I've never been a fan of new standards but.......

Chaplain242

Active Member
You can be quite correct, but I believe it is more of a case of “where somebody is at at the moment” rather than “who somebody is” because of an incident if something like that occurs. Certainly if there is so much angst within the crew it can’t move forward, or so little accountability by person who mis-stepped that the person may have to be suspended or fired.

At the same time I have witnessed someone deliberately manipulated by a supervisor/boss stirring the pot whereby they get careless and an incident occurred.

I have seen on an entry course the sabotage of candidates so that a secretly pre selected person could be selected.

I have also seen ladder climbers over time underhandedly manipulate and undermine an entire crew (and boss) just to get promoted at the expense of people getting fired for situations developed because of this behaviour. Sound like Game-of-Thrones doesn’t it, but it can happen. These are the extreme examples.

How do survivors of this type of behaviour act when confronted? This could have happened in their last workplace...

What if the person had a blood sugar incident?

What if the person had been pressured to cut it by someone? What if minutes before he was informed his place on crew is precarious because he wasnt pulling his weight, and now had tunnel vision and distraction going on whilst cutting.

These are some type examples, but if you don’t ask, you don’t find out....
 

Leroy

Well-Known Member
Well, it's all speculative in this case, but like I said, better be damn good excuse, that's just me though. Low blood sugar? Poor excuse in my book. What if he'd been pressured by someone else to do it? Seriously? Someone told him he might get fired so he freaked out and cut someone's lifeline, the pressure was just too much? Those scenarios don't excuse the incident, in my mind. If someones excuse for almost killing you was one of those, you're cool with that? Play on? You can follow a persons story back far enough and make excuses for all sorts of ridiculous behavior. Personal responsibility matters in my world. Pop psychology aside, I really could care less how you, aaronf or anyone else wants to handle their wage workers. Just thought I'd offer a counterpoint to the let's sit in a circle and talk about our feelings or let's all hold hands and pray that doesn't happen again approach.
 

Chaplain242

Active Member
Well, it's all speculative in this case, but like I said, better be damn good excuse, that's just me though. Low blood sugar? Poor excuse in my book. What if he'd been pressured by someone else to do it? Seriously? Someone told him he might get fired so he freaked out and cut someone's lifeline, the pressure was just too much? Those scenarios don't excuse the incident, in my mind. If someones excuse for almost killing you was one of those, you're cool with that? Play on? You can follow a persons story back far enough and make excuses for all sorts of ridiculous behavior. Personal responsibility matters in my world. Pop psychology aside, I really could care less how you, aaronf or anyone else wants to handle their wage workers. Just thought I'd offer a counterpoint to the let's sit in a circle and talk about our feelings or let's all hold hands and pray that doesn't happen again approach.
Like I said, these are talking point generalisations. Certainly not gonna sit in circle and sing koombaya and hope doesn’t happen again. The idea was and still is the question that: are you sure you aren’t disregarding accident inputs, and hoping the firing of a person will fix the issues that resulted in the incident.

If running a small crew only then you will likely avoid many of these scenarios as you are constantly ‘in the mix’. But running multiple crews and operating business in a corporate manner/style - do you keep finger on pulse or sit and eat popcorn whilst the ladder climbing efforts start.

In the age of meth I have seen both workers and bosses influenced in such a way that they aren’t necessarily seeing the reality of matters and the staff turnover can be huge.

If studying risk engineering you are presented with the idea that for an incident to occur each factor is like a slice of Swiss cheese, and if the holes in the multiple slices of Swiss cheese (incident factors) line up the result is an incident or accident.
 

ghostice

Well-Known Member
I must add this to the discussion so far - please consider that most Occupational Health and Safety legislation around the world requires both workers and employers to report unsafe conditions and to stop unsafe work. Period. Workers (or supervisors) can be charged as well as company's under OH&S legislation and there is also the spectre of negligence/ criminal negligence (under the criminal code) as well. If there had been a fatality, State or Provincial OSHA would usually have investigated the incident and as well most Coroners/ME's offices have a requirement for an investigation under their Fatalities Acts and optionally to conduct a hearing in cases of sudden death. In addition to many points made above, perhaps a review of worker responsibilities under your jurisdiction's OH&S legislation would be a good safety meeting topic. Cutting someones lifeline and slinking away rather than warning could be close to negligence legally. If a prosecutor could prove mens rea (the guilty mind) then we start to do the criminal negligence dance. You just never know what you'll find (was rope cutter guy after the tree climbers girlfriend/ wife?) From bitter experience with about 18 or so fatality investigations over a sordid career . . . . be careful out there.
 

