A tree job begins with a plan that can help eliminate confusion before it starts. Start each job with a pre-job briefing and site inspection. An acronym you may find useful is HOPE.

  • “H” stands for hazards. These are defined by anything that may interfere with the safety of the crew. A common job site hazard is electrical lines. Defining the location of hazards and establishing a protocol for how to safely work around them beforehand eliminates the struggle of having to communicate safety standards or work processes during the job.
  • “O” is for obstacles. These are things that can be broken or get in the way. Examples of obstacles range from pedestrian traffic to swimming pools. In many cases, obstacles can be moved. Other times obstacles demand that the crew alter the work plan. An example of this is the decision to lower limbs as opposed to just letting them free-fall because an obstacle, such as a patio, is in the drop zone.
  • P” is for plan. The crew must develop an appropriate plan, keeping all hazards and obstacles in mind. The plan should maximize job flow, but adhere to safety standards and protocol.
  • “E” stands for equipment. A well-laid out plan complements the equipment and space available. Preplaced equipment helps with a seamless work flow. Sometimes equipment will need to be moved. Add this dynamic to your job briefing and communicate it clearly. The time to get your point across is before the decibels rise and the brush starts flying.

Read more: The Importance of Work Site Communication