Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of repetitiveness — unless we’re talking about winning spins at a slot machine in Las Vegas, or a long winning streak by my beloved New York Yankees.
At my job, I’m especially not a fan of doing the same task repeatedly. Or reading the same thing multiple times. Who is?
But, like it or not, some things — in this case, something involving your profession — are worth repeating.
Tree care work is inherently risky, and, for some, this risk is defined with limbs, and even lives, on a daily basis. As we head into May and then the busy summer months, it’s a good idea to brush up and review some basic job site safety practices. Yes, you’ve all read these before. In fact, many of you probably know these by heart. But in talking with tree care pros, I’ve heard that, often, adhering to the simplest of safety practices could have prevented most accidents on job sites.
Look these over. Consider them a friendly reminder. Print this out and hang it on your office bulletin board or leave it on the driver’s seat of your work trucks before they head out in the morning.
Safety tips are worth repeating — especially if they prevent accidents.
Here are a few safety tips originally published by the International Society of Arboriculture:
Communicate: Each job should begin with a briefing, which coordinates the activities of every worker. This briefing also includes a review of any potential safety hazards, how to prevent them and what personal protection equipment (PPE) is required. All workers must have a clear understanding of the communication system that will be used on the job. Talk to each other when you’re in the field, and don’t ever assume your co-workers are going to be in a certain position, or doing the job you think they’re doing. Talk, look and listen. The voice command and response system ensures warning signals are heard and acted upon. For example, the climber says, “stand clear” but does not proceed until hearing “all clear.” When hearing is difficult, use hand signals.
Safety gear: All workers must wear clothing and footwear appropriate for specific work conditions and weather. This includes proper headgear, hearing protection, protective glasses and face shields, gloves, leg chaps and work boots. Even if these items are uncomfortable and not fashionable, they could be the difference between leaving the job site in your truck or in an ambulance.
Be prepared: It’s recommended, and required in some regions, that all tree workers receive training and first aid and CPR. Also, each truck must keep a fully stocked first aid kit, and all employees must be instructed in the use of these kits and in emergency response procedures. Each worker must know the procedures in an emergency situation, and all climbers should be trained in aerial rescues – which should be practiced regularly. All employees should be instructed on how to identify common poisonous plants and harmful insects that sting or bite.
Trucks: In addition to the first aid kits, all work trucks should be equipped with emergency phone numbers, regularly inspected fire extinguishers and traffic control items such as safety cones, warning signs, barriers and flags. Workers must secure any work zone properly before the job starts. Traffic control procedures must follow U. S. Department of Transportation standards and guidelines.
Read more: Insights Into Tree Care Accidents