with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 kN). Carabiners shall be designed to release the load by requiring at least two consecutive, deliberate actions to prepare the gate for opening.


Splicing shall be done in accordance with cordage manufacturers’ specifications.


All load-bearing components of the climbing system shall meet the minimum standards for arborist climbing equipment.


Equipment used to secure an arborist in the tree or from an aerial lift shall not be used for anything other than its intended purpose.



The arborist climbing line may be used to raise and lower tools.


Rope ends shall be finished in a manner to prevent raveling.


Ropes and climbing equipment shall be stored and transported in such a manner to prevent damage through contact with sharp tools, cutting edges, gas, oil, or chemicals.


Arborist climbing lines shall nevel be left in trees unattended.


Arborists shall have available a climbing line and al least one other means of being secured while working aloft; for example, an arborist climbing line and a work-positioning Ianyard.



The arborist shall be secured while ascending the tree. The arborist shall be tied in once the work begins and shall be tied in until the work is completed and he or she has returned to the ground. The arborist shall be secured when repositioning the climbing line.


While ascending a ladder to gain access to a tree, the arborist shall not work from or leave the ladder until he or she is tied in or otherwise secured.


Hands and feet should be placed on separate limbs, if possible, and three points of contact should be maintained with the tree while climbing.


A false crotch and/or false crotch redirect may be used at the discretion of the arborist in

lieu of a natural crotch.


The tie-in position should be well above the work area so that the arborist will not be subjected to an uncontrolled pendulum swing in the event of a slip.


When a climber is working at heights greater than one-half the length of the arborist climbing line, a figure-8 knot shall be tied in the end of the arborist climbing line to prevent pulling the rope through the climbing hitch.


Pruning and Trimming


Communications among arborists aloft and among arborists and other workers on the ground shall be established before cutting and dropping limbs. The command “stand clear” from aloft and the response “all clear” from the ground are terms that may be used for this purpose. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used. Arborists and other workers returning to the work area shall be acknowledged by arborists aloft.


Pole pruners and pole saws, when hung, shall be securely positioned to prevent dislodgment. Pole pruners or pole saws shall not be hung on electrical conductors or left in a tree unattended. Pole saws and pole pruners shall be hung so that sharp edges are away from the arborist and shall be removed when the arborist leaves the tree.


Scabbards or sheaths shall be used to carry handsaws when not in use. Folding saws, when not in use, shall be closed and hooked to the arborist saddle.


Pole tools used in line-clearance operations shall be constructed with fiberglass rein- forced plastic (FRP) or wooden poles meeting the requirements of OSHA 1910.269.


A separate workline shall be attached to limbs that cannot be dropped safely or controlled by hand. Arborist climbing lines and worklines shall not be secured to the same crotch.



Dry conditions and dead palm fronds present an extreme fire hazard. When dry conditions exist, arborists and other workers shall not smoke while working in or near dead palm fronds. All chain saws used under such conditions shall have mufflers and spark arresters in good working condition.


Palm frond skirts that have three years or more of growth shall be removed from the top down. Arborists performing this work shall be supported by an arborist climbing line and a false crotch. Arborists shall never attempt to remove skirts of three years or more by positioning themselves below work areas while being supported by a lanyard.


Cut branches shall not be left in trees upon completion of work.




Arborists and other workers on the ground shall not stand under the work area of a tree when a cabling system is being installed.


Tools used for cabling, bark tracing, and cavity work shall be carried in a bag, on a belt designed to hold such tools, or attached to a tool lanyard.


Arborists installing cabling systems in trees shall be positioned off to one side in order to avoid injury in case of cable system failure that could occur when a block and tackle or a hand winch is released.




Arborists performing rigging operations shall inspect trees for their integrity to determine whether the trees have any visible defect that could affect the operation. If it is determined that the tree poses a risk of failure due to the forces and strains that will be created by the design of the rigging operation, an alternate plan shall be used.


The number of connecting links used for connecting components of a rigging system shall be minimized when possible. Care shall be taken to ensure that connecting links interface properly and in compliance with manufacturers’ recommendations.


The qualified arborist shall ensure that load ratings shown on the rigging equipment or provided by the manufacturer for all ropes, connecting links, and rigging equipment are observed in all rigging operations. Rigging equipment shall be chosen for the specific task based on working-load limits and design specifications.


