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A RBORIST

I NDUSTRY
SAFE W ORK
PRACTICES
Third Edition

The Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices guide is a product of the


Arborist Safe Work Practices Committee* and has been developed through a partnership
arrangement amongst industry leaders including the following:

Through an agreement of the partners, the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (formerly the
Farm Safety Association) manages the copyright of the Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices.
The Arborist Safe Work Practices Committee would like to acknowledge the support and contribution of:

The following logos represent a number of active participants in the creation and/or support of the
Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices and we encourage other organizations to become involved.

* The Arborist Safe Workplace Practices Committee is comprised


of representatives from the industry
The Arborist Safe Work Practices

Third Edition, September 2011

Arborist Safe Work Practices

TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

Arborist Safe Work Practices Disclaimer ...........................................................................................................


Forward ..............................................................................................................................................................
Arborist Safe Work Practices Defined ...............................................................................................................
How to Use the ASWP's ....................................................................................................................................

4
5
8
9

Using the Arborist Safe Work Practices within a 5 Step Health and Safety Management System ...................

13

General Legislation ............................................................................................................................................

17

Work In A Safe Environment .............................................................................................................................


Protect Self and Others ....................................................................................................................................
Arborist Job Planning ........................................................................................................................................

21
23
25

Climbing Trees ...................................................................................................................................................


Work At Heights .................................................................................................................................................
Tree Felling ........................................................................................................................................................
Arborist Hand and Power Tools .........................................................................................................................
Fertilizing and Aerating Soils for Woody Plants .................................................................................................
Installation of Hardware in Woody Plants ..........................................................................................................
Transplanting Woody Plants ................................................................................................................................
Aerial Device Operation .....................................................................................................................................
Chain Saw Operation .........................................................................................................................................
Brush Chipper Operation ...................................................................................................................................
Stumper Operation .............................................................................................................................................
Clearing Saw Operation ....................................................................................................................................
Mobile Cranes to Remove Trees .......................................................................................................................

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49
55
61
65
70
73
75
78
81
84
87
90

Glossary of Terms ..............................................................................................................................................


Appendix A Sample Fall Protection Equipment Inspection ............................................................................
Appendix B Arborist Fall Protection Equipment ............................................................................................
Appendix C -- Ontario Green Wood Weight Chart .............................................................................................
Appendix D -- Friction Hitches and Termination Knots .......................................................................................
Bibliography ......................................................

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107
109
111
113
117

INTRODUCTION

GENERAL LEGISLATION
JOB PLANNING

WORK PRACTICES

GLOSSARY & APPENDIX

Third Edition, 2011

ARBORIST SAFE WORK PRACTICES


DISCLAIMER

The contents of the Arborist Safe Work Practices (ASWP), including all advice, recommendations, and
procedures are provided as a service by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (formerly known as the Farm
Safety Association of Ontario). No representation of any kind is made to any person whatsoever with regard to
accuracy, completeness or sufficiency of the material. Any and all use of these practices, or anything found herein,
is solely and entirely at the users risk.
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services wishes to express its appreciation to those who have assisted in the
preparation of the Arborist Safe Work Practices guide.
Copyright Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, 2011

Arborist Safe Work Practices

FOREWORD
The arborist safe work practices committee has evolved since its inception in 1999 to a well defined working
committee that looks after various safety related issues in the arborist industry. A mile stone was reached on
January 1, 2011 when the committee put in place a terms of reference to help with committee structure and to
ensure its future continuance.
Below you will find some excerpts from the terms of reference as well as the committee members as of the time
of this printing.
1.0 Purpose
The Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices (ASWP) committee is a volunteer committee for the arborist trade in
Ontario whose purpose is to assist government agencies, WSIB, and Safe Workplace Associations to improve the
health and safety of the arboricultural industry.
This purpose is satisfied by:
The management and control of the content of the Arborist Industry Safe Work Practices document
Providing a location for government agencies, WSIB, and Safe Workplace Associations to access
knowledge, skills and experience on health and safety related arboricultural matters
Providing a location for government agencies, WSIB, and Safe Workplace Associations to
communicate with the arboricultural industry on health and safety related issues
2.0 ASWP Committee
The guiding principle for Committee membership will be a commitment to improving health and safety of the
arboricultural workplace.
Membership on the Committee is open to anyone employed or employs workers directly within the arboriculture
sector.
Consideration for membership to the Committee will require an application to the Chair. The Chair will present the
credentials of the new member to the Committee for consideration. Committee members will vote on all applicants
to the Committee with a Majority Rule decision.
Committee make-up will attempt to have an equal representation of employers and employees. Committee
make-up will be limited to twelve (12) members, including the Chair and Co-Chair positions, and will include all
facets of the industry:

Commercial (4 members)

Municipal (4 members)

Utility (4 members)

Third Edition, 2011

FOREWORD

Name

Organization

Representation

Ruurd van de Ven

Arborvalley Urban Forestry Co Inc

Management

Mark Graves

Graves Oak Tree Care

Management

Kevin Davis

Lakeside Tree Service

Management

Mike Weller

Weller Tree Service

Labour

Jason Doyle (Steve Matsumoto)

City of Toronto

Management

Peter Wynnyczuk

Town of Richmond Hill

Management

Jeff McMann

Town of Markham

Management

Vacant

Labour

Mike Greer

Hydro one

Management

Terry Wharram

Davey Tree Experts

Management

Gord Hunter

Toronto Hydro

Management

Vacant

Commercial (4 Members)

Supporting Organizations

Municipal (4 Members)

Labour

Utility (4 Members)

Supporting Health & Safety Association(s)

Ontario Commercial Arborist Association

Workplace Safety and Prevention Service

John Ransom

Mike Hunter

Ruurd van de Ven (committee chair member)


ISA Ontario Chapter

MTCU - Arborist Industry Committee Chairs / Colleges


Dr Abate Wori Abate
Landscape Ontario

Sally Harvey
Ontario Parks Association
Paul Ronan
Private Training Agencies

John Ransom
Sir Sanford Fleming College
Joe Outram
Humber College

Mark Graves
Bruce Tree Care
Ian Bruce

Gardiner Tree
Bill Gardiner

Dean Anderson
Infrastructure Health & Safety Association

Public Services Health & Safety Association

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board


Ministry of Labour
Roy Ford

Arborist Safe Work Practices

FOREWORD
In an effort to further the safety of the worker in Ontario, this revised third edition of the ASWP has an added
work practice for the use of Crane in arborist work. It cannot be stressed enough that this is a living document, a
work in progress. Through further research and development, new techniques will appear in the industry, with
the use of this document we endeavor to set a guideline for safety in the workplace by which new techniques
can be judged for safe use in the workplace.
The following individuals were instrumental in editing this third edition of the ASWP:
Ruurd van de Ven

Arborvalley Urban Forestry Co Inc

Mike Greer

Hydro One

Joe Outram

Sir Sanford Fleming College

Steve Matsumoto

City of Toronto

Terry Wharram

Davey Tree

Bill Gardiner

Gardiner Tree

John Ransom

Arboriculture Canada

Jeff McMann

Town of Markham

Peter Wynnyczuk

Town of Richmond Hill

Shane Lund

Four Seasons Tree Care

Mark Graves

Humber College

Kevin Davis

Lakeside Tree Service

Suggestions for improvement or changes should be in writing, faxed or emailed to Workplace Safety & Prevention Services at 877-4949777 or customercare@wsps.ca

Third Edition, 2011

ARBORIST SAFE WORK PRACTICES DEFINED


SCOPE
The Arborist Safe Work Practices (ASWP) contain arboricultural safety requirements for planting, pruning,
repairing, maintaining and removing woody plants, cutting brush and for using equipment in such operations,
outside of the Construction or Industrial Legislated Limits of Approach to energized electrical apparatus.
For work within the Construction or Industrial legislated Limits of Approach the user should contact the
Electrical and Utility Safety Association.

PURPOSE

The work practices provide safety criteria for arborists and other workers involved in arboricultural work.
They are to act as a guide to Provincial, Municipal and other local authorities in drafting regulations and may be
adopted in whole or in part.

APPLICATION

The ASWP is intended to apply to all employees engaged in the business or trade of arboriculture including:
planting, pruning, repairing, maintaining, removing woody plants, or cutting brush. They are not intended for use
by nursery personnel, who are growing and planting trees for wholesale. The ASWP serves as a reference for
safety requirements for those engaged in the practice of arboriculture. The safe work practices may require
situational modifications in response to personnel emergencies and is not intended to limit the options available to
emergency responders.

DETAIL OF ASWP'S

The Arborist Safe Work Practices contains several pieces of information to be used to create a safe work
environment. The user should follow the document and all supporting information.
Each safe work practice document is broken into several sections:
 Potential Hazards
Hazards that may be encountered while performing the work.
 Legislation
Legislation that is applicable to the practice and the supporting Arborist Safe Work Practices document.
 Mandatory Information
Required information to be followed when performing the specific work practice.
 Work Practice
Practices that should be used as a guideline for performing the work.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

HOW

TO

USE

THE

ASWP

The development of the ASWP included a review of legislative requirements found under the OHSA,
Construction and Industrial Regulations. The Safe Work Practices do not supercede legislative requirements but
enhance what is found there. The ASWP do not supersede what is found in the manufacturers instructions.
Electrical hazards must be identified prior to performing any work and readers are directed to the Electrical Safety
Rule Book for further information.
In developing the ASWP each task was broken down to its most basic components and from those, a safe work
practice was developed. There are no procedures in the ASWP but a series of suggested practices to follow.
Any task may be performed utilizing one or more practices, but the basic safety steps will always be the same no
matter how the task is performed.
Within the ASWP, words that have been bolded and/or are in italics are defined in the Glossary of Terms.

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Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION


Third Edition, 2011

Using the Arborist Safe Work Practices


within the 5 Step Health & Safety
Management System

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12

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WITHIN

USING THE ABORIST SAFE WORK PRACTICES


THE 5 STEP HEALTH & SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Arborist Safe Work Practices (ASWP) are safe work guidelines, written by the industry, for the industry.
They are recognized and supported by the organizations identified on the acknowledgement pages of this guide.
ASWP do not, on their own, ensure that there will be safety on the job. To effectively implement the ASWP, there
has to be a systematic approach to managing these within a health and safety program. The 5 Steps to Managing
Health & Safety provides a management system approach. The graphic below depicts the Health & Safety
management model. A systematic approach is critical to a successful health and safety program.
The ASWP fall under the program element of Control Activities in the 5 Step model. Each safe work practice is
managed by using the 5 steps. Managements role is to establish the safe work practice as a guideline in the
company, communicate their expectations with respect to their use, ensure training on the practice is done and
evaluate by checking that the practice is actually followed. Based on the evaluation, recognition of success is
given and improvements made when needed. This is the continuous improvement loop.
The 5 Step model is incorporated in the WSIB Safe Workplace Awareness Program (SWAP) which has formed the
basis for the Safe Communities Incentive Program (SCIP) and Safety Groups. For purposes of the ASWP, this
Guide provides an introduction to the 5 Step model. For further information on the 5 Step model and the full
Safe Workplace Awareness Program, contact the WSIB at 1-800-663-6639.

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13

THE

FIVE STEPS TO MANAGING


HEALTH & SAFETY

1. SET STANDARDS

Setting standards means that management identifies their expectations and policies regarding health and
safety. A management decision to use ASWP, which have been created and supported by the industry, is an
example of setting standards for the company. Another example is setting company standards around doing
accident investigation or ensuring Health & Safety Representative training.

2. COMMUNICATE

Communicating standards and expectations means that the employer ensures all people in the workplace
understand the company rules, what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.
This can happen through formal training programs, notices, meetings etc. Communications also happens if
management is lax when standards are not met. This communicates that standards are not important.

3. TRAIN

Training means that the manager, supervisor, and workers all receive health and safety training relevant
to company standards. This can include training on use of equipment, including company standards
for that equipment or other information appropriate for their role and responsibility, such as the
Joint Health and Safety Committee. Job and workplace orientation is an example of training that everyone
should receive when they are first hired, change locations or after a long absence from the workplace.
Training in ASWP should be ongoing.

4. EVALUATE

Evaluation means that management reviews compliance to its own expectations.


Actual health and safety
activity and use of Arborist Safe Work Practices is compared against company expectations, to ensure they
are being met. Evaluation techniques include supervision, interview and observation. The standard itself
should be assessed to ensure that it still meets legal minimums and is valid and appropriate for the workplace.

5. ACKNOWLEDGE SUCCESS AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS

Acknowledge and congratulate those who follow or contribute to maintaining company standards.
Due diligence includes correcting and improving any weak areas in the health and safety program.

The 5 Steps for Managing Health & Safety are applied to each element
of a Health and Safety program.

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Arborist Safe Work Practices

GENERAL
LEGISLATION


Third Edition, 2011

General Legislation

15

16

GENERAL LEGISLATION

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION

The following sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) apply to the trade of arboriculture and
form the foundation for all of the Arborist Safe Work Practices. It should be noted that the applicable legislation
sets minimum standards for the trade. Specific legislation relating to a work practice will be indicated in each
individual work practice section.

LEGISLATION

Note: Not all sections of the OHSA and Regulations have been indicated here or in other Arborist Safe
Work Practices. It is the responsibility of individuals to know and understand applicable legislation and apply
them as required. The most current edition of the OHSA is accessible through e-laws.













OHSA 25 (1) (a) Duties of Employer: ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices
as prescribed are provided.
OHSA 25 (1) (b) Duties of Employer: ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices
provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.
OHSA 25 (1) (d) Duties of Employer: ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices
provided by the employer are used as prescribed.
OHSA 25 (2) (a) Duties of Employer: provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to
protect the health or safety of the worker.
OHSA 25 (2) (h) Reasonable Precautions: take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for
the protection of a worker.
OHSA 26 (1) (k) Additional Duties of Employers: where so prescribed provide a worker with written
instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of a worker.
OHSA 27 (1) (a) Duties of Supervisor: shall ensure that a worker works in a manner and with the
protective devices, measures and procedures required by this Act and the regulations
OHSA 27 (1) (b) Duties of Supervisor: shall ensure that a worker uses or wears the equipment,
protective devices or clothing that the workers employer requires to be used or worn.

OHSA 27 (2) (b) Duties of a Supervisor: shall where so prescribed, provide a worker with written
instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for the protection of the worker.
OHSA 27 (2) (c) Duties of Supervisor protection of worker.

