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TCIA Releases Report of Tree Care Related Incidents in 2017
TCIA learned of 129 tree care-related occupational incidents in calendar year 2017. Seventy-two of them were fatal. This report provides what we know about these incidents from the media accounts. Comparing 2017 with previous years, we reported 81, 92 and 92 occupational fatalities in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The youngest victim we recorded was 20, the oldest was 71. The average age of the victim (all incidents) was 43. This relatively high average age suggests that complacency rather than ignorance plays a significant role in these incidents. Supporting this claim:

  • The typical fall victim was unsecured
  • The typical struck-by victim remained in the drop zone
  • The typical electrocution victim violated MAD and made contact through a conductive tool/object.

For those accounts in which an employer was identified, 22 percent of all incidents occurred with TCIA member companies, and 78 percent occurred with non-members. The “Big Three” types of accident causation are the same as they have been in recent years: Fall, struck-by and electrical contact incidents comprise 33, 33 and 17 percent of the total incidents, respectively.

Takeuchi Appoints New VP, General Manager
Takeuchi-US has hired Jeff Stewart as vice president and general manager, effective immediately. In the newly created role at the company, Stewart will oversee parts, service, IT, facilities and non-machine related warehouse operations. Most recently, Stewart held various roles at Alimak Hek Group in Webster, Texas, including vice president. He was previously been employed in various roles with Takeuchi, spending 13 years with the organization.The company saw record sales in 2017, and there were increases in all areas of the business and business segments.

OSHA Increases Penalty Amounts For 2018
In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, the Department of Labor increased penalty amounts for violations of workplace safety and health safety standards by two percent beginning January 2, 2018. New penalties for willful and repeat violations are $129,336 per violation; serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements are $12,934 per violation; and failure to correct violations is $12,934 for each day the condition continues.

New England GROWS Dissolves after 25 Years
After 25 years, the award-winning horticultural tradeshow New England GROWS is discontinuing operation. The GROWS board of directors, representing the four founding partner organizations, made the unanimous decision to dissolve and disband both the GROWS event and the organization. Founded by New England Nursery Association, Massachusetts Arborists Association, Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association, and Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals in 1993, New England GROWS’ mission was to educate, elevate and support the region’s commercial horticulture industry. Over the course of more than two decades, the not-for-profit organization contributed millions of dollars in educational grants to the industry through its partners, as well as to horticultural and community groups like Cooperative Extension, the Horticultural Research Institute, FFA organization, local vocational schools, and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative.

ALCC Partners With NALP’s Industry Growth Initiative
The National Association of Landscape Professionals has announced that Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) is the first state association to partner with NALP in support of the Industry Growth Initiative, NALP’s program responsible for growing the industry and its workforce. Together, the organizations will help lead these growth objectives essential for the industry’s future. As a demonstration of their commitment, ALCC has committed $15,000 in seed money toward the initiative, with a goal of raising $75,000 in support from its membership.

NCLC Heads To North Carolina Next Month
The National Association of Landscape Professionals annual collegiate career event and competition, the National Collegiate Landscape Competition will take place March 14-17, at Alamance Community College in North Carolina. This year, more than 750 horticulture and landscape students from more than 60 schools will test their skills in 30 real-world, competitive events, and they will interview with landscape, lawn care, tree care, irrigation, and other companies at the Career Fair, which will be held on Thursday, March 15.

