SRT - Pandora's Box?

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Mangoes

Well-Known Member
SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

I realize that many have grown fond of SRT and the benefits and efficiencies it is percieved to provide.

However; I would like to ask a few questions.

1) Will the reverence for SRT exist if the user is required to employ a secondary back up line? (i.e. similar to rope access workers)

2) Are SRT proponents aware that the regulators may interpret the acceptance of SRT by the Arb community as a means to demand conformance with existing rope access regulations? (i.e. secondary back up line)

3) Would SRT advocates accept the obligation to adhere to current rope access regulations for other industries?

An anecdote may help provide background.

In 2001 a worker at the City of Toronto, seasoned and experienced with closed DDRT systems chose to `try out`an open, split tail system. Problem was - the climbing line was terminated with the knot he regulariy employed - a bowline. The bowline failed and he fell and was significantly injured. (Discussion re: termination knots need not be beaten gain)

The fall out is where it gets really interesting. Due to the occurance of a Critical Injury, as defined by the Ministry of Labour, the incident had to be report to the MoL, who then launched an investigation. Whitle doing so they issued a stop order to the entire forestry division and all forestry contractors. I believe it was for near 2 months. (non-union Senior managers were doing things like mowing grass during this time)

Upon investigation the MoL got very disturbed by our use of DDRT climbing systems as they did not conform to any other regulated work at height system. For a period of time they were demanding that industry spokes persons determine the effectiveness of the systems employed by Window washers. SRT with descent device, secondary line with rope grab backup. One of my mentors was on the committee reviewing this with other industry reps and fortunately or unfortunately we got to try these systems for a few days. The experience was not favourable.

Concessions were made and the result was the development of the Arborist Safe Work Practices and the governing committee. By developing the standards and periodlically reviewing them the committee has partially appeased the MoL.

The MoL still doesnt like what we do or how we do it; and it somewhat worries me that the quick acceptance of SRT by the Arbo community might inadvertently open Pandora`s Box. By this i mean that the regulators (who never really care about hands on perceptions of a tool or technique)may see partial compliance as a means to demanding full compliance to the standards for techniques already in place for other industries.

Thoughts and discussion appreciated.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Regulations are a bit different...or non-existant...in the US...so far.

ARbo/treework isn't considered rope access, yet. If it ever is brought under the RA umbrella it won't make any difference if a tree climber is using SRT or DdRT.

Using SPRAT/IRATA standards in treework is going to be a real challenge. Since RA systems are anchored onto known, rated, anchors, how are we going to 'rate' tree anchor points. Much less, two?!

We never know what OSHA might consider so there could be an over-night surprise. But, I do know that the Z133 Committee is NOT interested in over-laying any sort of RA standards in the arbo world. Like I said, it would apply to SRT and DdRT at the same time.

Now...to back-up a bit in the story. Can you share the story of how it was determined that the climbers bowline 'failed'? From my lifetime of working with/on ropes there are basically three ways that a knot can fail:

1-Choose the wrong knot for the application. Example: tying off a rope that will experience intermittent loads using only a couple of half hitches. The cycling of the load can ratchet the knots loose leading to failure.

2-A load is applied to the rope leading to knot failure. After reading MANY break test reports done with certified dynamometers it takes a HUGE load to break a rope or knot. Much more than a climber's body could ever survive in a fall.

3-The knot wasn't Tie/Dressed/Set properly. This means it was pilot-error not knot failure. Just yesterday a climber that I work with tied a running bowline for a basal anchor of his SRT ascent. When I looked at the bowline it wasn't dressed and the interlocking loops had enough space to slip a carpenter's pencil inside. NOT good! I corrected him.

I'd like to know if there are, in general, other ways to have a knot fail. Then, why was the bowline blamed in the accident. If this incident is what brough the MoL eye onto treework it is significant to know.
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

The discussion is pointless imho
Arboriculture more specifically the trade of climbing arborist is a voluntary trade. Anyone can call themself an arborist and operate a business as an arborist.
There is no one to regulate or police.
Our industry is small, specialized and exceptional.

I would like to see someday that a tree will only be touched by the hands of someone with the best of qualifications.

SRT away my friends.
Let this thread be an education in
back ups at a minimum.
2 tie ins for up and down does make sense.
2 tie ins for all around and up and down can be dangerous.