OHSA 28 (1) (a) Duties of Worker: shall work in compliance with the provisions of this Act
and the regulations.

OHSA 28 (1) (b) Duties of Worker: shall use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing
that the worker's employer requires to be used or worn.

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18

Arborist Safe Work Practices

JOB PLANNING


Work in a Safe Environment

Arborist Job Planning

Third Edition, 2011

Protect Self and Others

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20

WORK

IN A

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the requirements for establishing and maintaining a safe work environment.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Chemical
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics

Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian
Vehicular

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Arborist Job Planning
Protect Self and Others
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Section Referenced

Construction

213/91

21

Industrial

851/90

79

MANDATORY INFORMATION



All hazards at the work site must be identified, mitigated and communicated to all workers prior
to starting work.

The work site must be continually monitored for changes to hazards and appropriate barriers put in place.
A first aid kit must be available and workers instructed on its use.

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WORK PRACTICES
STEP

ACTION

Identify work to be completed

Review Work Orders

Identify Climatic Condition hazards

Place appropriate barriers in place to the climatic


extremes such as cold, wind, lightning.
Eliminate or mitigate hazards such as:



Identify hazards






Public and vehicular traffic


Terrain conditions
Trip objects
Pinch points
Sharp edges
Slippery surfaces

Identify electrical hazards

Identify conductors.
Identify voltage levels.
Identify controlling authority.
Maintain limits of approach.

Identify hazardous material

Identify material such as:







Acids
Alkaline
Corrosive solvents
Flammable and explosive substances
Ensure appropriate labels and containers are used.
Clean up spilled material as prescribed in the
appropriate literature.

Communicate hazardous situations

Identify to all employees and the public, hazardous


equipment and work locations by placing appropriate
barriers to control/eliminate hazards.

Monitor work site for changes to hazards

Continually monitor the site for new hazards.


Ensure when new hazards are identified, barriers are
put into place immediately and all staff are notified of
the changes.

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Arborist Safe Work Practices

PROTECT SELF AND OTHERS


INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this section is to outline how a worker can protect themself and others at the work site.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics
Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian Traffic
Vehicular Traffic

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Arborist Job Planning
Work in a Safe Environment
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Section Referenced

Construction

213/91

21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 67, 69, 93, 112, 183

Industrial

851/90

42, 43, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84

MANDATORY INFORMATION













All applicable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be appropriately worn at all times.
PPE must be fitted properly.
PPE must not be modified or repaired except by the manufacturer or authorized by the manufacturer.
All tools and equipment must be inspected prior to use.
All guards and barriers must be used.
Head protection must meet the applicable CSA standard and be appropriate to the circumstance
i.e. Class E for electrical environments.
Hearing protection must meet the applicable CSA standard and be appropriate to the circumstance.
Eye protection must meet the applicable CSA standard (Z94.3-92) and be appropriate to the circumstance.
Foot protection must meet the applicable CSA standard (Z195-M92) and be appropriate to the circumstance.
Leg protection must meet the BNQ/CAN standard (1961.45).
Hand protection must be appropriate to the circumstance.
High visibility clothing must be worn in appropriate circumstances i.e. night work,
vehicular traffic situations.

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WORK PRACTICES
STEP

ACTION

Select, inspect, adjust, maintain and wear Personal


Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate to the
circumstance daily / before use

Inspect the following PPE components:


 Head protection
 Eye protection
 Hearing protection
 Hand protection
 High visibility clothing
 Chain saw leg protection
 Foot protection
 UV Protection

Inspect tools and equipment required for the work

Inspect tools for:


 Proper operation
 Sharpness
 Cracks, damage
 Loose connections and leaks
 Appropriate certification required
i.e. dialectical testing

Handle and carry equipment safely

Utilize guards and barriers as required.

Complete Job Planning

Complete and document Job Planning as per the


Arborist Job Planning Safe Work Practice.

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Arborist Safe Work Practices

ARBORIST JOB PLANNING


INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the requirements for appropriate job planning while performing
arboricultural work.

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Construction

213/91

Section Referenced
17, 26, 67

Protect Self and Others

MANDATORY INFORMATION




Job planning is a process of identifying hazards and placing appropriate barriers to the hazards.
Job planning is an on going process throughout the job and must be constantly monitored and
changed as needed.

Prior to the job starting a discussion must be conducted, referred to as a Tailboard Discussion,
that outlines all the hazards and required barriers at the work site.

All members of the crew must be included in the discussion.

Emergency Plans must be included with the job planning process.

All hazards must be eliminated or mitigated where possible.

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WORK PRACTICES
STEP

ACTION

Identify hazards at job site

Identify hazards such as:


 Utilities overhead and underground
 Mechanical
 Structural defects of tree
 Public pedestrians flow
 Vehicular traffic
 Terrain specifics
 Weather conditions
 Hazardous Biotic Conditions
 Bio-hazards
Identify barriers to hazards:
 Protective equipment / devices
 Work practice(s)
 Specialized training for the situation

Identify emergency procedures


9 1 1 or appropriate number

Complete Tailboard Discussion

Identify procedures to follow in case of emergency


such as:
 Emergency phone numbers
 Closest hospital
 Location of work site
 First Aid kit location
 Fire Extinguisher location
 Rescue equipment location

Ensure all crew members are present and participate.


Ensure all assigned tasks are communicated to crew
members and understanding is reached.
Crew members introduced after the original Tailboard
is completed must be included on the Tailboard and
be introduced to the hazards and barriers in place.

Monitor the work site for changes to


original job planning

26

Assess work site for changes to hazards throughout


duration of the work.Changes to hazards require the
crew to stop and re-evaluate conditions and barriers.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICES


Climbing Trees

Tree Felling




Work at Heights
Arborist Hand

&

Power Tools

Fertilizing

Arborist Transplanting Woody Plants








Third Edition, 2011

&

Aerating Soils for Woody Plants

Installation of Hardware in Woody Plants


Aerial Device Operation
Chainsaw Operation

Brush Chipper Operation


Stumper Operation
Clearing Saw Use

Mobile Cranes to Remove Trees

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CLIMBING TREES

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
This section outlines the safe work practice for climbing trees.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Chemical
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics

Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian
Vehicular

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Construction

213/91

Section Referenced
26

MANDATORY INFORMATION

The following are the general mandatory requirements for all arborists ascending trees. In addition to these
requirements, the work practice contains specific requirements that must also be followed.









The use of an aerial device, where practical, should be considered first before attempting to physically
ascend the tree.
Those engaged in tree climbing must be adequately trained, or in the process of being trained to; plan jobs,
perform pre-climb inspections, inspect fall protection equipment, perform ascending methods, use work
positioning techniques, descend from tree and emergency response.
Arborists engaged in climbing trees must be accompanied by at least one ground assistant.

At least one ground assistant at any given work site, where tree climbing is being performed, should be
trained in climbing and emergency response.
Prior to climbing, all trees must be inspected to ensure that they have the structural integrity to
sustain the weight of the Arborist and all potential loads i.e. rigging or removing limbs.
The arborist requires knowledge of tree structure, potential defects and species specific
characteristics in order to safely assess the structural integrity of the tree and its components.
All climbing equipment must be inspected prior to use or if damage is suspected.
See Appendix A for inspection techniques and requirements of equipment.

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29

MANDATORY INFORMATION (CONT)










All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn while climbing trees and working at heights.
All climbing equipment must meet the standard as set out in Appendix B.
Friction hitches used to secure the climber aloft must be from Appendix D.

In its final anchor point the rope or friction saver must be positioned around the main stem of the tree.
All captive eye snaps and carabiners used as part of a fall protection system must have a
minimum of a double action, pull down and twist, auto locking mechanism.
A second attachment (i.e. work positioning lanyard or double tie in technique) is to be used in addition
to the climbing line, upon reaching each work position, and for the duration of work at that location.

A figure8 knot should be at the end of the climbing line.

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







Equipment used to secure an arborist in the tree or from the bucket shall not be used for
anything other than its intended purpose.
EXCEPTION: The arborist climbing line may be used to raise and lower tools.
Ropes and climbing equipment shall be stored and transported in such a manner as to prevent
damage through contact with sharp tools, cutting edges, gas, oil, chemicals or ultraviolet light.

Arborists shall inspect ropes, lanyards, 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 climbing lines shall never be left in trees unattended.

When working aloft by climbing the tree, you must be tied in twice whenever you are using sharp tools e.g.
handsaw, chainsaw, or pole pruner.
Conduct and document an annual review and practice of emergency procedures.

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Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICE
1.0

JOB PLAN

A thorough job plan must be completed prior to ascending a tree .The following is a guideline of topics that should
be discussed in the planning process. All crew members must be party to the job planning process, and job plans
must be documented in writing Refer to Job Planning Section

STEP

ACTION

Determine ascent route and work required within


the crown of the tree.

Ascent route must consider hazards such as,


electrical, structural integrity of the tree, insect
or animals.

Determine locations for interim anchor points

Visually assess potential anchor points to ensure


that they are strong enough to withstand the forces
that will act on them. Look carefully for any
structurally limiting defects that could lead to failure
of the anchor point.

Determine location of final anchor point

The final anchor point location that will provide the


best support and freedom of movement for the
climber is generally the highest, most centrally
located point within the tree. Visually assess the
structural integrity of this potential anchor point.

Ensure safety systems are in place

Ensure a second person is available to initiate an


emergency response.Ensure that emergency contact
information is recorded on the job plan
(emergency phone #s, directions to the work site)

Inspect immediate work site on ground

Identify hazards related to :


 Traffic conditions (pedestrian and vehicular)


Determine appropriate barriers for the


hazards identified

Third Edition, 2011

Ground around tree i.e. sloping or uneven terrain;


general topography, buildings, sidewalks, fences,
individual obstacles and other structures
Environmental conditions such as: weather,
temperature, light, visibility, animals (wild and
domestic) and biotic conditions (poison ivy)

Set up appropriate barriers for each hazard

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WORK PRACTICE
2.0

INSPECT TREE

As part of the job planning process a thorough assessment of the structural integrity of the tree must be performed.
The process allows a climber to determine whether the tree is safe to climb. This includes determining structural
strength of the anchor locations.
In arboriculture, diagnosing the structural strength of a tree is an inexact science. The arborist relies on
knowledge and experience gained through formal training programs and related field experience to make
a determination of the structural integrity of the tree.
Tree Inspection

STEP

ACTION

Determine work to be performed

During the inspection process, consideration must be


given to the type of work to be performed i.e. heavy
loading of branches or the stem of the tree.

Inspect root structure

Visually inspect root system for visible decay or


indication of decay such as fungal fruiting bodies,
grade changes, extensive excavation, circumferential
soil cracking, protruding root plate, etc. Further
assessment of the root system may be necessary.
Consider the history of the site to determine if there
have been activities that could weaken the holding
capacity of the root system i.e. compacted soil
creating rotting of roots

Inspect stem structure

Visually inspect stem for: signs or symptoms of wood


decay such as: fungal fruiting structures, conks,
cankers, open wounds, abnormally loose bark,
irregularities in trunk taper or normal round profile,
localized ridges or seams, abrupt changes in normal
linear configuration of trunk; whether the tree is alive
or dead. Further assessment of the stem may be
necessary. This may involve techniques such as
trunk sounding or the use of special tools and
devices. However, all of these methods require
special training and may be beyond the scope of an
entry level arborist

Inspect branches and crown of tree

Visually inspect the crown of the tree for deadwood,


dieback, stunted growth, hanging or broken limbs,
weak unions, splits, cracks or missing sections

Visually assess proposed interim anchor points

Assess anchor points for appropriate diameter,


strength, and angle of attachment.Consider species
of tree, current weather conditions, health of
branch/stem and branching habit of tree. Anchor
points must be able to withstand the anticipated load
applied to them.

During the Tree Inspection, discovery of structural defects or potential hazards will require careful reconsideration of
the methods originally selected for use. It may be necessary to select an alternative method for accessing the tree.

32

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Anchor Strength Assessment


Many factors determine tree branch breaking strength. Listed below are descriptions of the most
common conditions that could produce a limb failure.



Magnitude of load (dynmaic vs. static) applied

Type of loading (distance away from limb attachment to main stem)

Other loads on the limb (foliage, snow, torque caused by limb length, weight distribution, etc.)

Tree species

Cross sectional area of solid wood (diameter of limb)

Condition of wood (sound, decayed, hollow)

Branch attachment relative to parent stem (angle, V or U shape)

Season and temperature (winter versus summer)

Stage of tree maturity

Movement or rubbing between limbs

Assess the above conditions prior to using a limb as an anchor point. Some of the listed conditions can be
scientifically proven without severing the limb from the tree. However, in most cases, combined knowledge and
experience will prepare the arborist to determine whether the limb is safe to use as an anchor point. In the
absence of adequate knowledge and/or experience, the arborist should request assistance from a more qualified
person with respect to this decision.
In order to minimize the effect of leverage on the limb being used as an anchor, the arborists rope must be kept
against the main stem of the tree while climbing. To facilitate this, limbs used as temporary anchor points must be
horizontal or growing upwards.

3.0

INSPECT FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

All fall protection equipment must be inspected prior to ascending a tree. (refer to Appendix A).

STEP

Inspect fall protection equipment

ACTION








Third Edition, 2011

See Appendix A Sample Fall Protection


Equipment Inspection
Inspect climbing equipment for defects and
function before each use.
Refer to manufacturers data sheets for
proper inspection.
Fall protection equipment that arrests a fall
must be immediately removed from service.
Fall Protection Carabiners with more than
1mm wear should be removed from service.

Arborist climbing line shall be used exclusively for


climbing, except when raising or lowering hand tools.

33

4.0

PLACE ARBORIST CLIMBING ROPE

IN

TREE

There are several methods used to place the climbing rope into the appropriate anchor point.
From the ground, the worker may utilize a throw ball or bag, throwing knot or noose knot. Sling shot devices
are being used increasingly to assist in getting a throw bag high into a tree.
Once within the tree, the worker may use a rope poking tool, pole pruner or throwing knot to advance the
rope up the tree.

5.0

ASCENDING TECHNIQUES

The ASWP committee suggests five methods of ascending trees, the committee recognizes that there are others
and could not list all methods. However the essentials of a fall protection system must be met regardless of what
system is used. The five techniques for ascending a tree are; Belay Technique, Secured Foot Locking, Secured
Body Thrust, Spurs and Ladders. Each technique requires a thorough inspection of the tree, the site and the
equipment and adequate training in climbing techniques and rescue methods.