All equipment used for rigging operations shall be in good working condition. Equipment that has been damaged or overloaded shall be removed from service.


When the potential exists for rigging equipment to be confused with climbing equipment, the equipment shall be clearly marked to indicate their different purposes.


Rigging points shall be assessed for their structural integrity by a qualified arborist. The rigging plan and the tree shall be considered relative to the forces being applied to any part of the tree, including branch attachments and anchoring roots, before a rigging point is chosen and established.


Climbers shall choose tie-in points that will provide proper protection while allowing for a separation between the rigging system and the climbing system. Running rigging lines shall not be allowed to come into contact with any part of the climbing system.


Arborists performing rigging operations shall be educated to understand and trained to estimate the potential forces at any point in the rigging system being used. The system components shall comply with working-load limits relative to the operation and the maximum potential forces.


Careful consideration shall be given to the potential forces resulting from the specific influences of rope angles as well as the number of lines and/or line parts that will act on any rigging point.


Arborists working aloft (either climbing the tree or from aerial device) shall establish a communication system with arborists and other workers on the ground.


A method of verbal/visual communication shall be discussed and established during the job briefing, prior to the start of removal/rigging operations. The verbal/visual communication system shall use an established command and response system (see example) or pre-arranged, two-way hand signals. The communication method shall be clearly understood and used during all rigging operations.



Command: Stand clear!

Response: All Clear!, Underneath!, or No!


A work zone shall be established prior to the start of rigging operations. Workers not directly involved in the rigging operation shall stay out of the pre-established work zone until it has been communicated by a qualified arborist or qualified arborist trainee directly involved in the rigging operation that it is safe to enter the work zone. Workers shall be positioned and their duties organized so that the actions of one worker will not create a hazard for any other worker.


Only qualified arborists or qualified arborist trainees directly involved in the operation shall be permitted in the work zone when a load is being suspended by the rigging system.


Taglines or other means may be used to help control and handle suspended loads.


Arborists working aloft shall position themselves so as to be above or to the side of the piece being rigged and out of the path of movement of the piece when it has been cut.

Climbers and their climbing systems shall be positioned outside of the rigging system itself when a cut is being made or a load is being moved or lowered. Climbers shall have an escape plan prepared.

The spars, Iimbs, or leaders being worked on and the spars being used for tie-in and/or rigging points shall be assessed for structural integrity and potential reaction forces that could cause a spar to split when it is cut.


Steps shall be taken to prevent spars from splitting or tearing during the rigging operation, and climbers shall take steps to avoid trapping, pinning, or entangling themselves in the system should the tree split or the rigging fail. Load binders are one possible means of preventing splitting.


Tree Removal


Before beginning any tree removal operation, the chain-saw operator and/or crew leader shall carefully consider all relevant factors pertaining to the tree and site and shall take appropriate actions to ensure a safe removal operation. The following factors should be considered:


(a) The area surrounding the tree to be removed, including nearby trees;


(b) Species and shape of the tree;

(c) Lean of the tree;


(d) Loose limbs, chunks, or other overhead material;


(e) Wind force and direction;


  • decayed or weak spots throughout the tree (be aware of additionalhazards if these conditions exist in the hinge area);


(g) Location and means to protect other persons, property, and electrical conductors;


(h) Size and terrain characteristics or limitations of the work area, and


(i) Evidence of bees or wildlife habitation in the tree.


Work plans for removal operations shall be communicated to all workers in a job briefing before starting work.


Workers not directly involved in the removal operation shall be clear of the work area, where practicable, beyond the length of the tree, unless a team of workers is necessary to remove a particular tree.


A planned escape route for all workers shall be prepared before cutting any standing tree or trunk. The preferred escape route is 45 degrees on either side of a line drawn opposite the intended direction of the fall. Obstructions shall be cleared along the escape path.

The chain-saw operator shall use this path for egress once the cut has been completed.

When it is necessary to shorten or remove branches before removing the tree, the arborist shall attempt to determine whether the tree can withstand the strain of the lowering procedures. If not, other means of removing the tree should be considered.


The crew leader shall determine the number of workers necessary for tree removal operations.