Chaplain242

Active Member
I must add this to the discussion so far - please consider that most Occupational Health and Safety legislation around the world requires both workers and employers to report unsafe conditions and to stop unsafe work. Period. Workers (or supervisors) can be charged as well as company's under OH&S legislation and there is also the spectre of negligence/ criminal negligence (under the criminal code) as well. If there had been a fatality, State or Provincial OSHA would usually have investigated the incident and as well most Coroners/ME's offices have a requirement for an investigation under their Fatalities Acts and optionally to conduct a hearing in cases of sudden death. In addition to many points made above, perhaps a review of worker responsibilities under your jurisdiction's OH&S legislation would be a good safety meeting topic. Cutting someones lifeline and slinking away rather than warning could be close to negligence legally. If a prosecutor could prove mens rea (the guilty mind) then we start to do the criminal negligence dance. You just never know what you'll find (was rope cutter guy after the tree climbers girlfriend/ wife?) From bitter experience with about 18 or so fatality investigations over a sordid career . . . . be careful out there.
I agree in the case whereby a rope is seen to be cut and stop not immediately called to crew. That should also be in the prework safety brief to crew regularly, particularly when have new workers join crew.

I have seen lifelines cut with both chainsaw and hand saw without the person seeing the cut especially when brush or limbs allowed to accumulate over a base tie or against a lifeline. That is also bad practice by the climber as really asking for trouble even though responsibility is still in the hands of the person with the saw. Still have days when a limb will swing there or the way it lays over on the ground, but that should be the exception and the climber should take part in monitoring his lifeline in those situations. It’s his life.

That’s why when there’s any accumulation expected I get the base tie untied and secure the tip in the tree out of harms way.

Last thing I want to be doing is monitoring ground crew every time cutting around base tie whilst trying to climb as well...
 
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Nathanael

New Member
Hey everyone, I work in Kansas where the trees are not really that tall, 70-100 foot max on some large cottonwoods. We also use lifts quite a bit. I probably do about half the climbing for the company when we can’t get a lift to the tree. That being said, I have always been really hesitant to use srt with a basal anchor. Maybe it is because I don’t have a huge need for srt because of how our trees grow and how our company is structured, but I really like the idea of the critical parts of my lifeline being above me—away from all but my own saws.

Is srt with a basal anchor worth the risk of having the basel anchor within reach of an errant ground saw?

Not lobbying for a ban on srt, just wondering about the issue—maybe the risk is offset by the fact that you have no extra rope trailing around everywhere?
 
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southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
A step ladder can put your rope and rope bag out of reach.

A guy that dangerous to cut your base time will be endangering himself and others in other ways, even if you figure out a practically-unenforceable rule.

Is there not already a rule not to damage tools? Isn't cutting any rope is already a no-no?

I tell people not to stand on tools, like keyboard, electric drills, and ropes. They are tools. If someone can't get that in their heads, they can go on down the road.
 

Tom Lynch

Member
This to me, is an excellent case study on a few aspects of the work environment. Not so much about the original post event. Not that is a minor note, that basal anchors come with some unique risks. When basal anchoring, I'm tore with the decision. Set low with a back up lowering system, or set high away from others. It depends climb to climb what I go with, generally tie low. Then swap to canopy tie as soon as I can.

But how to deal with your team. To ensure everyone is on board, that safety values and culture. Are respected, that ownership of team safety is just as important as your own.

I'm currently job hunting as I relocate. Quickly I'm finding the worst part about leaving my team. Is the utter lack of safety culture in the majority of the tree companies I do try out days with. That if no one has got hurt doing it their way, so far. Then it is safe. When there is SO much more that could be standard operating procedures. The information is here, the equipment is here, the cost of a negligent accident. Far out weighs the cost of some training and PPE. Yet some people only chose to chase a few bucks. Or the crews simply see it as a waste of time. Ignoring that the risk of causing an accident or being a victim. Is in their own hands, at the end of the day. I ever so quickly found myself starting to eroded these values, as the pressure of time and money build. It takes a whole environment of healthy respect to make this job as safe as possible.

Laws, training, procedures, compensation, threats: can't necessarily groom in the attitude and respect that I seek in my work place peers.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.
 

Chaplain242

Active Member
One aspect yet to be discussed is frequency of work, in that is the team doing regular work with these systems.

Its great when there's a stable team doing regular complex climbing and dismantles etc..

But when the types of work are seasonal, when the crew members alternate, when there is high turnover, its Monday/Friday... - it can seem like there's an eternal learning curve for the crew to 'get in the groove' of the work, or work as a team.