5.1

BELAY TECHNIQUE

The Belay Technique used by arborists is adopted from recreational rock climbing. The technique utilizes a worker
on the ground to assist the arborist ascending the tree by securing the arborist to an anchor point on the ground,
using either a mechanical fall arrestor such as a Grigri or a friction hitch, through their climbing rope. As the
arborist ascends, the ground worker removes the slack in the rope. If the arborist slips, the mechanical device or
friction hitch attached to the anchor point prevents a fall. The anchor must be sufficient to support the forces
generated by a worker in a fall
Ascent

STEP

ACTION

Place climbing rope in tree at


interim anchor location or if
possible final anchor location
Attach climbing rope to arborist
Secure the arborist to the
belaying anchor point
Test belay to ensure it is secure

Begin ascent

34

Use a termination knot from Appendix D or


a captive eye safety snap or carabiner
Use a mechanical arrestor, or a friction
hitch from Appendix D
Place weight into the system. If the
climbing rope slips through mechanical
arrestor or friction hitch, the system is not
safe to use. Either retie the knot or
remove/inspect/re-install the mechanical
arrestor. Re-check the system

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Interim Anchor Point Repositioning Climbing Rope

Once the arborist has climbed to an interim anchor point, the following Action applies for continuing ascent.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using a work positioning lanyard

Place work positioning lanyard around the main stem


of the tree or a suitably strong limb and connect to
side D rings of arborist belt

Ensure that the work positioning lanyard is secure

Check snaps, place weight into lanyard

Communicate to Belayer

Receive and confirm e.g. on/off belay

Reposition climbing rope to next interim anchor point


Secure climbing rope to fall protection saddle

Test belay is secure

Secure rope using a termination knot or connector


to saddle of fall protection harness
Slowly places weight into system belayer must
ensure that the arborist is secured, there must be
no movement of the rope through the mechanical
fall arrestor or a friction hitch belayer communicates
that arborist is secured

Release work positioning lanyard


Continue ascent
Repeat interim anchor point process until reaching
the final anchor point

Third Edition, 2011

35

Final Anchor Point

The final anchor point is where the arborist will secure their climbing rope allowing the arborist mobility to work.
The final anchor point is best situated as high in the tree as possible to allow mobility of the worker, similar to a
pendulum. The final anchor point must meet the requirements of all anchor locations.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using a work positioning lanyard

Place a work positioning lanyard around the main stem


and over a sufficiently strong limb to secure to tree

Test lanyard is secured

Place weight into lanyard to ensure it does not move

Communicate to Belayer

Receive and confirm e.g.remove belay

Adjust climbing rope to meet work requirements

Place rope or friction saver around the main stem

Tie approved friction hitch from list in Appendix D

Gradually place weight into friction hitch to ensure it


does not move

Test friction hitch

Release work positioning lanyard

36

Arborist Safe Work Practices

SECURED FOOTLOCKING TECHNIQUE

5.2

The secured footlocking technique replaces the need for a Belay person by securing him/herself to the climbing
rope using an appropriate approved friction hitch from Appendix D. This system is for ascent only; in an emergency
descent use an appropriate fall protection device or system.
While using this technique the following precautions must
be adhered to:
 tie dress and set knot,





hands below the knot at all times,


for ascent only,
avoid debris in knot,
spread in rope 5:1; the knot must remain 5 times the
diameter of the limb below the limb, i.e. for a limb
that is 20 cm in diameter the knot must stay 100 cm
below the limb to ensure the friction hitch does not
slip.

Ascent

STEP

Place climbing rope in tree at first interim anchor


point or final anchor point if possible

ACTION

Secure approved friction hitch from list in


Appendix D around both legs of the climbing rope
Secure friction hitch to arborist using a
connecting device such as a carabiner
Push friction hitch up the rope to highest reach
Test friction hitch

Place weight into hitch


Slippage of friction hitch requires retying of hitch
and retesting

Draw legs up and wrap rope around one foot


Straighten legs and stand up
Slide friction hitch up rope
Grasp rope below friction hitch to support weight
Draw legs up and wrap rope around one foot
Straighten legs and stand up
Continue process until reaching interim
anchor point or final anchor point
Third Edition, 2011

37

Interim Anchor Point Repositioning Climbing Rope

Once the arborist has climbed to an interim anchor point, the following Action applies for continuing ascent.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using work positioning lanyard

Place work positioning lanyard around the main stem


of the tree or a suitably strong limb

Ensure that lanyard is secure

Check snaps, place weight into lanyard

Remove friction hitch


Reposition climbing rope to next interim anchor point
Secure climbing rope to arborist
Tie and test friction hitch

Release work positioning lanyard


Continue ascent
Repeat interim anchor point process as required

38

Slowly place weight into systemSlippage of friction


hitch requires redressing of hitch and retesting

Arborist Safe Work Practices


Final Anchor Point

The final anchor point is where the arborist will secure their climbing rope allowing the arborist mobility to work.
The final anchor point is best situated as high in the tree as possible to allow mobility of the worker, similar to a
pendulum. The final anchor point must meet the requirements of all anchor locations.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using a work positioning lanyard

Place work positioning lanyard around the main


stem of the tree or a suitably strong limb

Ensure that lanyard is secured

Check snaps, place weight into lanyard

Remove friction hitch from climbing rope


Secure climbing rope around main stem of tree
and over a suitably strong limb
Secure rope to arborist using carabiner, termination
knot or captive eye snap
Tie friction hitch from approved list of friction hitches
in Appendix D
Adjust climbing rope to meet work requirements.

Test friction hitch

Slowly place weight into system


Slippage of friction hitch requires redressing of hitch
and retesting

Release work positioning lanyard

Third Edition, 2011

39

5.3

SECURED BODY THRUST TECHNIQUE

The secured body thrust technique is sometimes called a self-belay technique. The following Action applies for
continuing ascent.
Ascent

STEP

ACTION

Place climbing rope


in tree at the first
interim anchor location
or final anchor location
if available

Secure rope to arborist

Use a termination knot,


carabiner, captive eye snap

Secure arborist using a


friction hitch from the list
of approved friction
hitches in Appendix D

Tie and test friction hitch

Slowly place weight into system


Slippage of friction hitch requires
redressing of hitch and retesting

Pull down on the running


end of climbing rope,
which pulls arborist up
tree

Repeat action until


reaching the interim
anchor point

40

Slide friction hitch up rope

Arborist Safe Work Practices


Interim Anchor Point Repositioning Climbing Rope

Once the arborist has climbed to the interim anchor point, the following Action applies for continuing ascent.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using a work positioning lanyard

Secure work positioning lanyard around the main stem


of the tree or a suitably strong limb

Ensure work positioning lanyard is secure

Check snaps and place weight into it

Remove friction hitch

Reposition climbing rope to next interim anchor point


Secure climbing rope to arborist

Test and or tie friction hitch from list of approved


hitches in Appendix D




Slowly place weight into system


Re test split tail friction hitch
Tie and test friction hitch in conventional system

Release work positioning lanyard


Continue ascent

Repeat interim anchor point process as required

Final Anchor Point

The final anchor point is where the arborist will secure their climbing rope allowing the arborist mobility to work.
The final anchor point is best situated as high in the tree as possible to allow better mobility of the worker. The
final anchor point must meet the requirements of all anchor locations.

STEP

ACTION

Secure to tree using a work positioning lanyard


Ensure that lanyard is secured

Check snaps and place weight into it

Remove friction hitch


Adjust climbing rope to meet work requirements
Secure climbing rope around main stem of tree and
over a suitably strong limb

Secure rope to arborist using carabiner, termination


knot or captive eye snap
Tie friction hitch from list of approved hitches in
Appendix D
Test friction hitch.

Slowly place weight into system.


Slippage of friction hitch requires redressing of hitch
and retesting

Release work positioning lanyard


Third Edition, 2011

41

5.4

ASCEND

WITH SPUR

Ascend Trees With Spurs

STEP

ACTION

Inspect spurs

Inspect spurs for sharpness, cracks and wear.


Ensure gaff lengths are of sufficient length to
penetrate the bark of the tree.
Fit spurs appropiately.

Secure fall restricting system

A fall restricting system must be used during tree


ascent

Ascend tree

Take small steps while ascending.


Keep knees outward and back straight to prevent
spurs from kicking out.
Ensure spur is set into the wood of the tree before
moving the next foot.
Maintain a grip on the tree while ascending.

42

Arborist Safe Work Practices

5.5

ASCENT

WITH LADDER

Ascend Trees Using a Ladder

STEP

ACTION

Inspect ladder

Inspect for:

Cracks
Loose or missing rungs
Broken supports
Rotten sections
Missing parts
Broken welds

Note: Do not paint wooden ladders. Paint can hide


deformations and hazards.
Ensure the appropriate class of ladder is used for the
circumstance.
Position ladder to work

Ensure ladder is positioned to a 4:1 ratio of vertical


height to base distance
Ensure that the feet of the ladder are securely set on
the ground
Ensure that the ladder top is placed squarely on the
tree or limb

Ascend ladder

Utilize work-positioning lanyards as required


Ensure a ground person is available to hold the
ladder during ascent and to warn people away from
the base of the ladder.

Secure using work positioning lanyard

While working from a ladder a Fall Restricting System


must be used
If climbing further, the climbing line can be placed
intoa suitable branch union from the top of the ladder

Third Edition, 2011

43

6.0

WORK POSITIONING TECHNIQUE

During the process of completing all work required in a tree, it is necessary for the arborist to move in the crown
in order to access different work positions. However, the final anchor location may also be the first work position;
in this case, the arborist must utilize a second point of attachment such as a work positioning lanyard.

Work Positioning Techniques

STEP

ACTION

Move to work position

Maintain a 3 point contact with


tree to stabilize
Ensure that the climbing rope
is tight at all times
Monitor the friction hitch
throughout the climbing Action
to ensure the friction hitch
does not loosen off
Inspect limb to be cut for defects

Use of work positioning lanyard

Secure to tree using a


second point of
attachment such as a
work positioning lanyard
or using the climbing
rope secured to a
second anchor point
i.e. double tie in

Perform work
Release secondary
attachment device
to move to next
work position

Double tie in technique

44

A second point of attachment


must be used at all times except
in circumstances where the
hazards of using it are greater
than not.
Every effort must be used to
eliminate these hazards, so the
worker can use a second point
of attachment.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

7.0

TREE DESCENT TECHNIQUE

Once all work is completed aloft, the arborist will ensure that all tools and hangers are removed from the tree.
The arborist then descends from the tree; the following Action applies for continuing descent

STEP

ACTION

Position rope for descent

Position rope vertical to the descent route

Ensure friction hitch is dressed and set


Control descent speed by pulling the friction hitch
down the rope

Third Edition, 2011

Descend in a slow and controlled fashion

45

8.0

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

The following should be used as a guideline for developing your own in-house rescue procedures. It is not intended
to be used as a step by step procedure as each emergency situation will differ depending on the circumstances

STEP

ACTION

Assess the Emergency

Observation of the scene








Electrical Conductors/Contact
(If theres contact DO NOT proceed
before calling the proper authorities)
struck by limbs, tree sections, lightning
is victim pinned
medical conditions (bug/animal bites,
heat exhaustion, diabetes, etc)

Try to communicate with the victim





Verbally
Shaking of injured persons climbing line

Assessing the Victims condition







is victim able to descend by him/her self


is victim unconscious
is victim unresponsive
is victim bleeding profusely

Determine need for EMS


Determine feasibility/appropriateness of aerial rescue


Electrical Conductors/Contact
(If theres contact DO NOT proceed
before calling the proper authorities)
Rigging Systems Hazards



Tangled ropes
Half cut limbs

Ground Hazards



Chainsaws
Brush Piles

Tree Hazard/Inspection Check






Root Zone
Canopy
Trunk

Weather conditions
Rescuers competency in performing aerial rescue



First Aid training


Climbing ability

Availability of appropriate equipment and personnel

46

Arborist Safe Work Practices


Emergency Response cont

STEP
Initiate EMS response

ACTION
Call EMS





911
Rural fire and Rescue
High Angle Rescue Team (If Possible)
Use of a 3rd party to call and direct
EMS to accident Site

Convey Site Location






Aerial Rescue

Municipal address
Rural fire number
Job Site (i.e. Backyard, Bush, etc.)

Try to communicate with the victim





Verbally
Shaking of injured persons climbing line

Select ascension technique







Ladder
Spurs
Aerial device
Climbing systems

Ascend tree
Move to victims location
Assess victims condition





ABCs
Potential neck or back injury
Initiate first aid within scope of training
Continue to communicate with victim

Determine course of action






Third Edition, 2011

Perform rescue
Monitor victim
Wait for EMS

47

Emergency Responds cont

STEP

ACTION

Commence with Aerial Rescue of the victim


(if victim is unconscious, or not breathing, or in
Cardiac Arrest, and has no suspected neck or
back injuries)

Inspect victims fall protection system







Cuts
Damage
Entanglement
Length of climbing rope

Position yourself beside or straddle the victim


Secure the victim by connecting the victims
rated saddle components to the rescuers
rated saddle components using a carabiner.
Preferably secure the victims torso upright to
your body by using your work positioning lanyard,
placing your work positioning lanyard under
the arm of the victim and over their opposite
shoulder and connect to a rated saddle component.


If the victim can not be secured in a


fully upright position monitor their head
as you descend to ensure no further injury.

Descend with the victim in a controlled and


safe manner, monitoring the condition of the victim.
Disconnect yourself and the victim
Perform First Aid

48

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORKING AT HEIGHTS
INTRODUCTION

This section outlines the requirements for an arborist working at heights.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Chemical
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics

Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian
Vehicular

LEGISLATION / SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Climb Trees
Chainsaw Operation
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Section Referenced

Industrial

851/90

45, 51

Construction

213/91

172, 173, 174, 179

MANDATORY INFORMATION






All trees must be inspected for hazards prior to climbing or working at heights.
All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn while working at heights.
When one or more climbers are working at heights at least one Ground Assistant must be present.

At least one Ground Assistant at any given work site must know the emergency response procedures.
Those engaged in working at heights must be trained in proper knot tying, use of appropriate
fall protection techniques, conducting pre-climb inspection, aerial rescue techniques, appropriate
descent and ascent methods and appropriate rigging techniques.
All rigging and cutting equipment must be inspected, as per manufacturers recommendations,
prior to daily use.