The crew leader shall develop a work plan so that operations do not conflict with each other, thereby creating a hazard.


Climbing spurs shall have gaffs of a type and length compatible for the tree being climbed.


Wedges, block and tackle, rope, wire cable (except where an electrical hazard exists), or other appropriate devices shall be used when there is a danger that the tree or trees being removed may fall in the wrong direction or damage property. All limbs shall be removed to a height and width sufficient to allow the tree to fall clear of any wires and other objects in the near vicinity.


Tackle blocks and pulleys and their connecting links shall be inspected immediately before use and removed from service if they are found to be defective.


Workers returning to the work area shall not enter until the chain-saw operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.


When a pull line is being used, the workers involved in removing a tree or trunk shall be clear by a minimum of one tree length.


Workers not directly involved in manual land-clearing operations shall be at least two tree lengths away from the tree or trunk being removed.



This requirement does not apply in the presence of site restrictions, such as         waterways or cliffs. Other arborists and workers shall be beyond the trees’ striking           range and at a distance as close to twice the tree’s height as practicable.


Notches shall be used on all trees and trunks greater than 5 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter at breast height.


Notches and back cuts shall be made at a height that enables the chain-saw operator to safely begin the cut, control the tree or trunk, and have freedom of movement for escape.


The notch cut used shall be a conventional notch, an open-face notch, or a         Humboldt notch.


Notches shall be 45 degrees or greater and large enough to guide the fall of the tree or trunk to prevent splitting.


Notch depth should not exceed one-third the diameter of the tree.


The back cut shall not penetrate into the predetermined hinge area.


With a conventional notch or Humboldt notch, the back cut shall be 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) above the apex of the notch to provide an adequate platform to prevent kickback of the tree or trunk. With an open-face notch (greater than 70 degrees), the back cut should be at the same level as the apex of the notch.


The two cuts that form the notch shall not cross at the point where they meet.


Before making the back cut, there shall be a command such as “stand clear” from the arborist operating the chain saw and a response such as “all cIear” from the workers supporting the removal operation. Pre-arranged, two-way hand signals may also be used.

Only designated persons shall give such signals. All workers in the near vicinity shall be out of range when the tree or trunk falls. Visual contact should be maintained with the tree or trunk until it is on the ground.


When the back cut has been completed, the chain-saw operator shall immediately move a safe distance away from the tree or trunk using the planned escape route.


Workers shall not approach mechanical tree removal or mechanical re-clearing operations, such as with a rotary or flail mower, until the operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.


Brush Removal and Chipping


Traffic control around the jobsite shall be established prior to the start of chipping operations along roads and highways.


Brush and logs shall not be allowed to create hazards in the work areas.


To prevent an entanglement hazard, loose clothing, climbing equipment, body belts, harnesses, lanyards, or gauntlet-type gloves (for example, long-cuffed lineman’s or welder’s gloves) shall not be worn while operating chippers.


Personal protective equipment shall be worn when in the immediate area of chipping operations in accordance with section 1.4 (PPE) in this manual.


Training shall be provided in the proper operation, feeding starting, and shutdown procedures for the chipper being used.


Maintenance shall be performed only by those persons authorized by the employer and trained to perform such operations.


Brush and logs shall be fed into chippers, butt or cut end first, from the side of the feed table center line, and the operator shall immediately turn away from the feed table when the brush is taken into the rotor or feed rollers.  Chippers should be fed from the curbside whenever practical.


The brush chipper discharge chute or cutter housing cover shall not be raised or removed while any part of the chipper is turning or moving.  Chippers shall not be used unless a  discharge chute of sufficient length or design is provided that prevents personal contact with the blades.


Foreign material, such as stones, nails sweepings and rakings shall not be fed into chippers.


Small branches shall be fed into chippers with longer branches or by being pushed with a long stick.  Never push small branches in with body parts!


Hands or other parts of the body shall not be placed into the infeed hoper.  Leaning into or pushing material into the infeed hoppers with feet is prohibited.

While material is being fed into the chipper infeed hopper chute, pinch points continually develop within the material being chipped and between the material and machine. The operator shall be aware of this situation and respond accordingly.


When feeding a chipper during roadside operations, the operator shall do so in a manor that prevents him or her from stepping into traffic or being pushed into traffic by the brush  that is being fed into the chipper.