Likewise for the supervisor/employer to manage training or manage regular exposure to individual members to keep the team current across the spectrum of duties. That takes dedication and resolve to manage in some workplaces. I take my hat off to those employers or managers that can pull it off especially when resources are short.

Its easy in these places to try and rely on say the climber or supervisor to manage the take-down and command/control/teach whilst they are doing it, and I have seen many climbers burn out, or get sick of pushing the boundaries and leave, as they are trying to manage the job with what they have available to them whilst managing safety and damage mitigation whilst in the tree. I myself have done it and it can get to the point where you become mentally fatigued, especially when every job seems structured that way.

It takes focus, and sometimes guts, to say stop and change the Modus Operandi especially when the pressure of time and money builds as TomLynch said.
 

Tom Lynch

Member
One aspect yet to be discussed is frequency of work, in that is the team doing regular work with these systems.

Its great when there's a stable team doing regular complex climbing and dismantles etc..

But when the types of work are seasonal, when the crew members alternate, when there is high turnover, its Monday/Friday... - it can seem like there's an eternal learning curve for the crew to 'get in the groove' of the work, or work as a team.

Likewise for the supervisor/employer to manage training or manage regular exposure to individual members to keep the team current across the spectrum of duties. That takes dedication and resolve to manage in some workplaces. I take my hat off to those employers or managers that can pull it off especially when resources are short.

Its easy in these places to try and rely on say the climber or supervisor to manage the take-down and command/control/teach whilst they are doing it, and I have seen many climbers burn out, or get sick of pushing the boundaries and leave, as they are trying to manage the job with what they have available to them whilst managing safety and damage mitigation whilst in the tree. I myself have done it and it can get to the point where you become mentally fatigued, especially when every job seems structured that way.

It takes focus, and sometimes guts, to say stop and change the Modus Operandi especially when the pressure of time and money builds as TomLynch said.
It is worth noting that my Previous employer, took amazing pride and lengths. To get everyone off the ground. Anyone was welcome to climb / bucket and interchange rolls. At there own pace and when it made sense. For some it was only AR training day (everyone, office staff included had to attempt it), or one light apple prune 5 feet off the ground. For me it gave me the opportunity to learn my climbing craft from nothing. It was encouraged to foster knowledge of what each other was doing. To keep the days engaging or to give a lighter day to a fatigued worker. Build communication and the work place culture he values. Made sure to rotate crew members. 3-4 crews of 2-3 workers. So that if there was some friction people had time to chill or if you just got sick of the same jokes everyday. He climbs everyday, unless mentoring and will gladly swap jobs / rebook if a crew is not comfortable, with no questions. Eating the extra travel time and scheduling costs. In turn I always wanted to perform my best, I never felt negative pressure. Just encouragement. When a big, technical job came up he had his pick as we all would volunteer.

Not an easy task by any means, nor was it perfect. It certainly cost some production and untold stress on him. What it offered was immaculate safety record, high moral and employee retention. Everyone knows if they work for it any opportunity that can be offered, is theirs for the taking.
 
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Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Last night I watched a show about the rise and fall of Tower Records. A company policy that was in place from the beginning through the times where the started rapid expansion was that everyone started as a stocker. Unload boxes and fill shelves. All employees would give a hand to those lower on the training ladder to help them...and the company. Train your replacement sort of thing. This also lead to a deep depth of esprit du corps...company pride and uniformity. They weren't rigid and incorporated new thoughts from new employees. This was a good business model.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
It is worth noting that my Previous employer, took amazing pride and lengths. To get everyone off the ground. Anyone was welcome to climb / bucket and interchange rolls. At there own pace and when it made sense. For some it was only AR training day (everyone, office staff included had to attempt it), or one light apple prune 5 feet off the ground. For me it gave me the opportunity to learn my climbing craft from nothing. It was encouraged to foster knowledge of what each other was doing. To keep the days engaging or to give a lighter day to a fatigued worker. Build communication and the work place culture he values. Made sure to rotate crew members. 3-4 crews of 2-3 workers. So that if there was some friction people had time to chill or if you just got sick of the same jokes everyday. He climbs everyday, unless mentoring and will gladly swap jobs / rebook if a crew is not comfortable, with no questions. Eating the extra travel time and scheduling costs. In turn I always wanted to perform my best, I never felt negative pressure. Just encouragement. When a big, technical job came up he had his pick as we all would volunteer.

Not an easy task by any means, nor was it perfect. It certainly cost some production and untold stress on him. What it offered was immaculate safety record, high moral and employee retention. Everyone knows if they work for it any opportunity that can be offered, is theirs for the taking.
This guy sounds like the dream boss. What a great leader! He's probably spoiled you for working for anyone else, as you might not ever work for a better man for the rest of your time in the industry. I hope I'm wrong, though.