Third Edition, 2011

49

MANDATORY INFORMATION










CONT

Ensure that chain saws and other gasoline-powered tools are fueled, sharp and running properly
prior to sending aloft.
Synthetic slings must have a load limitation label attached.
All ropes, slings, blocks, connecting links and any other equipment used in rigging tree limbs must
not be subjected to forces greater than the manufacturers recommended safe working loads.
A minimum safety factor of 5:1 must be incorporated into a rigging system.

All Ground Assistants involved in a rigging procedure must receive prior training and instruction
appropriate for the given situation.
While working at heights climbers should be tied in twice to ensure a secure work position.

Precautions must be taken to eliminate the hazard of a potential reverse barber chair

All pruning tools and equipment not in use must be securely attached to a limb of sufficient strength
to hold it and to keep it from coming in contact with any conductor.

Corner cuts, two cuts on either side of notch, should be used to ensure that the bark does not
strip down a limb.

When working aloft by climbing the tree, you must be tied in twice whenever you are using sharp tools e.g.
handsaw, chainsaw, or pole pruner

50

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICES
Inspect work site

STEP

Evaluate work site hazards

ACTION

Identify hazards such as:











Inspect rigging equipment

Traffic conditions (pedestrian and vehicular)


Soils and topography
Buildings, sidewalks, fences etc.
Weather conditions

Hazardous Biotic Conditions


Tree condition
Determine access to tree

Inspect ropes, blocks, slings, friction devices,


cutting tools (chain saws, hand saws etc) for:



Determine landing zone

Overhead wires

Defects and function


Refer to manufacturers data sheets for proper
inspection

Ensure that ground assistants are aware of area.


Ensure appropriate measures are taken to protect
against people and vehicles that may come into the
area.

Ascend tree

STEP

ACTION

Climb tree

Refer to Climbing Trees Work Practice.

Inspect limbs that will be removed

Check limbs for potential hazards such as:









Third Edition, 2011

Decay
Bird holes
Cracks
Imbedded objects
Cankers
Structural integrity

51

Establish rigging points

STEP

ACTION

Choose limbs or branch unions to run lines


over/through or attach rigging blocks

Points for rigging must be in suitable locations


that are of sufficient size and strength to carry
loads applied.
Rigging locations must be wide enough to allow
free movement of rigging lines.

Install lines, slings and or rigging blocks

Ensure rope size, strength, material and construction


are appropriate for rigging line application.
Ensure that anchor points are of sufficient size and
strength, incorporating an applicable safety factor.
Ensure ropes are compatible with other rigging
devices such as friction devices, blocks or pulleys.
Ensure rigging lines are attached using suitable
knots and are at appropriate locations on the limb
to be removed.

Climber secures to a safe work position

Climber should move to a safe position


prior to cutting.

A safe work position should be such that injury


will not result due to an inadvertent limb or tree
section moving.
Climber must have adequate balance and
stability during cutting operation.
Ensure all ropes are not in close proximity
of proposed cutting location.

A second work-positioning lanyard should be


used to ensure a safer work position.
Prepare to start limb removal.

52

Ensure that climber and ground assistants are


prepared and in agreement as to timing and
co-ordination of instructions.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Performing Chain Saw Cuts Aloft

STEP

ACTION

Start chain saw aloft

Apply chain brake.


Place body of saw into branch union of tree if
available.
Ensure saw bar is clear of vegetation.
Secure footing to prevent slips.
Maintain an upright and balanced position.
Grasp handle securely.
Push saw down and away from the body.

Operate chain saw

Complete required cuts.


Shut saw off.
Apply chain brake.
Re-attach chain saw to lanyard or a rope
dedicated to support the chain saw.

Two tie in methods should be used during


chain saw use.
Cutting Limbs

STEP

ACTION

Utilize appropriate cutting technique


From: ISA Tree Climbers Guide

Appropriate cuts will be dependant on the desired


direction that the limb is to move i.e. under cut if
raising, two cuts to ensure bark does not peel.

Control descent of limb

Ensure that there is adequate communication


between Ground Assistant and Climber.

Climber shall direct the Ground Assistants


actions when rigging trees.

Ensure if directing limbs manually that they


can be controlled easily.

Third Edition, 2011

53

Sectionalizing Trees

STEP

Position rope to achieve safe mechanical advantage


Install split prevention system - if required

ACTION
Install pull rope.
Ensure split prevention system is above the
Fall Protection System.

Note: Reverse Barber Chairing can occur


where trees are excessively leaning, straight
grained trees or have excessive mechanical
loading due to pulling forces.
Set notch

Refer to Tree Felling Safe Work Practice.

Communicate Back Cut is to be performed

Refer to Tree Felling Safe Work Practice.


Place tension on pull rope.

Begin Back Cut

Monitor cut to ensure holding wood is not cut off


completely.
Monitor movement of the tree top.

Pull on pull rope

Apply constant tension on rope to tip over tree top.

54

TREE FELLING

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
This section outlines the practice of felling, bucking and limbing trees during tree removal operations.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Chemical
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics

Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian
Vehicular

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Chainsaw Operation
Legislation

Construction
Industrial

RRO/RSO
213/91
851/90

Section Referenced
43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 67, 68, 69, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 93,
94, 95, 96, 112, 113, 183, 186
22, 23, 39, 42, 43, 45, 60, 73, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 103, 139

Temporary Conditions Field Edition Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7

MANDATORY INFORMATION













All trees must be inspected for hazards prior to cutting.


All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn.
Escape routes must be cleared before felling operations.
All workers must be notified that the "Back Cut" is being performed.
Workers must stay outside of the Hazard Area and at least 3 metres (10 feet) away from the
saw operator when operating a chain saw.
Do not fell trees onto lodged trees.
Do not climb lodged trees.
Do not work directly underneath or within striking distance of a lodged tree unless the work
can be done safely.
Do not turn your back to a falling tree.
Workers must be aware of all dangers.
Saw operator must ensure there are no obstacles or hazards within the Hazard zone.
Notches should be used for all trees greater than 13 centimeters (5 inches) diameter at breast height (DBH).

Third Edition, 2011

55

WORK PRACTICES
Site Inspection

STEP

Inspect tree for hazards

ACTION
Inspect tree for:






Identify hazards within the Hazard Area

Hazard Area is the intended falling path of the tree













56

Insect damage
Foreign bodies in tree, staples, wires etc.
Structural deficiencies, decay, cavities,
cracks, splits etc.
Broken tops and dead limbs

Terrain
Dead trees
Overhead utilities
Pedestrian and vehicular traffic
Workers
Climatic conditions / wind, snow loading etc.
Ground conditions / slope
Trip hazards

Barriers include:


Determine Escape Route

Lean

Inspect for:

Set control measures

Rot

Maintaining appropriate Limits of Approach


Utilize traffic and pedestrian control measures
Removing dead trees
Lowering stumps

Clear escape route 45 degrees away from


the intended felling path.

Arborist Safe Work Practices


Site Inspection

STEP

ACTION

Inspect tools and equipment to be used

Ensure tools and equipment are free of defects


and readily available.
Ensure tools are sharp.

Set rigging equipment if required


Note:
All trees must have a guide rope installed if
they could fall in a direction other than intended
which may cause damage.

Set Notch

Refer to the Climb Tree Working at Heights Safe


Work Practice.
Place rope(s) at least 2/3 the distance up the tree.
Rope(s) must be strong enough and long
enough to keep all workers and equipment out of the
Hazard Area during felling operations.

STEP

ACTION

Determine notch to use

Ensure an appropriate notch is used.


Consider:







Secure tree to prevent Barber Chairing

Wind
Potential targets
Condition of tree i.e. decay, splits, cracks,
foreign objects
Size of tree
Length of chain saw bar

Consider options to prevent Barber Chairing such as:






Set notch

Lean of the tree

Chain trees
Use of a Plunge Cut
Use of alternative notch styles

Set notch in accordance with notch used.


Ensure notch direction is in the correct location.
Inspect notch for rot or decay.

Third Edition, 2011

57

Perform Back Cut

STEP

ACTION

Determine location of back cut

Communicate intent toback cut

Back Cut location should be in accordance with


the notch used.
Communicate to workers that the back cut is
going to be performed.

Note: Ensure all workers understand that


the back cut is occurring.

Ensure all workers are clear of the Hazard Area.

Perform back cut

Monitor the tree for unusual sounds or movements.


Ensure that the holding wood is not cut off.
A spotter may be necessary to ensure
that the holding wood is not cut off.

The spotter must stay out of the Hazard Area


and at least 3 metres (10 feet) away.

Note: If tree begins to fall in a direction other


than intended, the saw operator must leave
the area by the Escape Route.

If the saw becomes bound in a cut, the number one


priority is the safety of the saw operator.
Leave all equipment behind.
Monitor the tree as it falls

Never turn your back to a falling tree.


Watch for dead limbs and other objects falling
from trees.
Monitor the tree as it strikes the ground as the
butt portion may move towards the saw operator.
Ensure that the tree has completely settled and
adjacent trees are secure before moving in to
remove rigging or starting bucking operations.

58

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Limb Trees

STEP

ACTION

Clear spring poles

Spring poles have explosive forces and should


be removed carefully.

Spring poles are small trees bent over from


pressure of the felled tree

Make several small cuts on the tension side


to release the forces. This should be done slowly.

Determine pressure points

Limbs bent over objects or angled severely will


have explosive pressure associated with them.

Begin cut

Cut limbs slowly to relieve tension.


Monitor saw kerf for tension relief.
Ensure body part(s) are out of the strike zone of the
tree

Lodged Tree
The following are four examples for removing lodged trees.

STEP

ACTION

Cut tree from stump

Sever lodged tree from stump.Tree may roll free at this


time.

Roll tree off support tree

Attempt to roll lodged tree off from support tree using


either a cant hook or pull rope.

Utilize mechanical means to pull tree from lodged tree


i.e. truck, crane

Mechanical means may be used when manual


methods have failed.

Block lodged tree into small pieces

Cut small blocks from the base of the lodged tree.

Third Edition, 2011

Note: Lodged tree may slip and move uncontrollably.


Caution must be exercised to ensure that the worker
does not stand in the fall direction of the tree.

59

Bucking up Felled Trees

STEP

ACTION

Determine length required

Smaller blocks of wood are lighter and easier to


manipulate.

Determine pressure points

Trees bent over or weight applied to one end will


create pressure on the log.
Tree logs may bind the saw when pressure is
released.
Cut log from the stressed section.

Note: Logs under pressure can break suddenly and


explosively. Cut log slowly to relieve the pressure.

Begin cutting

Logs may require two cuts, one from the top and then
rolled over for a second cut.
Cut trees from the high side of the terrain i.e. the tree
will roll away from the saw operator.

60

Arborist Safe Work Practices

ARBORIST HAND AND POWER TOOLS


INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this section is to outline the inspection and maintenance requirements for Arborist Hand
and Power Tools.

EQUIPMENT USED

The following outlines some of the tools used in arboriculture.

Axes, Brush Hooks and Other Chopping Tools


Axes
Knives
Loppers
Picks
Secateurs

Pole Pruners, Pole Saws, Pneumatic Tools and Electrical Trimmers


Back Pack Pole Pruner, Saws and Blowers
Brush Saws
Compressors
Extension Cords
Hand Saws
Hydraulic Pole Saws and Pruners
Pole Pruners
Pole Saws
Log Handling Devices
Cant Dogs
Cant Hooks
Carrying Bars
Felling Levers
Peaveys Tongs
Wedges, Chisels, and Gouges
Augers and Bits
Chisels
Drills
Wedges
Hammers, Mauls, Shovels and Sledges
Brooms
Mallets
Rakes
Shovels / Spades
Sledge Hammers
Third Edition, 2011

61

EQUIPMENT USED

Load Controlling Devices and Components


Carabiners
Chainfalls
Come-A-Long
Lowering Devices
Pulleys
Rope Pullers
Slings
Tackle Blocks
Ladders

Telescopic Power Pole Saw, Power Pack Saws

HAZARDS

Electrical
Mechanical

Climatic Conditions
Ergonomics

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Arborist Job Planning
Protect Self and Others
Legislation

Construction

RRO/RSO
213/91

Industrial

851/90

Section Referenced
78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 93, 95, 109, 113, 172, 173, 174, 176,
177, 179, 181, 195
41, 42, 43, 45, 51, 61, 139

MANDATORY INFORMATION









Inspect all equipment tools daily / before use. Inspect for loose handles, cracks, defects, loose bolts,
sharpness etc.
All tools and equipment use, inspection and maintenance must adhere to the manufacturers
instructions where applicable.
All appropriate Limits of Approach to electrical apparatus must be maintained.

Guards and sheaths should be used to protect sharpened edges of knives, blades or chains etc.
when storing.
In electrical environment only tools designed, tested, and maintained for electrical environment
shall be used.
Gasoline, oil and gas powered equipment must be stored separately from other personal tools.
Rigging equipment must be labeled with the appropriate Working Load Limit or Safe Working Load.
Power cords for electrical tools must be monitored to ensure they are not cut or fall into water.

62

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICES
General Information









The correct hand tool(s) and equipment shall be selected for the job.
Hand tools and equipment that have been made unsafe by damage or defect shall not be used.

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

When ascending a tree, arborists shall not carry hand tools and equipment in their hands unless they
are tools that are used to assist them in their climbing.
Tools other than ropes or throw lines shall not be thrown into a tree, out of a tree or from arborist to
arborist while in a tree.
Arborist climbing lines or hand lines should only 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 climbing line or hand line.
Hand tools and equipment shall be properly stored or placed in plain sight out of the immediate
work area when not in use.

Axes, Brush Hooks and Other Chopping Tools




Chopping tools that have loose or cracked heads or splintered handles shall not be used.

Chopping tools shall be swung away from the feet, legs, and body, using the minimum forces
practical for control.





Chopping tools should not be used while working aloft.

Chopping tools shall not be used as wedges or used to drive metal wedges.

Blade eyes shall be tight fitting and wedged to prevent slippage down the handle.

A secure grip, firm footing and clearance of overhead hazards shall be maintained when
swinging chopping tools.

Pole Pruners, Pole Saws, Pneumatic Tools and Electrical Trimmers










Manual pole pruners, pole saws, and other similar tools with poles made of metal or other
conductive material shall not be used in operations where electrical hazards exist.
Structurally damaged poles shall be removed from service.
When tools are not in use they shall not be:
Left laying on ground
Stored improperly or hung on a limb of insufficient strength to support the weight of the tool
Extension cords must be monitored to ensure they are not cut.
Inspect extension cords for cuts, frayed ends, and loose connections.