OPEI Sets New Headquarters Grand Opening for May 7
The board of directors for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute recently met in Miami, where they elected two new members – Mark Wagner, President, Club Car LLC, and Joseph C. Wright, President and CEO, Excel Industries. It was also announced at the meeting that the final plans for OPEI’s new headquarters building at 1605 King Street in Alexandria, Virginia. were finalized with the grand opening and ribbon cutting set for Monday, May 7 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The event is open to OPEI members, trade press, and guests who will tour the new facilities. Both OPEI’s Handheld Products and Engines and Fuels committees will be meeting that week in the new conference center. The next board meeting will be in conjunction with the OPEI annual meeting held June 16-18, 2018, in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Terex Utilities Team Members Assist At-Risk Youth in Texas
Terex Utilities team members from across the nation traveled to Houston, Texas for the company’s annual sales and service training meeting in January. While in Texas, 85 employees teamed up with the company’s San Antonio-based service center to get involved in two local community organizations that serve at-risk youth. For one of the projects, 16 bikes were purchased and assembled for Therapeutic Family Life (TFL), a foster-care agency. The other project involved packing 100 personal hygiene kits for Boysville Inc., a home for boys and girls who cannot remain in their own home due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or family disruption.

Almstead Receives 2017 Gold Leaf Award from NYSA
The New York State Arborists (NYSA) International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Chapter, Inc. presented the 2017 Harry J. Banker Gold Leaf Award to Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Co. and its founder Richard Almstead at the NYSA Annual Conference in Suffern, New York on January 29th, 2018. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and communities for either outstanding Arbor Day activities or for outstanding landscape beautification activities. During the last week of April, arborists from each Almstead branch participate in various events that are aimed at educating the public, especially young people, about the arboriculture industry and the importance of trees. Almstead donates hundreds of trees and man hours in local communities through information booths at festivals, school presentations, tree climbing stations for children at fairs, street tree pruning, public demonstrations, and more.

Davey Tree Expands Operations in Denver
The Davey Tree Expert Co., headquartered in Kent, Ohio, has expanded its residential and commercial operations in Denver, Colorado. A Denver resident since 2001, Vince Distrola has been named the district manager of Davey’s new South Denver office. He began his Davey career in 2002. An International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist and Tree Care Industry Association Certified treecare safety professional, Distrola graduated from the Davey Institute of Tree Sciences, the company’s flagship training program, in 2004. Most recently, he was assistant district manager of Davey’s West Denver office.

ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee Wins “Supplier of the Year”
ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee has received the prestigious Supplier of the Year Award from the Knoxville Branch of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Tennessee. Billy Vaughn, general manager of ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, accepted the award, giving his employees full credit. ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee was selected out of 22 companies by their peers to be 2017 Supplier of the Year. ALL Crane Rental of Tennessee became a member of the ALL Family of Companies in 1999. Every year, the AGC of Tennessee – Knoxville Branch presents its subcontractor, supplier and service provider of the year awards. Winners in each category are selected by the branch’s membership through ballot voting. Recipients will have demonstrated a clear commitment to quality, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction throughout the construction industry.

New President of Nebraska Arborists Association Takes Helm
Kevin Popken of Lawngevity Lawn and the Urban Tree of Fremont took over as president of the Nebraska Arborists Association on Jan. 24 at the association’s annual board meeting held in Omaha. Popken has served on the board for seven years, according to The Fremont Tribune. The Nebraska Arborists Association is an association of arborists from across the state of Nebraska involved in the education, conservation, promotion and care of trees.

Cambridge Arborist Named Tree Warden of the Year
David Lefcourt, city of Cambridge arborist, received the Massachusetts Tree Wardens’ and Foresters’ Association’s 17th annual Seth H. Swift Tree Warden of the Year award at the association’s 105th annual conference on Jan. 9. Lefcourt was recognized for his commitment and dedication to the protection of public trees, and for his work with his community to maintain and improve tree growth and health. Lefcourt has served the city of Cambridge as its city arborist/tree warden for more than 10 years. In that role he is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of over 19,000 city trees, planting 300-600 trees each year and maintaining a proactive six-year pruning cycle, pruning around 3,200 trees annually. He works closely with other city divisions and departments on tree-related issues, and educates residents and contractors about the importance of tree protection and tree care. As a result of his continuing efforts within the Forestry Division to improve existing programs and develop new ones, the city of Cambridge has received a Tree City USA Growth Award for 10 consecutive years.