We need options in this work not limitations.
Its just to demanding in every respect.
 

Mangoes

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Point 1 - my dates were off a bit; 2004
http://www.treebuzz.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=10185&an=0&page=39#10185

Point 2 - i hope to avoid the bowline debate as it was adequately hammered in 2004
http://www.treebuzz.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=13778&an=0&page=74#13778

Now: to not brush aside the thread topic - what do we think about the potential for the increased prevalence of SRT inviting scrutiny by the regulators? I realize a standard for Arbo SRT has been proposed, and is to be reviewed at the next ANSI meeting. (significantly influenced by the past ITCC circumstances) I have the understanding that Arbo specific SRT techniques within the standard do not include a secondary backup line. However; are the SRT proponents aware of the risk that regulators may usurp this standard due to it's similarity to preexisting and standardised/regulated techniques?

I feel that we have shrouded DDRT systems, though unfavourable by Ontario MoL regulators, with reasonings that indicate differences that are safe and necessary. I feel that our regulators might find Arbor SRT systems are similar enough to what they would prefer, growing in popularity and therefore worthy of regulating to the standards for other industries. I feel that such a push could be found to be less than favourable for seasoned tradespersons currently practicing the trade.

All exprssions of perspective appreciated.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Why in the world would/should/could there be one set of standards for SRT and another for DdRT? That's ridiculus!
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

We climb trees and enjoy the comfort of a trusted system.
Mol allows workers to climb and work of ladders up to 30 40 or more feet with out a tie in.

There is no Pandora's box. To try and compare specific work practices between industries that climb or work from heights will be Wasted money, time and effort.
Better spent on education.
 

Mangoes

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

[ QUOTE ]
The discussion is pointless imho

[/ QUOTE ]

We were very, very , very close to this in 2004 RS. 2 months out from the winter semester at Humber College instructors were being told a two line system was to be taught to all students.

[ QUOTE ]
Arboriculture more specifically the trade of climbing arborist is a voluntary trade. Anyone can call themself an arborist and operate a business as an arborist.
There is no one to regulate or police.

[/ QUOTE ]

The Ministry of Labour can/will enforce the OHSA to any worker on any work site. A worker is defined as anyone paid to perform work or supply services. So you or i pruning a Magnolia by ourselves in 85 y/o Mrs. Smith's 100 acre estate is open for inpsection by an MoL inspector. It is a myth that self employed, single operators can operate outside of the Act. (additionally - come 2013 all solo-sub contractors working on a construction project have to employ WSIB for disability coverage - no longer able to employ third party insurance i.e. SunLife Disablity Policy - this may impact tree guys who work on construction projects)

[ QUOTE ]
Let this thread be an education in
back ups at a minimum.
2 tie ins for up and down does make sense.
2 tie ins for all around and up and down can be dangerous.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think pushing for industry wide acceptance of SRT may result in unforseen consequences.

[ QUOTE ]

SRT away my friends.

[/ QUOTE ]

Don't be naive or laissez faire about this topic. At the very least proponents of Arbo SRT need to consider developing their defence if regulators decide to force two line climbing systems.
 

Mangoes

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

[ QUOTE ]
Why in the world would/should/could there be one set of standards for SRT and another for DdRT? That's ridiculus!

[/ QUOTE ]

You may mis-intepret my thoughts Tom. I predict/imagine that if regulators see that Arbos are catching on to single line SRT (double negative?) then they may think to themselves - 'they can/will use ONLY a primary SRT with backup line sytem'.

In other words - i worry it could bring about the demise of DdRT altogether and single line SRT.


Caveat - i really have no SRT/DdRT preference. I dont get to climb anymore. Im pretty sure (and my history on the buzz should prove a relatively open mind) that were i in trees every day id have been trying out an SRT system ages ago. I like to think that as a manager, i get to/have to take a broader, semi-external perspective on the nuances of this new trend in the community. As a manger - i really dont care what the regulators end up doing, I just have to adapt my regulatory compliance and cost/estimating process.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

[ QUOTE ]


Don't be naive or laissez faire about this topic. At the very least proponents of Arbo SRT need to consider developing their defence if regulators decide to force two line climbing systems.