Log Handling Devices




Cant hooks should be firmly set before applying force.

Arborists and other workers shall be warned and in the clear before logs are moved.





Tools with cracked, splintered, or weakened handles should not be used.

Points of cant hooks should be at least 2 inches (51 mm) long and kept sharp.
Arborist and other workers shall stand to the rear and uphill when rolling logs.

Third Edition, 2011

63

Wedges, Chisels and Gouges




Wedges, chisels, and gouges shall be inspected for cracks and flaws before use.

Only wood, plastic, or soft-metal wedges shall be used to stop binding while operating chain saws.

Wedges and chisels shall be properly pointed and tempered. Tools with mushroomed heads shall not
be used. Eye protection shall be used during impact operations.
Wood handle chisels should be protected with a ferrule on the striking end.

Hammers, Mauls, Shovels and Sledges




Wood, rubber or high-impact plastic mauls, sledges or hammers should be used when striking
wood handle chisels or gouges.

Load Controlling Devices and Components






Load controlling devices and components shall be inspected immediately before use and removed
from service if found to be defective.
The components of load controlling systems shall be compatible and suitable for the application and load.
Slings must have working load information labels attached.

Ladders









Ladders made of metal or other conductive material shall


not be used where electrical hazards exist.
Ladders shall conform to the appropriate CSA standard.
Ensure that the appropriate grade of ladder is used.
All ladders shall be inspected before use.

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 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.
Ladders shall not be used as bridges or inclined planes to
load or handle logs or other material.
The appropriate 4 to 1 ratio of vertical height to distance
from base must be maintained.

Telescopic Power Pole Saw, Power Pack Saws





The saw and that which you are cutting must never be used within an electrical environment.
The tool should not be used by workers while working aloft.

64

FERTILIZING AND AERATING SOILS

Arborist Safe Work Practices

FOR

WOODY PLANTS

INTRODUCTION
This section outlines the practice for fertilizing and aerating soils for woody plants.

Hazards

Biotic Conditions
Chemical
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics
Mechanical

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
Materials Handling

MANDATORY INFORMATION


Operators must inspect equipment prior to using.

Operators must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Operators must assess the work site for the need to locate underground utilities.

Third Edition, 2011

65

APPLICATION METHODS
LIQUID - SOIL
STEP

ACTION

Inspect equipment as per manufacturers instructions

Inspect pump and hoses to/for:






Ensure fittings are secured and attached


Leaks
Cracks

Ensure valves are placed in the correct positions.


Start pump

Inspect for leaks under operating pressure:

Note:
Ensure that the pump pressure is not
overloading system.






Hoses
Connections
Fittings
Application equipment

Mix fertilizer as per Product Label

Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Inspect work site

Assess for underground obstructions such as:







Sprinkler system
Electrical system
Communications conductors
Gas line

Note: Locates may need to be established.


Pull out hose

Use proper body positioning to eliminate sprains


and strains.

Apply product

Continually monitor the pressure of the


application equipment.

Secure equipment for transport

Monitor hose for:






66

Pinch points
Hose connectors
Security on vehicle

Arborist Safe Work Practices

GRANULAR - SOIL
Broadcast Method

STEP

ACTION

Inspect equipment

Refer to manufacturers instruction for


inspection points.

Inspect work site


Fill spreader

Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment


for the job.

Apply product

Be aware of spreader use when near hard surfaces,


pools etc. to prevent unwanted over spreading

Secure equipment for transport

Drill Hole Method

STEP

ACTION

Inspect equipment

Inspect drill bit for cracks, sharpness.

Inspect work site

Assess for underground obstructions such as:







Sprinkler system
Electrical system
Communications conductors
Gas lines

Note:
Locates may need to be established.
Drill holes

Maintain distances from rotating shafts.


Caution must be exercised for power head kick back.
Ensure loose clothing and gloves are kept away from
moving parts

Apply product

Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Secure Equipment for Transport

Third Edition, 2011

67

Trunk Implant Method

STEP

ACTION

Inspect tools and equipment

Inspect for:



Inspect tree

Cracks
Sharpness

Inspect for:





Drill hole to appropriate depth


Implant capsule

Metal
Fences
Lightening protection
Cracks

Hold drill firmly to reduce potential for jamming


and twisting of drill.
Watch for pinch points.

Trunk Injection Method

STEP

ACTION

Inspect tools / equipment

Inspect for:




Inspect pressure system

Cracks
Pressure system for operation

Inspect for:



Drill appropriate depth / width into tree

Sharpness

Leaks
Connections

Hold drill firmly to reduce potential for jamming


and twisting of drill.

Implant tip of system

Watch for pinch points.

Pressurize the system

Check for leaks.

Remove tip

Cover microinjecting unit with one hand and


pull out slowly.
Wear safety glasses during this operation.

Dispose of tip / clean equipment

68

Follow appropriate directions from the


manufacturers instruction.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

AERATING SOILS
STEP

Inspect work site

ACTION
Assess for underground obstructions such as:





Sprinkler system
Electrical system
Communication conductors
Gas lines

Note:
Locates may need to be established.

Mechanical Aeration

STEP

ACTION

Inspect equipment

Inspect for:




Make holes

Cracks
Broken parts
Sharpness

Ensure obstructions are not hit.


Watch for head kick back.
Maintain distances from revolving shafts.

Remove equipment

Pneumatic Aeration

Ensure equipment does not come loose quickly


and strike the operator.

STEP

ACTION

Insert probe into soil

Ensure probe is inserted to the appropriate depth.

Activate nozzle

Ensure material does not blow back.


Wear all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Remove nozzle

Third Edition, 2011

Ensure equipment does not come loose quickly


and strike the operator.

69

INSTALLATION

OF

HARDWARE

IN

WOODY PLANTS

INTRODUCTION
This section outlines the practice for installing hardware.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics
Gravity
Mechanical
Pedestrian
Vehicular

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Use of Hand and Power Tools
Work at Heights
Fire Marshalls Act

MANDATORY INFORMATION







All woody plants must be inspected prior to ascending.


If pruning or dead wooding are required it should be done prior to installing hardware.

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 shall be raised, lowered and carried in a bag or belt designed to hold such tools, or attached
to a tool lanyard.
All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn.

Arborists in trees should be positioned off to one side in order to avoid injury in case of
cable system failure, such as when a block and tackle or a hand winch, are released.

70

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICES
Site Inspection

STEP

Inspect woody plant

ACTION

Identify hazards such as:








Inspect tools and equipment required for the work

Electrical wires in close proximity to tree


Signs of tree decay
Cavities, cankers and splits
Dead and broken limbs
Root decay and damage

Inspect tools for hazards such as:







Operational
Sharpness
Cracks, damage
Loose connections

Appropriate certification required


i.e. dielectrical testing.
Determine safest route of ascent

Inspect for structurally sound tie in points.


Refer to Climb Trees and Work at Heights section.

Installing Hardware in a Tree

STEP

ACTION

Determine location for hardware

Inspect tree for defects and hazards associated


with the location of the work.

Secure work position in the tree

Ascend tree as per the Climb Tree and


Work at Heights section.

Raise tools

Ensure tools are secured in a tool bag.

Drill holes if required

Maintain a firm grip on drills to protect from drill kick


back twisting action.
Maintain the appropriate Limits of Approach to
electrical conductors.
Maintain good body positioning while drilling.

Install hardware

Third Edition, 2011

Watch for pinch points, sharp edges.

71

Install Hardware From the Ground

STEP

ACTION

Determine location for hardware

Inspect tree for defects and hazards associated


with the location of the work.

Secure work position on ground

Ensure proper footing

Drill holes

Maintain a firm grip on drills to protect from drill


kick back twisting action.
Maintain good body positioning while drilling.

Install hardware

Watch for pinch points, sharp edges.

72

TRANSPLANTING WOODY PLANTS

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the safe work practice for manually or mechanically transplanting
woody plants.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Cuts and abrasions
Electrical

Ergonomics
Gravity
Mechanical
Vehicle

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Chainsaw Operation
WHMIS
Legislation

Construction
Industrial

RRO/RSO
213/91

Section Referenced
37, 39

851/90

45

MANDATORY INFORMATION




All appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn.


Establish need to assess locates for underground utilities prior to digging holes.

All mechanical devices for planting trees must be operated by qualified personnel only.
Assistants working around mechanical equipment must be oriented to the hazards of the machine.

Third Edition, 2011

73

SAFE WORK PRACTICE


STEP

Inspect work site

ACTION
Inspect site for:





Assess for underground obstructions

Terrain obstacles
Obstructions to planting site
Vehicle and pedestrian traffic
Overhead utilities

Assess for:





Sprinkler system
Electrical system
Communications conductors
Gas line

Note:
Locates shall be established and have documentation
on site.
Dig hole

Note:
Manual or mechanical means can be used
to dig holes.

Manual
Ensure appropriate body positioning is used.

Mechanical
Ensure ground terrain is not hazardous for
the machine used and potential for rolling over.
Keep away from pinch points of machines used.
Monitor loads of machine.

Place tree into hole

Use proper lifting techniques.


Use appropriate equipment to move trees.

Remove basket if required

Keep body parts away from sharp edges of cut


baskets.
Watch for pinch points of equipment used.

Back fill hole

Use appropriate body positioning when back filling.


Ensure that sharp edges of baskets will not puncture
footwear.

Install anchor system

Ensure underground utilities have been identified


prior to installing.
Use appropriate body positioning when installing
anchors.
Install guy anchor at the appropriate angle.

74

AERIAL DEVICE OPERATION

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the safe work practices involved in operating an Aerial Device.

HAZARDS

Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics

Gravity
Mechanical

Legislation/Safe Work Practice


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Legislation

Construction
Industrial

RRO/RSO
213/91
851/90

Section Referenced
26, 67, 68, 69, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 104, 105, 108,
109, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 182, 183, 186, 187
42, 43, 57, 60, 79

Canadian Standards Association Z 225 Vehicle Mounted Aerial Devices


Temporary Conditions - Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7

MANDATORY INFORMATION
















The manufacturers instructions must be followed for all maintenance and operation instructions.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available.
Operators shall wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
Operators must wear appropriate Fall Protection Equipment.
The Operator of the Aerial Device will control the work site and communicate directions to the
ground person.
Only Qualified Personnel may operate an Aerial Device.
All personnel must know the control measures needed for vehicle and pedestrian control.
All Operators must know and practice Aerial Device rescue and escape procedures at least annually.
All Ground Assistants must have knowledge of and practice their role in Aerial Device rescue and
escape procedures.
All Ground Assistants must have knowledge of the operation of lower controls to perform an aerial rescue.
All buckets must contain a hand line of adequate length to be used in Aerial Device rescues.
Maintain three-point contact when mounting or dismounting an Aerial Device.
When transferring between an Aerial Device to a tree or to another Aerial Device, the climber must be
secured with a fall restraint system prior to leaving the Aerial Device.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available and have been understood by the operator.

Third Edition, 2011

75

WORK PRACTICE
Set up Aerial Device

STEP

Inspect job site for hazards

ACTION
Inspect for:




Secure work site

Electrical hazards
Decay within tree
Location of tree in relation to vehicle and
pedestrian traffic
Ground conditions / slope

Refer to job plan


Set up appropriate traffic control barriers.
Set up appropriate work site boundaries.

Inspect Aerial Device emergency equipment.


Refer to Traffic Control Temporary Conditions Ontario
Traffic Manual Book 7
Inspect Aerial Device.

Follow the manufacturers instruction for specific


checks and tests.
Inspect bucket etc.

Set up Aerial Device for checks

Follow the manufacturers instruction in


set up procedures.
Ensure that all personnel are clear of descending
outriggers.

Perform Aerial Device holding valve check

Perform Aerial Device


holding valve check as per
manufacturers instruction

Set up Aerial Device for work

Follow manufacturers instruction in


set up procedures.

Note:
Ensure that all personnel are clear of
descending outriggers.
Ensure hand line is available in bucket.
Inspect bucket, liner and chain saw scabbard
for defects.
Inspect Fall Protection Equipment

Put on Fall Protection Equipment

Inspect Full body harness and shock absorbing


lanyard as per manufacturers information and
Appendix A Inspection of Fall Protection Equipment.
Adjust and put on Full body harness.

Attach shock-absorbing lanyard to Full body


harness and to an approved attachment point
on the aerial device.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Operation of Aerial Device

STEP

ACTION

Position booms to the work

Operate Aerial Device according to


manufacturers instruction.
Ensure booms maintain the appropriate Limits
of Approach to electrical apparatus.
Ensure Ground Assistant(s) are clear of the
Drop Zone of trees and brush

Begin work

Ensure ground assistant(s) stay clear of falling


brush and trees.
Ensure adequate communication between
the operator and Ground Assistants.
Operators must not stand on the lip of the
bucket during operations.
Maintain Limits of Approach of equipment and
personnel from energized electrical apparatus.
Refer to Work at Heights for use of chain saw.

Maintenance of Aerial Device

STEP

ACTION

Perform periodic maintenance

Perform and document maintenance as per


manufacturers instruction.

Escape / Rescue From an Aerial Device

STEP

ACTION

Aerial Device Escape

Perform Aerial Device Escape at least annually.

Aerial Device Rescue

Perform Aerial Device Rescue at least annually.

Transportation

STEP

ACTION

Secure Aerial Device for transport

Secure Aerial Device as per


manufacturers instruction.
Secure all tools and accessories.

Third Edition, 2011

77

CHAIN SAW OPERATION


INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the safe methods to operate and maintain a chain saw while on the ground
and aloft. This section excludes tools such as telescopic pole chain saws, power pack chain saws, motorized pole
saws and hydraulic pole saws and pruners.

HAZARDS

Ergonomics
Fire
Mechanical

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Cuts and abrasions
Electrical

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Legislation

RRO/RSO

Construction

Section Referenced

213/91

Industrial

851/90

21, 112
39, 79, 80, 81, 82

MANDATORY INFORMATION


All power chain saws must be equipped with a chain that minimizes the risk of kick back.

If face shields are used they must be used in conjunction with approved safety glasses.




Chain saw operators shall wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

The engine shall not be started until the saw is in the immediate work area, except when a warm-up
period is required at which time the saw shall not be left unattended.