When using a winch in chipper operations, the operator shall insure that the winch cable is properly stored before initiating chipper operations.


Please refer to section 3.2 Brush Chipper for additional information.


Limbing and Bucking

Work plans for limbing and bucking operations shall be communicated to all workers in a job briefing before work begins.


When more than one worker is limbing or bucking a tree, each shall be positioned and their duties organized so that the actions of one will not create a hazard for any other worker.


Chain saws should be operated away from the vicinity of the legs and feet. Natural barriers, such as limbs between the saw and the body, should be employed where possible, while ensuring proper balance. While operating a chainsaw, the preferred working position is on the uphill side of the work.


The worker shall make sure of firm footing before and during limbing and bucking.

The worker shall not stand on loose chunks or logs that will roll when the log being bucked is sawed off.


Trees, limbs, or saplings under tension shall be considered hazardous. Appropriate cutting techniques and precautions shall be followed.


Wedges should be used as necessary to prevent binding of the guide bar or chain when bucking trunks of trees.


Cant hooks or peaveys should be used as an aid in rolling large or irregular logs to complete bucking.


If mechanized equipment is to be used, the equipment operator shall establish an effective means of communication with other workers (see subsection 6.4).


Workers shall not approach mechanized equipment operations until the equipment operator has acknowledged that it is safe to do so.




General Safety Procedures That Apply to All Tree Work



Before lifting any weight, workers should


(a) be sure there is a clear path available if the weight is to be carried from one place to another;


(b) decide exactly how the object should be grasped to avoid sharp edges, slivers, splinters, or other factors that might cause injury;

(c) make a preliminary lift to be sure the load can be safely handled;


(d) place feet solidly on the walking surface;


(e) crouch as close to the load as possible, with legs bent at an angle of about 90 degrees;


(f) lift with the legs, not the back, keeping the weight as close to the body as possible;



(g) use additional workers or material-handling equipment when necessary.




Addendum 1.




Outdoor Heat Stress

Prevention Program


Policy Statement


This program was developed to protect employees from hazards posed by working in the outdoor environment.  Renaissance Tree Care is committed to preventing heat related illnesses that can occur to employees working outdoors by:


  • Identifying, evaluating and controlling potential exposure to extreme temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.
  • Providing drinking water
  • Providing supervisor and employee training
  • Establishing heat-related emergency procedures


Program Scope and Application


This program applies when employees and students are exposed to outdoor heat at or above the following temperature and clothing action levels.



Outdoor Temperature & Clothing Action Levels
All other clothing 89° F
Double-layer woven clothes including coveralls, jackets and sweatshirts 77° F
Non-breathing clothes including vapor barrier clothing or PPE such as chemical resistant suits 52° F



Outdoor work includes any employee assigned to work in the outdoor environment on a regular basis.


This program does not apply to incidental exposure which exists when an employee is not required to perform a work activity outdoors for more than fifteen minutes in any sixty-minute period.


Note: It is possible outdoor heat related illness might result at temperatures below the action levels when employees have not acclimatized to sudden and significant increases in temperature and humidity. If one were to check out, one would know the safe levels of humidity that they should be wary of. Supervisors, employees should monitor for sign and symptoms of outdoor heat related illness when there is a significant and sudden increase in temperature.




Program Responsibility


Units are responsible for implementing this program as part of their Accident Prevention Program.  Supervisors are responsible for encouraging employees to frequently consume water or other acceptable beverages to ensure hydration.

Employees are responsible for monitoring their own personal factors for heat related illness including consumption of water or other acceptable beverages to ensure hydration.


Evaluating and Controlling Outdoor Heat Stress Factors


In addition to outdoor temperature, supervisors should evaluate other potential heat stress factors.  These factors include:


  • Radiant Heat (Example: Reflection of heat from asphalt, rocks, or composite roofing material, or work in direct sunlight)
  • Air Movement (Example: Wind blowing and temperature above 95° F)
  • Conductive Heat (Example: Chipping)
  • Workload Activity and Duration (Examples: Hand sawing, digging with a shovel)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (Examples: Chaps, gloves and Helmet)

Supervisors should attempt to control outdoor heat stress factors when feasible.  Controls to consider include:

  • Taking breaks in a shaded area (building, canopy and under trees)
  • Starting the work shift early (when daylight begins) and ending the shift early and/or not working outside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Removing personal protective equipment such as Chaps, gloves and Helmet breaks
  • Using cooling vests or headbands



Drinking Water


Sufficient quantity of potable drinking water will be provided and made accessible to employees.  At least one quart of water per employee per hour will be available. Water can be found at the following locations:

  • Clients outdoor faucet
  • Asking the client for water
  • Leaving the job site to replenish water supplies


Procedures for Responding to a Heat-Related Illness


Supervisors will respond to heat-related illness in a quick and safe manner.  The table below outlines the potential types of heat-related illnesses, signs and symptoms and specific first aid and emergency procedures.  The information should be present at all work sites where outdoor work activities are conducted.


Employees experiencing signs and symptoms of a heat-related illness are to cease work and report their condition to their supervisor.  Employees showing signs or demonstrating symptoms of heat-related illness are to be relieved from duty and provided sufficient means to reduce body temperature.  Employees experiencing sunburn, heat rash or heat cramps will be monitored to determine whether medical attention is necessary. Emergency medical services will be called (911) when employees experience signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.




Heat-Related Illness First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures
Heat-Related Illness Signs and Symptoms First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures
  • Red, hot skin
  • Possibly blisters
  • Move to shade, loosen clothes
  • Apply cool compress or water to burn
  • Get medical evaluation if severe
Heat Rash
  • Red, itchy skin
  • Bumpy skin
  • Skin infection
  • Apply cool water or compress to rash
  • Keep affected area dry
Heat Cramps
  • Muscle cramps or spasms
  • Grasping the affected area
  • Abnormal body posture
  • Drink water to hydrate body
  • Rest in a cool, shaded area
  • Massage affected muscles
  • Get medical attention in cramps persist
Heat Exhaustion
  • High pulse rate
  • Extreme sweating
  • Pale face
  • Insecure gait
  • Headache
  • Clammy and moist skin
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • CALL 911*
  • Provide EMS with directions to worksite
  • Move to shade and loosen clothing
  • Start rapid cooling with fan, water mister or ice packs
  • Lay flat and elevate feet
  • Drink small amounts of water to hydrate and cool body
Heat Stroke
  • Any of the above, but more severe
  • Hot, dry skin (25-50% of cases)
  • Altered mental status with confusion and agitation
  • Can progress to loss of consciousness and seizures
  • CALL 911*
  • Provide EMS with directions to worksite
  • Immediately remove from work area
  • Start rapid cooling with fan, water mister or ice packs
  • Lay flat and elevate feet
  • If conscious give sips of water
  • Monitor airway and breathing, administer CPR if needed



*In remote areas specific procedures might be required to move or transport employees to a place where they can be reached by emergency medical services.




Supervisor Training


Prior to supervising employees working in outdoor environments with heat exposure at or above the action levels supervisors will receive training in the following topics:


  • The content and procedures contained in this program.
  • Procedures listed in this program the supervisor will follow if an employee or student shows signs and symptoms consistent with possible heat-related illness.
  • Specific procedures, if necessary, describing how to move or transport employees and students to a place where they can be reached by emergency medical services.
  • Information provided to employees.


Employee Training


Employees who may be exposed to outdoor heat at or above the action levels are to be trained on the following topics:


  • Environmental factors that might contribute to the risk of heat-related illness (temperature, humidity, radiant heat, air movement, conductive heat sources, workload activity and duration, and personal protective equipment)
  • Personal factors that may increase susceptibility to heat-related illness (age, degree acclimatization, medical conditions, drinking water, consuming alcohol, caffeine use, nicotine use and use of medications that affect the body’s response to heat.
  • The importance of removing heat retaining personal protective equipment, such as non-breathable chemical resistant clothing, during breaks.
  • The importance of frequent drinking of small quantities of water.
  • The importance of acclimatization.
  • The different types and common signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
  • The procedure for immediately reporting signs and symptoms of heat-related illness in themselves, co-workers or students to their supervisor or person in charge.


Refresher Training


Supervisors, employees covered by this program are to receive annual refresher training.



About timbento

I believe that, " ...all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His Purpose." Romans 8:28
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