Tim
 

Tom Lynch

Member
It wasn't prefect, but damn close. Opened my eyes to what a arborist work place could be. It is the second time in two industries that I have been so fortunate. Being respectful and painfully honest. Do the work, be eager to learn and take responsibility. Wise bosses that want to build a solid company pick up on that. The fact that I'm not a "hard experienced arborist" is more then offset by caring. About safety, peers, clients, trees, equipment, being efficient and trying to put a positive outlook on most days.

It seems to me so many people are jaded to the ideal "We are hourly, don't work hard, just work, get the hours." They feel that working hard will never be rewarding. To many distant bosses or managers, that never give true performance reviews. ZERO incentive to do better. I try to make my boss as much money every minute I'm on the clock as I can, see something cool on youtube mention it, hear a truck sound funny check the oil, have 15 minutes of down time fuel and sharpen saws, talk calmly to a client until they hear our side, make a mistake / damage something inform someone so it can be fixed asap... what ever. "work harder and smarter" was my boss's favorite saying. I give benefit of the doubt that a raise or bonus will come. If not they will be compelled to give a good reference...

The only way people have power over you, is if you give it to them. (Or if they do not have the awareness to double check for a life line, in a cutting zone. I suppose.) I strive to surround myself with positive people that are better then me. Then work until my mentors become my peers.

I'm not shy to quit one company for another until I find a place I fit into meaningfully. I wish I developed this outlook 15 years ago. The money is the same or even a bit better, why not be happy too?
 
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Tom Lynch

Member
Hey everyone, I work in Kansas where the trees are not really that tall, 70-100 foot max on some large cottonwoods. We also use lifts quite a bit. I probably do about half the climbing for the company when we can’t get a lift to the tree. That being said, I have always been really hesitant to use srt with a basal anchor. Maybe it is because I don’t have a huge need for srt because of how our trees grow and how our company is structured, but I really like the idea of the critical parts of my lifeline being above me—away from all but my own saws.

Is srt with a basal anchor worth the risk of having the basel anchor within reach of an errant ground saw?

Not lobbying for a ban on srt, just wondering about the issue—maybe the risk is offset by the fact that you have no extra rope trailing around everywhere?
A basal anchor is amazing for 90% of the trees I access. Once at the highest point, have a grounds person untie it. They run what ever system you want. The gains are:

Simple to install. Just bomb the throw line over the highest most central safe point. No need to isolate at all. Pull your line over the tree, and tie off.

I will mid line the basal end, so that the climbing leg is just long enough for a redirect or two and still reach the ground. No pulling extra rope around, to manage the tail.

Weight test with two people or a 3:1. Rope walk up, low effort. Until you find the ideal TIP. At that point install your friction saver or change over to a canopy anchor. Or what ever you like, game on...
 

Nathanael

New Member
A basal anchor is amazing for 90% of the trees I access. Once at the highest point, have a grounds person untie it. They run what ever system you want. The gains are:

Simple to install. Just bomb the throw line over the highest most central safe point. No need to isolate at all. Pull your line over the tree, and tie off.

I will mid line the basal end, so that the climbing leg is just long enough for a redirect or two and still reach the ground. No pulling extra rope around, to manage the tail.

Weight test with two people or a 3:1. Rope walk up, low effort. Until you find the ideal TIP. At that point install your friction saver or change over to a canopy anchor. Or what ever you like, game on...
Thanks @Tom Lynch, that makes a lot of sense to me.
 

ghostice

Well-Known Member
Or, it's probably the single malt talking but can't resist:
Basal tie in at head height, or above, on the stem (disadvantage for sure for rescue system setup off this trunk anchor for sure, but there are other resue methods) and a rule to groundsmen to never cut with a chainsaw higher than waist height off the ground. Reduction in risk of cutting the climbers rope? OK, it's the scotch . . . .
 

Tom Lynch

Member
Make things idiot proof and they will just make a better idiot.

I had to ask a peer, to NOT use a pole saw around A: my persons B: a basal tied life line.

Then explain to him why, it is not okay to use a tool that cuts wood like butter on a 15' pole. Near people or a climbing system.

We both were tasked with dead wooding some nice mature open spruce. Three of the them 15' apart in a triangle. He kept insisting to do pole work, bless his sole. In the tree I was climbing rather then the other two.

The second time he switched to the tree I was in, he approached from the back side. I had no idea he was there until swiped at a branch my hand had just left. We had a on site chat, tail board meeting and it came up in the weekly safety meeting. I never lost my shit on him, one of my finest moments.

Comes down to education, communication and respect, no matter the rules in play.
 
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