The operator shall ensure that the work area is clear of obstructions that may be hazardous.

No one except the operator shall be allowed within a radius of 3 metres (10 feet) of a one-person
chain saw when it is in operation.




Operators shall decide on and prepare an escape route before cutting commences.

No adjustment shall be made to the chain while the engine is running.

During all chainsaw operations, the operator must be fully aware of the consequences of
any cut before it is made.
Chain saws shall not be operated for cuts above shoulder level.

78

Arborist Safe Work Practices

MANDATORY INFORMATION













CONT

The engine shall be shut off when moving the power saw from one location to another, except when
trees are in close proximity and the approach is unobstructed.
When moving from tree-to-tree with the engine running, the chain brake shall be applied.

A chain saw shall be removed from service immediately if any defects are evident that could affect
its safe operation.

Hot power saws shall be cooled for two or three minutes before refueling. A hot power saw shall be
placed on a log, stump or on bare ground, rather than in dry litter or slash.
Smoking, open flames, or other sources of ignition, are prohibited within 3 metres (10 feet) of
the fuelling area.
Approved fire fighting equipment shall be available.

When power saws are stored or being carried a long distance, the chain should be guarded.

One-person power saws shall be carried at the workers side with the guide bar pointed to the rear;
two workers shall carry a two-person power saw.

When not in use, the saw shall be turned off and placed in a location where it is clear of the work area
and it will not be damaged by falling limbs.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available and have been understood by the operator.

Third Edition, 2011

79

WORK PRACTICES

Pre-operational check

STEP

ACTION

Inspect Personal Protective Equipment

Inspect and wear the following personal protective


equipment, appropriate for the circumstance:







Inspect saw for hazards


Perform pre-operational chain saw check

Head protection
Hearing protection
Eye protection
Hand protection
Chain saw leg protection
Foot protection

Inspect chain saw for loose components and missing


components.
Start saw using a method described in the
manufacturers instructions.
Test chain brake by activating chain brake.

Note:
If chain brake does not work, the chain saw must be
removed from service and repaired.

Maintenance

STEP

ACTION

Perform routine maintenance

Perform maintenance as per


manufacturers instructions.

Operate Chain Saw

STEP

ACTION

Operate chain saw

Refer to Tree Felling Work Practice.


Refer to Work at Heights Work Practice.

80

BRUSH CHIPPER OPERATION

Arborist Safe Work Practices

INTRODUCTION
This section outlines the use of a brush chipper. Not all practices outlined are applicable to all models of chippers.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics
Mechanical

LEGISLATION / SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Maintain and Operate Chain Saw
Legislation
Construction
Industrial

RRO/RSO
213/91

Section Referenced
67, 68, 69, 93, 94, 95, 96, 101, 104, 105, 108, 109

851/90

79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85

Temporary Conditions - Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7

MANDATORY INFORMATION


Operators shall wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Routine inspection and maintenance must be completed as per the manufacturers instructions.









Only Qualified personnel may operate a chipper.

Do not wear jewelry or clothing that could become entangled in brush or moving parts.
Secure long hair so that it does not become entangled in moving parts.
Never place any body parts in the in-feed chute for any reason while the machine is operating.
Never place yourself in front of the discharge chute.
Inspect chipper prior to use.
Ensure all guards and protective devices are operational and in place.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available and have been understood by the operator.

Third Edition, 2011

81

WORK PRACTICES

Preoperational Checks

STEP

ACTION

Inspect chipper

Inspect as per the manufacturers instructions.


Inspect guards.
Ensure the manufacturers instructions are available

Connect chipper

Secure connection to towing vehicle.


Secure safety chains.
Plug in lights and brakes if applicable.

Test chipper brakes if equipped

Move chipper short distance and test brakes.


Brakes that do not work must be repaired before
allowed on roadways.

Check directional control arm if equipped


Secure work site

Ensure directional control arm is stopping


and redirecting in-feed rollers as per the
manufacturers instructions.

Secure work site with traffic control devices


and pedestrian barriers as per Ontario Traffic
Manual Book 7

82

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Operation

STEP

ACTION

Inspect brush pile

Inspect for nails, metal objects, and foreign objects.


Cut larger limbs into small sections to allow free
movement through chipper.

Lift brush onto feed table

Bend at the knees to lift brush.

Feed brush into chipper

Ensure that hands and loose clothing do not become


entangled with the brush.
Do not stand directly behind the in-feed chute of the
chipper.
Do not feed chipper from the roadside.
Turn away from roadside to retrieve more brush.
Do not place hands inside chipper in-feed chute.

Larger limbs should be cut into smaller pieces to


allow freer movement into chipper.
Free stuck limbs

Limbs lodged in machine can be freed by operating


the directional control lever (if equipped).
Note:
For chippers with no directional control valve, follow
the Removing Blockage section below

Emergency Shut Down

STEP

ACTION

Refer to manufacturers instruction for further specific information


Move directional control arm to the neutral position
if equipped

Stop movement of the in-feed rollers.

Move directional control arm to the neutral position


if equipped

Shut down machine to stop knives.

STEP

ACTION

Shut down chipper

Shut down chipper. Secure chipper using


Lock Out Procedures.

Open covers

Wait for knives to stop revolving before


opening covers.

Lock out drum

Refer to the manufacturers instruction for


locking out of drum.

Remove blockage

Caution around sharp knives.

Remove Blockage

Third Edition, 2011

83

STUMPER OPERATION
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the safe work practices involved in operating a stumper.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Ergonomics
Mechanical

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Legislation

Construction

RRO/RSO
213/91

Industrial

Section Referenced
67, 68, 69, 93, 94, 95, 96, 101, 104, 105, 108, 109

851/90

79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85

Temporary Conditions - Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7

MANDATORY INFORMATION


Operators shall wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

Routine inspection and maintenance must be completed as per the manufacturers instruction.











Only Qualified personnel may operate a stumper.

Do not wear jewelry or clothing that may or could become entangled in moving parts.
Secure long hair so that it does not become entangled in moving parts.
Never work near or on cutter wheel unless engine is shut down.
Everyone must be clear of work area during operation.
Do not operate equipment with defective guards or shields.
Assess potential of underground obstructions such as hydro, gas, communications etc. and
request locates if necessary.
Inspect stumper prior to use.
Ensure all guards and protective devices are operational and in place.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available and have been understood by the operator.

84

Arborist Safe Work Practices

WORK PRACTICES

Preoperational Checks

STEP

ACTION

Inspect stumper

Inspect as per the manufacturers instructions.


Ensure guards and shields are in place
and operational.
Ensure the manufacturers instructions are available

Connect stumper to transport vehicle

Secure connection to towing vehicle.


Secure safety chains.
Plug in lights and brakes if applicable.

Test stumper brakes if equipped

Move stumper short distance and test brakes.


Brakes that do not work must be repaired before
allowed on roadways.

Inspect cutter wheel

Inspect for damaged or missing teeth.

Secure work area

Secure work area with traffic control devices


and pedestrian barriers as per Ontario
Traffic Manual Book 7.

Third Edition, 2011

85

Operation

STEP

ACTION

Inspect stump and work area

Remove nails, metal objects, foreign objects, stones,


wires and loose chunks of wood.
Assess potential of underground obstructions such as
hydro, gas, communications etc. and obtain locates.
Assess site for ground conditions and slope.

Start stumper

Ensure cutter wheel is free of objects.

Engage cutter wheel

Ensure guards and curtains are in place.

Begin cutting stump using the manufacturers


recommended cutting area.

Monitor work area to ensure no one enters the area.

Emergency Shut Down

STEP

Monitor the direction of debris to ensure it stays


within the work area.

ACTION

Refer to manufacturers instruction for further specific information


Disengage cutter wheel

Move control lever to disengage wheel.

Lower cutter wheel into stump

Lower wheel into stump debris.

Shut down machine

Turn off ignition.

Normal Shut Down

STEP

ACTION

Disengage cutter wheel

Wait for cutter wheel to stop revolving.

Secure the stumper for road travel

Insert safety pins, roll up curtains etc.

Shut off unit

86

Arborist Safe Work Practices

CLEARING SAW OPERATION


INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this section is to outline the safe work practices for operating a clearing saw.

HAZARDS

Mechanical
Body Mechanics
Electrical
Animal and Biotic Conditions

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Protect Self and Others
Arborist Job Planning
Legislation
Industrial

RRO/RSO

Section Referenced

851/90

22, 23

MANDATORY INFORMATION









All Personal Protective Equipment must be worn.


All workers must maintain a distance of 10 metres (30 feet)away from the operator.
Cold saws must be started on the ground.
Warm saws must be started on the ground or started using a second person while saw is attached to the
operators harness.
Operators must not start clearing saws while they are attached to their harness.

All brush must be monitored for falling direction and potential hazards such as electrical conductors.
Brush greater than 10 cm (4 inches) DBH must not be cut with a brush saw.
Ensure manufacturers instructions are readily available and have been understood by the operator.

Third Edition, 2011

87

WORK PRACTICES
Site Inspection

STEP

ACTION

Inspect equipment

Inspect for:




Cracks
Sharp blade
Set of blade is appropriate

Adjust clearing saw harness

Adjust harness for saw so that the saw blade will


not contact the feet of the operator.

Inspect Personal Protective Equipment

All PPE must be worn including hardhat, hearing


protection, eye protection and foot protection.

Inspect work site

Inspect for and set appropriate barriers for:







Start saw

Electrical conductors
Terrain
Brush height
Brush size

Ensure saw blade is not touching the ground or


obstacles.
Maintain a firm grip on the saw.

Cold Start
Start saw on ground following manufacturers
instruction.

Warm Start
On the back of the operator using a second person.
Assistant moves away from operator when started.
Operator may remove saw from harness of Operator
and start on the ground.

88

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Cutting Operation

STEP

ACTION

Start cutting

Monitor blade location.


Ensure all workers maintain 10 metres away
from operator.
Do not cut brush above shoulder height.
Brush greater than 10 cm (4 inches) DBH
must not be cut with a brush saw.
Monitor terrain to ensure good traction while cutting.
Cut with the appropriate side of blade;
refer to the manufacturers instruction.
Ensure the blade is operating at full speed
before cutting.

Third Edition, 2011

89

USE

OF A

MOBILE CRANE

TO

REMOVE TREES

INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this section is to outline the safe work practices for removing trees using a mobile cranes.

HAZARDS

Biotic Conditions
Climatic Conditions
Electrical
Vehicular

Gravity
Mechanical
Ergonomics
Pedestrian

LEGISLATION/SAFE WORK PRACTICE


Legislation

RRO/RSO

Construction

213/91

Industrial

Section Referenced
150-156, 168-180

851/90

General Legislation
Work in a Safe Environment
Climbing Trees

MANDATORY INFORMATION

Protect Self and Others


Working at Heights

51-60

Arborist Job Planning


Use applicable legislation

Arborist aloft shall be:














Competent to calculate wood weights using various methods including: green wood weight chart, estimating
by sight, application of suitable safety factors, wood strengths and variability, and tree characteristics
Familiar with crane performance charts (range and capacity),
Familiar with crane operations and suitable crane dimensions
Only competent personnel, deemed by the employer, shall work with a crane
Familiar with characteristics, defects and imperfections in trees
Knowledgeable of wood strength in tension wood
Familiar with safe work procedures to identify hazards and place barriers to the hazards general and
specific to crane work
Able to communicate using standard crane hand signals and or verbally
Advanced knowledge in rigging techniques and equipment
Familiar with the required Personal Protective Equipment and climbing equipment needed (inspection,
maintenance and use)
Familiar with appropriate safe work practices to access trees

90

Arborist Safe Work Practices





Familiar with safe work practices using a chainsaw (aloft) and practical application of cuts when utilizing a
crane
Familiar with rigging and control options available when using a crane
Aware of electrical hazards and appropriate procedures

Crane operators shall have;















A valid certification (operators license) Cranes 8 tons capacity and above


or competency in operation of cranes 8 tons and below
Knowledge and performance of Critical Lifts
Familiarity with the specific hazards associated with tree removal such as:
Estimating tree weight calculations, safety factors used, load balancing, movements of load,
Uneven and unknown ground support conditions
Wind / sail conditions
Uneven or unbalanced loading
Challenging communication situations
Load paths through possible traffic areas
Landing zone restrictions
Awareness of electrical hazards and appropriate procedures
The operators manual available and be familiar with the contents
Crane Equipment
The ASWP committee recommends that a load cell should be part of the mandatory equipment of the
crane. The load cell can be used to verify the load being lifted against the estimated load to verify
estimates and to ensure future loads will be adjusted accordingly. The ASWP committee recognizes
that all mobile cranes do not have load cells and that crane operators develop a sense of what the
loads are based on previous work experiences.

Ground personnel and Arborist on ground shall have specific training in:






Communication techniques with crane operator


Sling usage
Hazards associated with crane use and lifting heavy loads
Lifting paths including lifting near pedestrian and or traffic areas
Landing zone restrictions including releasing of loads on cranes, balancing loads on ground to ensure they
do not roll, and clean up procedures

Third Edition, 2011

91

WORK PRACTICE

1.0

WORKSITE ASSESSMENT

Prior to contracting a crane to perform the work a thorough site analysis with the crane operator is needed to
determine the size of crane required and whether the location is appropriate for a crane to safely work.

