To speak to our specialists call us on 01226 716657

Month: February 2018

Safe REscue for Arborists

Safe rescue for Arborists

Aerial Rescue from Powered Access Platforms

Even with the right equipment tree cutting at height demands safe working practices. Good climbing techniques should include the regular practice of rescue for operatives who get into difficulty. A minimum of two people must be present during tree climbing and working at height operations. At least one ground member must be competent and trained to perform a rescue from a raised platform.

Good planning is essential:
• A daily programme for the tree work should be established.
• A contact procedure established with a designated person
• Two-way radio / mobile phone communication between ground and raised platform

The Risk Assessment
As part of the pre-work risk assessment, emergency procedures for the recovery and evacuation of casualties needs to be established. All operatives and ground workers need to be trained in these procedures. When a rescue is needed, all precautions must be taken to safeguard other team members. Restrict access to trained rescue personnel only.

Before the Rescue
If overhead power cables are involved, stop work and call the relevant electricity authority.
Try and assess the condition of the casualty. If necessary call the emergency services before attempting the rescue. Help them by giving the exact location and any site access problems they may encounter. Pass on the casualty’s personal details, time of the incident and any treatment given. Notify if any chemicals have been involved.

Worksite Rescue Equipment
The minimum rescue kit that always needs to be available includes:
• First Aid kit
• Climber’s harness and associated ropes, karabiners and associated equipment
• Other climbing equipment including ladders, ropes and climbing irons
• Sharp knife with retractable blade suitable for cutting ropes. Care must be taken when cutting tensioned ropes.

During the course of the rescue assess the situation and send for more equipment as necessary.

The Casualty
• Where possible give reassurances, minimise panic and encourage self-help
• The rescue method chosen should minimise risk to the rescuer and prevent further injury to the casualty
• If MEWPs or cranes are required for the rescue, ensure the equipment is used by trained operators only

Climbing to the Casualty
• Select a climbing method and get to the casualty as quickly and safely as possible
• If climbing equipment and trained personnel are available, use them to quickly reach the casualty
• Assess the hazards and choose appropriate tree cutting equipment to remove branches that may impede the rescue
• Make the surrounding area safe from hazards
• Assess the casualty’s condition and apply first-aid as necessary
• Take care with serious injuries such as fractures, crush or spinal injuries and only move under trained medical supervision (e.g. paramedics).

Descending with the Casualty
• The rescuer should monitor changes in the casualty’s condition and keep them calm
• The rescuer must ensure their own safety and be securely anchored at all times to enable a safe descent
• Rescuer and casualty should descend together easing movement through branches
• Densely packed branches may require an alternative rescue method

Completing the Rescue
After helping the paramedics and escorting safely from site…
• Ensure site is safe and secure
• Take names and contact details of any witnesses
• Take photos of the site
• Ensure equipment involved in the incident is not used until it has been examined by a qualified person
• Record in Accident Book and notify management
• Ensure compliance with RIDDOR requirements (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)

Good planning and regular practice are key to safe rescue operations. An incident may not occur for years, or it could happen tomorrow. All those using powered access platforms are responsible for the safe rescue of operators and staff whenever it is required.



Tree Lopping Equipment

Tree Lopping Equipment

Tree Lopping Equipment – Safety for arborists

Your pre-use risk assessment will determine if a spiderlift is the right equipment for tree work at height. Just as important as checking the suitability of the MEWP chosen for the task is checking the personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the operatives.

Serious accidents do occur in arboreal and forestry work. Tree work has a major incidence rate higher than the construction industry. Whether you own or hire a spiderlift, it is your responsibility to ensure staff are correctly trained and equipped.

PPE without a chainsaw

PPE for operatives using the basket but not a chainsaw should protect the head, feet, hands.
• The safety helmet should comply with BS EN 397 or BS EN 12492
• Protective boots complying with BS EN 345-1 should be worn
• Work gloves that are suitable for the task in hand

PPE with a chainsaw

Because of the inherent dangers of using a chainsaw whilst working at height, especially from flying sawdust and falling branches, protective equipment is essential. In addition to the head, feet and hands – eye, ear and leg protection are needed.
• As above the safety helmet should also comply with BS EN 397 or BS EN 12492
• Eye protection (especially from flying wood splinters) which can be either a mesh visor complying with BS EN 1731, or safety glasses to BS EN 166
• Hearing protection complying with BS EN 352
• Protective boots need to be stronger with good grip, protective guarding at the upper front and instep, and comply with BS EN ISO 20345. Look out for the chainsaw logo.
• Leg protection and groin protection complying with BS EN 381-5: Type A or C
• Appropriate gloves subject to the operator’s risk assessment

Additional PPE for all operatives

• Wear non-snag outer clothing – high visibility if justified by risk assessment
• Carry a personal first-aid kit that includes a large wound dressing
• Carry a suitable knife with a retractable blade

The wearing of Personal Protection Equipment by the tree-work gang is essential. Only trained and authorised people should operate the spiderlift. A spiderlift also requires minimum of two people to operate it and the ground staff must be able to operate the emergency controls on the platform below.

Promax Access specialise in providing high access tree cutting equipment for the Forestry industry and tree cutting services. We can offer a wealth of advice on choosing the right access platform for the job. Contact us now.

Unit 8,
Acorn Phase 3,
High Street, Grimethorpe,
South Yorkshire,
S72 7BD
Get In Touch

Phone: 01226 716657

Fax: 01226 716658


Recent Posts