[/ QUOTE ]

A two line system regulation would have to be applied equally, DdRT or SRT. There's no intrinsic safety difference in that regard between the two approaches.

So the defense would have to stand up for both DdRT and SRT.

I think it's a wash, SRT isn't adding extra pressure to increase regulation, Canada regulators can find plenty wrong with DdRT if they wish to impose two line rules.

Furthermore... because of the distributed TIP possible with SRT work positioning technique, it's really worth pushing forward with innovation in this area, there are obvious safety advantages never mind the productivity advantages.

In other words, I don't think there will be any problem finding credible sources to advocate for SRT when or if regulators come calling. TCIA SRT manual is a good start.
-AJ
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

[ QUOTE ]

In other words - i worry it could bring about the demise of DdRT altogether and single line SRT.

[/ QUOTE ]

And the demise of tree work. Don't think that will happen. It's worth pushing forward with innovation as opposed to fearing innovation will bring down an industry. Tree work needs to be done, they (the regulators) would find themselves in a tough position of they created rules that killed such a useful and important (for public safety) industry.
-AJ
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Mangoes...I'm a voting member of the Z133 Committee. There might be one other working climber on the Committee who knows as much about SRT as I do. The rest of the climbing knowledge is solidly on DdRT and most do understand that SRT will be incorporated into the next standard. Our first meeting for the new standard is on 12/12 in Baltimore.

Since TCIA is solidly behind SRT i think that we're in a good position here to bring workable sense to climbing in the US.

If treeworkers are going to be required to have TWO tie-ins it might/will mean that some trees won't be climbed. We all know that there is sometimes only ONE solid PSP/TIP in a tree.

Time will tell. Like any revolution/evolution there will be lots of energy used.
 

dylanclimbs

Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Hopefully here in Canada, the regulators with no experience will defer to practitioners with lifetimes of experience...or at least compromise with the intent of allowing pragmatism to rule. In BC, it is technically still mandatory to use spikes, and a flipline (but only a flipline) to climb trees. Because it is obviously safer, duh!

There are local ministry contract monitors that basically close their eyes, place fingers in their ears and sing old mcdonalds farm when you talk about arborist techniques with regard to tree climbing. Not for long, though...an apprenticeship program is here! These things just take time, and I don't think any of us will start using spikes on beech prunes just because the government tells us so.

I firmly believe the volunteer efforts of those in the know in the industry will prevent it from being overrun by a bunch of liability insurance pandering government officials.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Dylan...your optimism is heartening, thanks :)

I firmly believe the volunteer efforts of those in the know in the industry will prevent it from being overrun by a bunch of liability insurance pandering government officials.
 

Winch

Active Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

"Just yesterday a climber that I work with tied a running bowline for a basal anchor of his SRT ascent. "

Scary.

I thought you guys were supposed to be using portawrap as a means of lowering the climber - then again, the timber or cow hitch could be incorrectly tied as well I suppose...
 

Colin

Administrator
Administrator
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Scary in the fact that it would not allow the climber to be readily lowered from the ground in the event of a rescue.

A running bowline is pretty bomber if a proper back-up (Yosemite back-up or Double fisherman's) is used.

Training your entire crew on the intracasies of the anchoring system will aid in that "wishy-washy" feeling.

The ability to have a "bombproof" anchoring system should be the primary thought and the ability to make it releasable should be utilized only if the entire crew is training on it. Many times we make the anchoring system more complex, adding more gear to the system that could "flop" and misalign.

Check out TCIA's Best Practices for SRT in Arboriculture for more info. TreeStuff has it for sale at a great price!


Donny
 

countryboypa31

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

A nice trick if your looking to just use a running bowline (with a yosemite backup) for a tie off, is to put an alpine butterfly in just above it. This allows quick and easy place to attach a second rope or the tail of your free end in the event that you need to be lowered.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

[ QUOTE ]
That is a good tip Derrick.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, Yes, Yes!
 

boreality

Well-Known Member
Re: SRT - Pandora\'s Box?

Some comments have hinted at it but just incase someone missed it. SRT DRT, same thing in terms of safety. One rope doubled is still one rope. It's like what if a snowboarder or a skier broke his leg. So really just keep solidifying what we got.

I've always thought the term "industry" didn't sound right when used with "tree care".
I'm putting a wild monkeypox on that.
 
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