STEP

ACTION

Determine if crane can be used on worksite





Determine crane size required

92




Ensure crane can access the location i.e. road


conditions/weight limitations, access over/under
bridges etc, mobility within site, maintaining
safe working loads at various boom angles.
Outrigger room and security
Ground stability
Ensure crane set-up location will provide
adequate protection from hazards such as
electrical, overhead structures, buildings,
septic systems, underground obstructions
and services etc.
Ensure there is adequate space available for
an aerial device, if applicable, work equipment
i.e. chippers or trucks, and crane to work within.
Ensure there is adequate space for the
crane and its boom to move freely in and
maintain appropriate limits of approach to
electrical apparatus.
Assess tree for: rot, structural weaknesses,
animal nests, loose bark, branching
characteristics and any potential hazards
for the lifting operation.
Assess weights of potential loads
Consider crane lifting capacity and
Safe Work Loads at various boom angles
for various crane sizes

Arborist Safe Work Practices

2.0

WORKSITE SET-UP

STEP

Determine potential lifting locations on tree from


ground to establish a lifting plan for cuts picking
the load

ACTION



Determine crane load path to Landing Zone

Set-up Landing Zone

Conduct Tailboard Conference




Third Edition, 2011

Discuss with crane operator potential lift locations


on the tree plus sequence of lifts to be conducted
Assess potential loads considering: wood weights
using the Green Wood Weight Charts. branching
of tree sections, tree condition i.e. dead or rotten
wood, centre of gravity of the load being lifted,
weather conditions (wind, rain, sunlight), bark
conditions, and the potential of slippage of
chokers must be considered when determining
where to cut and the final weight of the cut
section.
The estimated weight of the load and a safety
factor of the lift shall be determined by competent
workers
Loads should be rigged butt heavy using the 2/3
rule for placing a choker on stem. Use of
additional rigging equipment e.g. ropes, blocks
etc. to control the load should be considered.
Consider use of multi-leg sling configuration.
Ensure that the size of the section to be cut and
the amount of room available to lower the cut
section is adequate.
Install pedestrian / worker barriers to keep people
from under load
Ensure adequate communications between
workers and crane operator using either hand or
radio communications.
Install pedestrian / worker barriers to keep people
from under load being moved overhead. Do not
walk under load suspended by crane
Ensure all participants at the work location,
including crane operator and ground persons, are
part of the discussion.
Instruct how slings are attached and used
Discuss positive locking pins for attachment points
on the crane for devices that could come in
contact with the tree

93

3.0

ARBORIST WORK POSITIONING

STEP

ACTION

Ascend to predetermined work location in tree

Secure choker on tree













94

Ascend the tree using predetermined climbing


techniques or aerial device. See Climbing trees
section and or Aerial Device Operations
Assess the tree condition throughout the
ascending process to ensure tree is structurally
sound for the work that will be conducted. .

Ensure there is an agreement between crane


operator and climber for the choker location.
Load should lift balanced.
Ensure choker positioning will move the load away
from climber when hoisted.
Ensure location will consider the load twisting
when tension is applied to the choker.
Ensure tree section is structurally sound to
support the lift.
Ensure that the choker will not move due to bark
slippage.
If possible, place choker below a branch union.
If needed for better control, attach butt and/or
guide ropes to the section to be removed.
Consider the location of the tree with respect to
the energized conductor and other obstructions
and the intended lowering location.
Determine if multi-leg sling rigging is needed to
secure the load.
Determine if further rigging to control the load will
be required.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

4.0
4.1

STEP

CRANE RIGGING

Determination of Cut Location

Determine load

ACTION




Crane operator decides if load is within their lifting


capabilities

Set choker around section of tree

4.2

Communicate with crane operator intended sling


location and cut location
Determine weight of load to be cut using Green
Wood Weight Charts, rules of thumb etc.
Relay weight of load to crane operator
Crane operator communicates acceptance or
rejection of proposed cutting location based on
whether load is within their capabilities
Crane operator and worker aloft will agree on the
final cutting location
Ensure choker is secured to tree

Crane Rigging - Multi-leg Sling Configuration

STEP

ACTION

Secure one leg of sling to limb





Multi-leg Sling Configurations

Secure second leg of sling to limb

Third Edition, 2011

Place choker so that headache ball is over the


centre of gravity of the limb
Ensure that the Safe Working Loads of the sling
are not encroached.
Ensure that when sharp angles are placed on
connection between slings and load the SWL are
not compromised.
Utilize a Sling Angle Load Chart
Ensure bend ratios for slings are not exceeded.

Ensure that there is no slack in the multi-leg sling


configuration.

95

STEP

ACTION


Place choker around tree and secure to


headache ball





Communicate to crane operator to pre-tension line





4.3

Ensure choker is secured properly.


Ensure sling bend ratios are not exceeded.
Ensure the Safe Work Load of the sling is not
exceeded
Place choker so that when lifted the section of tree
will move in a direction away from hazards or
unintended targets.
To prevent sling slippage it may be necessary to
cut notches for securing slings
Communication between crane operator and
arborist shall be clear and concise.
Crane operator places tension on tree
Pre-tension on tree should normally equal the
estimated weight of the load of the piece to be cut

Crane Rigging Single Sling Configuration

STEP
Visually inspect
rigging system
to ensure it is
secured to tree
stem prior
to lifting

ACTION






Worker aloft
descends to
cut location

Single Sling Configuration

96

Establish
an escape
route/method

Check that the headache ball and


crane lifting line are in a vertical
line with the centre of gravity
of the load.
Check that the choker(s)
is secured.
Check that there is no twisting
of the lift line or choker(s).
Check that there is a direct path
from choker(s) to hook and there
are no limbs in the way
Cut location should be at
shoulder level to allow for cut
sections to swing away from
the chainsaw operator
Escape route/method should allow
the worker to move out of the way
if a section or limb swings in a
different direction than anticipated.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

5.0

STEP

CUT SECTION

Secure to tree using work positioning equipment if


ascending by climbing tree
Determine style of chainsaw cut to be made

ACTION




Ensure lift will not tangle climbers fall protection


equipment.
Angle Cut or Straight cut
Sawing should finish at the pinch point of the load
working around the circumference of the section

Note: a Snap Cut should be avoided. The Snap Cut


requires the crane operator to break wood by creating
lateral movements to the stem being cut through the
boom and hoist line. This action can apply a great
deal of stress to crane components.
Remove branches above the work location to ensure
that other branches do not strike the worker




Communicate to crane operator beginning cut

Perform chainsaw cut






Reposition to escape route/method

Crane operator takes load and lowers to ground






Remove choker(s) from cut section on ground









Third Edition, 2011

Use appropriate fall protection with chainsaw use.


Ensure severed limbs are removed appropriately.
Ensure crane operator has heard and responds.
Operate chainsaw from the escape route side of
the stem.
Make a controlled cut.
Monitor movement of tree stem.
Communicate with crane operator to adjust lifting
tension and or movement or direction to release
tension on section as needed.
Worker aloft moves to escape route/method.
Worker communicates to crane operator to take
the load.
Ensure load is moved away from climber and not
over the climbers head.
Ensure load is not transferred over ground
workers
Secure load from movement prior to releasing
choker(s)
Be aware of potential swing of headache ball.
Remove the choker(s) from the headache ball
hook.
Remove the choker from the tree section.
Replace the choker on the headache ball.
Remove butt/guide ropes as necessary.
Do not use crane to free slings which are stuck.
Re-position loads to free slings.

97

98

Arborist Safe Work Practices

GLOSSARY,
APPENDICES
& BIBLIOGRAPHY







Third Edition, 2011

Glossary of Terms
Appendix A -

Appendix B -

Sample Fall Protection Equipment Inspection

Appendix D -

Ontario Green Wood Weight Chart

Appendix C -

Arborist Fall Protection Equipment

Bibliography

Friction Hitches and Termination Knots

99

100

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Anchor point

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A limb or stem of sufficient size and strength to support the load to be
applied. Factors to be considered should include but not be limited to:







Weight of climber
Species characteristics
Diameter of limb or stem
Branch union angle should be wide enough to allow free running
of the rope
The main stem and the support branch must be sound,
inspect for:






Decay
Bird holes
Cracks
Imbedded objects
Cankers

Ensure that the selected tie in point is located so that a slip or fall will
swing the climber away from any electrical conductor or other
potential hazard.
If working within the legislated Limits of Approach contact the
Electrical and Utility Safety Association for further information.
Arboriculture

Arborist climbing line

The art, science, technology and business of utility, commercial,


municipal and governmental planting, removing and caring
for woody plants.
Arborist climbing lines shall be constructed of a synthetic fiber, with a
minimum nominal breaking strength of 6,100 pounds (27 kN) when new.
Arborist climbing lines should be identified by the manufacturer
as suitable for tree climbing. Subject to CSA Z259.2.

Arborist

An individual engaged in the profession of arboriculture.

As prescribed

Specific to a Regulation such as Construction or Industrial Regulation.

Barberchair

Biotic condition

Third Edition, 2011

A result of an unusually strong pressure within the tree, causing it


to split up the trunk. The back side of the tree snaps violently and
quickly out and up.
Conditions such as stinging insects, biting insects, birds, wild life,
poison ivy etc.

101

Climbing harness

A combination of a belt and a saddle. The belt goes around the waist
and the saddle is the actual seat or butt strap. Other names could be:
tree saddle or climbing belt.

Cornering cut

A cut or cuts that are made to prevent ripping down of the bark
when felling a large piece of wood or tree.

Competent individual
Competent person

Competent worker

Critical lift

For the purposes of these work practices a competent individual


could be either a competent worker or a competent person.
Means a person who,
a) Is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience
to organize the work and its performance,
b) Is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply
to the work, and,
c) Has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health
or safety in the workplace.
In relation to specific work, means a worker who,
a) Is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience
to perform the work,
b) Is familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and
with the provisions of the regulations that apply to the work and,
c) Has knowledge of all potential or actual danger to health or
safety in the work.
A lift that,
(1) exceeds 75 percent of the rated capacity of the crane or derrick, or
(2) requires the use of more than one crane or derrick, or
(3) includes lifting a person with a crane.

Drop zone

The area where branches and wood may fall.

Emergency plan

An organized plan to be performed in an emergency. Part of the Job


Planning process and must be communicated to all workers prior
to the start of the job.

102

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Ergonomics

Escape Route
Fall protection system
Fall restriction system
Fall restraint system

Final tie in location


Full body harness

Hardware
Hazard
Hazard area

Implant

Third Edition, 2011

An applied science concerned with designing and arranging


things people use so that the people and things interact most
efficiently and safely, also called body mechanics.
The intended path the chain saw operator will move
in case of emergency.
Fall protection system can be fall restraint system or fall
restriction system.
Means a type of fall protection system that has been designed to
restrict a workers fall to a specific distance.
Means an assembly of components capable of restricting a
worker's movement on a work surface and preventing the worker
from reaching a location from which he or she could fall.
See anchor point.
Means a device that can arrest an accidental vertical or near vertical
fall of a worker and which can guide and distribute the impact forces
of the fall by means of leg and shoulder strap supports and an
upper dorsal suspension assembly which, after the arrest, will not by
itself permit the release or further lowering of the worker.
Refers to cables, rods, bolts, lags and lighting systems installed in trees.
Refers to a source of energy, when not controlled can cause injury
to a worker. An identifiable risk posed to a worker.
With respect to arboricultral practices of felling trees, with respect to the
hazard zone is the area where trees are being felled and into which
they might fall.
Small encapsulated container containing such materials as fertilizer
or pesticide that is installed by means of drilling a small hole into the
trees trunk and inserting the capsule.

103

Interim anchor point

A limb of sufficient size and strength to support the load to be applied.


Factors to not be considered should include but limited to:




Weight of climber
Species characteristics
Diameter of limb or stem
Branch union angle should be wide enough to allow free running of
the rope
The main stem and the support branch must be sound, inspect for:






Decay
Bird holes
Cracks
Imbedded objects
Cankers

Ensure that the selected tie in point is located so that a slip or fall
will swing the climber away from any electrical conductor or
other potential hazard.
If working within the legislated Limits of Approach contact the
Electrical and Utility Safety Association for further information.
Load (static v.s dynamic)
Mechanical advantage
Qualified personnel

Reverse barber chair

Safe working load

104

A force borne by or conveyed to a structure.

A measure of the force amplification achieved by using a tool,


mechanical device or machine system.
An individual who, by reason of training and experience has
demonstrated the ability to safely perform assigned duties and,
where required, is properly licensed in accordance with
Federal, provincial or local laws and regulations.
A reverse barber chair can happen when a tree that is being cut by
a climber some distance above ground level, splits below the notch.
This splitting action can cause a climber to be crushed or severely injured.
Tree size, species, loading and rigging forces are factors that can affect
the probability of this occurrence.
The maximum allowable working load established by the manufacturer
or other authority. Often called the Working Load Limit. Takes into
account a Safety Factor.

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Safety factor
Safety lines
Shall
Should
Split prevention system
Spring poles
Tailboard discussion

Ratio of breaking strength to the force to be applied.


Short ropes or lanyards used for work positioning as a secondary
point of attachment.
As used in these safe work practices, denotes a
mandatory requirement.
As used in these safe work practices, denotes an
advisory recommendation.
A mechanical system that is designed to control the hazard of a
tree splitting.
Small trees bent over from pressure of the felled tree.
A discussion held with all crew members prior to beginning a job.
All workers must be present and understand their duties and
emergency plans.

Work plan

A plan to perform the intended work.

Work position

The location where the work is performed in a tree.

Work site

The physical location where work is performed, address.

Working load limit

Third Edition, 2011

The maximum allowable working load established by the manufacturer


or other authority. Often called the Safe Working Load. Takes into
account a Safety Factor.

105

106

APPENDIX A

Arborist Safe Work Practices

SAMPLE FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT INSPECTION

Climbing line inspection:


Inspect for cuts, abrasion, contamination from dirt, grease, oil etc. It may be necessary to separate rope fibers
for further internal inspection.
Full body harness / climbing saddle inspection:
Inspect for worn and damaged stitching. Inspect for damaged and pulled rivets. Check webbing for cuts and
excessive wear. Look for damage and excessive wear to D rings.
Shock absorbing lanyard and work positioning lanyard inspection:
Evaluate lanyards for cuts and abrasion, excessive wear, safety snap function, wear and damage.
Connecting link inspection:
Carabiners and safety snaps generally have the same components therefore inspection will be the same.
Locking devices shall be checked for function wear and damage. The body of connecting links shall be examined
for cracks, wear and deformities. Dry graphite lubricant is recommended for moving parts.
Inspection of climbing spurs:
Inspect gaffs for cracks, deformities and proper attachment points. Ensure that the gaffs are sharp and
properly shaped. Check pads, straps, leg irons, stirrups, and sleeves for defects and wear.
Ensure that climbers are properly adjusted and fitted.
Ladder Inspection:
Only fiberglass or wooden ladders shall be used if there is any possibility of an electrical contact. Check that all
rung braces are tight and that rivets are in place. Inspect the rung locks on extension ladders to ensure they move
freely. Lubricate moving parts and springs. Ensure that rung locks catch over the rungs. Safety shoes must be in
place and moving freely. Inspect pulley on extension ladders for function and wear. Replace parts if necessary.
Defective ladders shall not be used.
Note:
These inspection items are in addition to and do not replace the manufacturers suggested inspections.

Third Edition, 2011

107

108

APPENDIX B

Arborist Safe Work Practices

ARBORIST FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT








Free fall distance is 0.6 metre maximum


Fall protection systems will be used for all work above 3 metres
CSA Standard Z259.1 Safety Belts and Lanyards
CSA Standard Z259.2 Fall Arresting Devices, Personnel Lowering Devices and Life Lines
kN kilonewton multiply by 224.81 = lbs. force

FALL PROTECTION
COMPONENT
Climbing Line

Connecting devices
(carabiner, safety snap,
friction device)

ASWP REQUIREMENT




12 mm (1/2 inch) synthetic material.

APPLICABLE
STANDARD
CSA Z259.2 .1-98

Minimum breaking strength 22 kN


(5,000 lbs.).
Self-locking, with two operations to unlock.
Double action , pull down, twist and
open gate

CSA Z259.12-01

Maximum slippage no more than 1 metre.

Climbing Harness

Meet or exceed CSA Z259.1-M99

CSA Z259.1-95-M99

Full Body Harness

Meet or exceed CSA Z259.10-M90

CSA Z259.10-M90

Snaps automatically close and lock.

Work Positioning Lanyard

Shock Absorbing Lanyard


(Expanding Lanyard)

Third Edition, 2011





Meet or exceed CSA Z259.1-M99


Snaps automatically close and lock.
Meet or exceed CSA Z259.1-M99

CSA Z259.1-M99

CSA Z259.1-M99

109

110

Arborist Safe Work Practices

APPENDIX C
ONTARIO GREEN WOOD WEIGHT CHART

Weight of Green Logs


Species
Apple
Ash, White
Aspen, Trembling
Basswood
Beech, American
Birch, White
Birch,Yellow
Butternut
Cedar, Western Red
Cherry, Black
Chestnut, Horse
Cottonwood
Elm, American
Hemlock, Eastern
Hickory,Shagbark
Larch
Locust,Black
Locust, Honey
Maple, Red
Maple, Silver
Maple, Sugar
Oak, Live
Oak, Red
Oak, White
Pine, White
Spruce, Red
Sycamore
Tulip
Walnut, Black
Willow
Species

Third Edition, 2011

Wt/lb
Weight in Pounds, Per Foot in Length, Based on Average Diameter
Ft. 3 10"
12"
14"
16"
18"
20"
22"
24"
26"
28"
30"
32"
34"
55
48
43
42
54
50
57
46
28
45
41
49
54
49
64
51
58
61
50
45
56
76
63
62
36
34
52
38
58
32

30
26
23
23
29
27
31
25
15
25
22
27
29
27
35
28
32
33
27
25
31
41
34
34
20
19
28
21
32
17

43
38
34
33
42
39
45
36
22
35
32
38
42
38
50
40
45
48
39
35
44
60
49
48
28
27
41
30
45
25

59
51
46
45
58
53
61
49
30
48
43
52
58
52
68
54
62
65
53
48
60
81
67
66
38
36
55
40
62
34

77
67
60
59
75
70
80
64
39
63
57
68
75
68
89
71
81
85
70
63
78
106
88
86
50
47
72
53
81
45

97
85
76
74
95
88
101
81
49
79
72
86
95
86
113
90
102
108
88
79
99
134
111
109
64
60
92
67
102
56

120
104
95
92
118
109
124
100
61
98
89
107
118
107
140
111
126
133
109
98
122
166
137
135
78
74
113
83
126
70

145
126
114
111
142
132
151
121
74
119
109
129
142
129
169
135
153
161
132
119
148
200
166
163
95
90
137
99
153
84

173
150
135
132
169
157
179
144
88
141
129
154
169
154
201
160
182
192
157
141
176
238
198
194
113
106
163
119
182
100

203
177
159
155
199
164
210
170
103
166
151
180
199
180
236
188
213
225
164
166
206
280
232
228
128
125
191
140
213
118

235
205
184
180
231
214
244
197
119
192
175
209
231
209
273
218
248
261
214
192
239
324
269
265
154
145
222
162
248
137

270
235
211
206
265
245
280
226
137
221
201
240
265
240
314
250
284
299
245
221
275
372
309
304
176
166
254
186
284
157

307
267
240
235
301
279
319
257
157
251
229
273
301
273
357
285
323
341
279
251
313
424
251
346
201
189
290
211
323
179

347
302
271
265
340
317
360
290
177
283
258
310
340
310
403
322
364
385
317
283
353
478
397
390
227
214
327
239
364
201

389
339
304
297
381
353
403
325
197
318
289
346
381
346
452
360
409
431
353
318
396
536
445
437
254
239
366
268
409
226

Wt/lb 10"
12"
14"
16"
18"
20"
22"
24"
26"
28"
30"
32"
34"
Ft. 3
Weight in Pounds, Per Foot in Length, Based on Average Diameter

111

36"

36"

APPENDIX C
ONTARIO GREEN WOOD WEIGHT CHART

CONT

Weight of Green Logs


Species
Apple
Ash, White
Aspen, Trembling
Basswood
Beech, American
Birch, White
Birch,Yellow
Butternut
Cedar, Western Red
Cherry, Black
Chestnut, Horse
Cottonwood
Elm, American
Hemlock, Eastern
Hickory,Shagbark
Larch
Locust,Black
Locust, Honey
Maple, Red
Maple, Silver
Maple, Sugar
Oak, Live
Oak, Red
Oak, White
Pine, White
Spruce, Red
Sycamore
Tulip
Walnut, Black
Willow
Species

112

Wt/lb
Weight in Pounds, Per Foot in Length, Based on Average Diameter
Ft. 3 38"
40"
42"
44"
46"
48"
50"
52"
54"
56"
58"
60"
62"
55
48
43
42
54
50
57
46
28
45
41
49
54
49
64
51
58
61
50
45
56
76
63
62
36
34
52
38
58
32

433
378
339
331
425
394
449
362
221
354
323
386
425
386
504
402
457
480
394
354
441
599
496
488
284
268
410
299
457
252

480
419
375
367
471
438
497
401
244
393
358
428
471
428
559
445
506
532
438
393
489
663
550
541
314
297
454
332
506
279

529
462
414
404
520
481
548
443
269
433
394
471
520
471
616
491
558
587
481
433
539
731
606
597
346
327
500
366
558
308

581
507
454
443
570
528
602
486
296
475
433
517
570
517
676
539
612
644
528
475
591
803
665
655
380
359
549
401
612
338

635
554
496
485
623
577
658
531
323
519
473
566
623
566
729
589
669
704
577
519
646
877
727
716
415
392
600
439
669
369

691
603
540
528
579
628
716
578
352
565
515
616
579
616
804
641
729
767
628
565
704
955
792
779
452
427
653
478
729
402

750
654
586
573
736
682
777
627
382
614
559
668
736
668
873
695
791
832
682
614
764
1036
859
845
491
464
709
518
791
436

811
708
634
619
796
737
841
678
413
664
605
723
796
723
944
752
855
900
737
664
826
1121
929
914
531
501
767
560
855
472

875
763
684
668
859
795
907
732
445
716
652
779
859
779
1018
811
922
970
795
716
891
1209
1002
986
573
541
827
604
922
509

941
821
735
718
926
855
975
787
479
770
701
838
926
838
1095
872
992
1043
855
770
958
1300
1078
1060
616
582
889
650
992
547

64"

1009 1080 1153 1229


881 942 1006 1072
789 844 902 961
771 825 881 938
991 1060 1132 1206
917 982 1048 1117
1046 1119 1195 1273
844 903 964 1028
514 550 587 626
826 884 943 1005
752 832 860 916
899 962 1027 1095
991 1060 1132 1206
899 962 1027 1095
1174 1257 1342 1430
936 1001 1069 1139
1064 1139 1216 1296
1119 1198 1279 1363
917 982 1048 1117
826 884 943 1005
1027 1100 1174 1251
1394 1492 1593 1698
1156 1237 1321 1407
1138 1217 1300 1385
661 707 755 804
624 668 713 760
954 1021 1090 1162
697 746 849 903
1064 1139 1216 1296
587 628 671 715

Wt/lb 38"
40"
42"
44 46"
48 50"
52"
54"
56"
58"
60"
62"
Ft. 3
Weight in Pounds, Per Foot in Length, Based on Average Diameter

64"

Arborist Safe Work Practices

APPENDIX D
FRICTION HITCHES AND TERMINATION KNOTS

The following describes an approved list of friction hitches and terminations knots acceptable for arborist
climbing techniques. The ascending and termination knots have been assessed using the CSA Standard Z259.2
Fall Arresting Devices, Personnel Lowering Devices and Vertical Life Lines. Further information and testing
information can be requested from the International Society of Arboricutlure Ontario Chapter.
All knots and friction hitches must be tied, dressed and set properly. Repetitive loading and unloading of knots
can potentially slacken off the knot. Therefore, all knots must be monitored throughout the climbing process.
Ascending Techniques

ASCENDING TECHNIQUE

KNOTS

Belay

Blakes Hitch

Secured Foot Locking

Klemheist
Prussik (6 coil)

Secured Body Thrust

Blakes Hitch
Swabbish
Tautline Hitch
Gripping Hitch

WORKING TECHNIQUE

Working

KNOTS
Blakes Hitch
Tautline Hitch Figure 8 Stopper Knot
Swabbish
Gripping Hitch

WORKING TECHNIQUE

KNOTS

Open Climbing System

Figure 8 on a Bight
Cow Hitch - Spliced Eye
Triple Fisherman

Closed Climbing System

Bowling - Figure 8 Stopper Knot


Triple Fisherman
Double Fisherman
Beckett - Figure 8 Stopper Knot
Anchor

Third Edition, 2011

113

Termination Knots

APPENDIX D

FRICTION HITCHES AND TERMINATION KNOTS

Friction Hitches

Blakes Hitch

CONT

Gripping Hitch

Tautline Hitch

Swabbish

114

Arborist Safe Work Practices

APPENDIX D

FRICTION HITCHES AND TERMINATION KNOTS

Friction Hitches cont

Prussik (6 coil)

Klemheist

Termination Knots

Anchor Hitch

Cow Hitch

Third Edition, 2011

Figure 8 on a Bight

115

APPENDIX D

FRICTION HITCHES AND TERMINATION KNOTS

Termination Knots cont

CONT

Beckett Bend

Triple Fisherman

Bowline

Double Fisherman

Double Fisherman Loop

116

Triple Fisherman Loop

Arborist Safe Work Practices

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ARBORIST SAFE WORK PRACTICES SOURCES


American National Standards Institute, ANSI Z133.1-2000, International Society of Arboriculture
American National Standards Institute, A300, (Part 1) - 2001, National Arborist Association, Inc.
American National Standards Institute, A300, (Part 2) - 1998, National Arborist Association, Inc.
American National Standards Institute, A300, (Part 3) - 2000, National Arborist Association, Inc.
American National Standards Institute, A300, (Part 4) 2001, National Arborist Association, Inc.
Anon., 1983, Rigging Manual, Ontario Hydro
Anon., 1967, Mobile Hydraulics Manual, Sperry-Vickers Rand Corporation
Asplundh Manufacturing Division, Operation, Maintenance and Repairs Parts Manual
Arborist News, April 1998, The Machard Tress, International Society of Aboriculture, Champaign, IL
Ashley, C.W., 1944, The Ashley Book of Knots, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc., New York, NY
Bickell, C and D. Joyce, 1996, Pruning and Training, Cavindish Books, Vancouver, BC
Bigon, M. and Regazzoni, G., 1983, The Century Guide To Knots, Century Publishing, London, England
Blair, D. F., 1995, Arborist Equipment, International Society of Aboriculture, Savoy, IL
Canadian Standards Association, CSA Z259.1 / 2
Davey Tree Canada, Safety and Operating Manual, Toronto, Ontario
Dickie, D.E., 1975, Rigging Manual, First Edition Construction Safety Association of Ontario
Electrical Utilities Safety Association of Ontario, 1999, Line Clearing Operations, Mississauga, Ontario
Electrical Utilities Safety Association of Ontario, 1994, Rule Book for Electric Utility Operations, Mississauga, Ontario
Gilman, E.F., 1997, An Illustrated Guide to Pruning, Delmar Publishers, Albany, NY
Harris, R.W., 1993, Arboriculture, New Jersey, Prentice Hall Inc.

Third Edition, 2011

117

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ARBORIST SAFE WORK PRACTICES SOURCES

CONT

Husqvarna , 1990, 250 RX Operators Manual, Husqvarna, Sweden


Husqvarna, 1997, 250RX Operators Manual, Husqvarna, Sweden
Jepson, J., 2000, The Tree Climbers Companion 2nd Edition, Beaver Tree Publishing, Longville, MN
Jepson, J., 1997, The Tree Climbers Companion, Published by Jeff Jepson, Longville MN
Anon., Landscape Ontario A Reference Guide for Developing Planting Details, Landscape Ontario
Anon., Landscape Ontario A Reference Guide for Lighting Specification, Landscape Ontario
Lilly, S. J., et al. 2000, Arborist Certification Study Guide, The International Society of Arboriculture, Savoy, IL
Lilly, S.J. and Palmer, K., 1997, Introduction To Ropes Care And Construction, The International Society of Arboriculture, Savoy, IL
Lilly, S. J., 1999, Tree Climbers Guide, The International Society of Arboriculture, Savoy, IL
Anon., 1990, Line Clearing Manual, Ontario Hydro, Toronto, Ontario
Mattheck, C., and Breloer, H., 1997, The Body Language of Trees, The London Stationary Office, London, England
Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Traffic Manual March 2001 - Temporary Conditions, Queen's Printer for Ontario
Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Construction Projects - June 2000, Queens Printer for Ontario
Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Industrial Establishments - 1996, Queens Printer for Ontario
Ontario Natural Resources Safety Association, The Cutting Edge, North Bay, Ontario
Pirone, P .P., J. R. Hartman, M.A. Sall, T .P. Pirone, 1988, Tree Maintenance, Oxford University Press, New York, NY
Raleigh D., 1998, Knots and Ropes for Climbers, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.
Shigo, A.L., 1991, Modern Arboriculture, Shigo and Trees Associates, Durham, Newhampshire
Shigo, A. L., 1989, Tree Pruning, Shigo and Trees Associates, Durham, New Hampshire
Smith, B. and Padget, A., 1996, On Rope, The National Speleological Society, Huntsville, Alabama
Tehrani G. and N.W. Miles, Training And Pruning Of Fruit Trees - Publication 392, Horticulture Research Institute of Ontario, Simcoe, Ontario

118

Arborist Safe Work Practices

Third Edition, 2011

119