Stupid number of fatalities and injuries 2015

treehumper

Well-Known Member
I guess that's all it took to get them to take serious the need for specific regulations, ala ANSI standards, in our industry instead of the random interpretations of existing regs for others.

It just proves the point that behind every OSHA rule there's a body.

I hate to sound so callous....
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
That article is the typical response, arborists are somehow special and need special rules.

Arborists may need to tailor certain practices but basic H&S can be applied here and now, not after a bunch of industry self-declared bigwigs decides how to do it.

The poor 19 year old who was dragged through the chipper is an excellent example. He needed to be made aware of all the hazards his job entailed prior to commencement of work and he needed to be supervised to ensure that mitigation and training was being used. This is no different than any other job.

Anybody dying on the first day at work is dying due to lack of training and supervision, not the danger of the job itself. People are dying because of attitude of the employer.
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
Yes, its the attitude that makes the work dangerous and especially the one exhibited by the employers. It's not that we're special but that the rules used often don't fit the particulars for tree work. Working at heights for instance, according to OHSA in Ontario, requires a rated anchor point.

Like many industries before they see the light only after years of deaths and injuries but, not before regulations are created and more importantly, enforced.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I have looked at the OHSA and the act does not speak to Working at Heights. Construction regulations speak to anchor points being capable of supporting, this is very different from rated.

Thus there is no contradiction with tree climbers, climbers must choose an anchor point that is capable of supporting the load that they will apply to it.
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
I stand corrected.... I think. So, what I'm to understand is that the regs for working at heights are covered under construction vs. industrial where it used to be covered? Or that the industrial regs cover some of our activities and construction others and sometimes both? It's up to the inspector to determine just which one.... Sorry mrtree, that's the sort of problem I believe the industry wants to address.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why arborists do not know where they stand, they can ask or they can read. A couple of minutes of searching finds this "most other workplaces that are covered by the OHSA, but not by one of the four specific sector regulations listed above. The Ontario MoL generally refers to these types of workplaces as “extended workplaces”, meaning that although the OHSA applies to them, there is no specific sector regulation that currently applies.

Thus if the word arborist, or the term tree worker, is used, the worker (and employer) must abide by the Act and regulations as applicable. It is really not hard, if you are a tree worker with the potential to fall you need to be tied in like any other worker. Just because you call yourself an arborist does not mean you can kill an employee because the word arborist is not found in the guiding legislation for H&S.
 
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treehumper

Well-Known Member
The Ontario MoL generally refers to these types of workplaces as “extended workplaces”, meaning that although the OHSA applies to them, there is no specific sector regulation that currently applies.
It's the interpretation of those regs. For some it becomes difficult. For a short while there was a directive interpreting felling rules and having them apply to tree services that were unrealistic given the typical job site. While I agree with your position I just see it fails in the real world whether it's by ignorance or just willful disobedience. The fatalities and injuries that occur bear that out.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
What is so hard about felling rules applying to tree workers? If you are felling a tree it really does not matter if it is a logger or an arborist, the same techniques should be applied. IF you are pulling over a tree have a long enough rope, etc.

You hit the nail on the head ignorance, ignorance in a number of uses of the word. Disobedience can be included under the broad heading of ignorance.

There is no secret about safe work practices in virtually any industry, there is just lots of people who are ignorant of them.
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
The felling rule was one of distance outside the felling zone vs. technique. I forget the exact number but it just wasn't practical in an urban setting.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
Again a quick search of logging in Ontario says:
“felling area” means an area where trees are being felled and into which they might fall; (“parterre de coupe”)
107. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a felling area shall be kept clear of workers. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 107 (1).

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to,

(a) a worker authorized by the employer or supervisor to be in the felling area; or

(b) an inspector or worker accompanying an inspector in the course of their duties. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 107 (2).

Why would you want a tree worker or arborist in the felling area of an urban tree removal? Dismantling a tree is something different and it would make sense to not have a worker in the area where a piece of a tree is being dropped or lowered.

What is so impractical about the logging rule being good practice for "urban loggers"?
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
I was talking about the US and the interpretation of being, I believe it was, 1.5 times the height of the tree away from the base during felling operations.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
so 1.5 times the height as is used in the TRAQ system where it is acknowledged that branches can break and fly further than the height of the tree.

If you think it is fine to stand in the way of a falling tree by all means do so but be prepared to tell investigators and the family why the father, son, mother, daughter etc. is dead or injured.

Clearly H&S has some absolutes but a lot if it is interpretation. Interpretation needs to fall on the side of life and safety, not on the side of money and expediency.
 

1adkarborist

Active Member
mrtree, I agree with most of what you say, and I admire your convictions, but the issue is obviously not that clearly interpreted here in the U.S. The industry has been working on these issues for a long time. I think part of the problem in the U.S. is our "cowboy" mentality. Not everyone is going to interpret rules and standards in the manner that you purport. unfortunately many people take chances for the sake of profit, not knowing that with a little practice and some cultural changes, safety and production can go hand in hand. this is a long road we are on, trying to change these issues in the industry, and unfortunately there is such an influx of new workers, employers every year it is difficult to gain the momentum and consensus needed to get over the hump. Just look at the posts here on this forum going back a few years. There are some hot topics that whenever brought up bring about a firestorm of controversy. This notion of sacrificing safety for production are so ingrained and accepted in our industry, I don't know if we will ever get over that hump.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
There is no great secret to H&S, it is well established, well known, and well published. We know in general what to do and how to do it. I am certain people want to "interpret" rules but it is not on the side of increased safety, it is always against safety.

Attitude and ignorance are simple explanations of why H&S is not done or taken seriously. It is not confined to the US or the tree industry, it just happens to be the situations we know.

At the end of the day when the coroner is carting away the body or the family is waiting outside the emergency room it is not good enough to say "Safety is important but ......(fill in with money, time, the inspector doesn't understand, Latinos, I know better, I have been doing this 30 years, everybody else is stupid, I am an American, I hate the government ...)"
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
I think you mistake what I'm saying for condoning actions that put workers in harm's way. The reality is that the interpretation by companies and thus many of the employees tends to the production and profit side. If you're stance is safety first then you'll interpret the rules to reflect that. By the fact that the numbers were stubbornly consistent and now jumping upwards reinforces that. What does it take to move to the next level of enlightenment in our industry? Here's an article on what Alcoa did. Think of this in terms of our industry. Where are the obstacles to a paradigm shift in attitude toward safety?
http://ehssafetynewsamerica.com/2012/09/25/one-of-the-best-safety-speeches-ever-by-a-ceo/
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
I am not misunderstanding your intent at all. What I do not accept is that there is a need for interpretation. We know what to do already, it is just that we need to apply it.

The majority of deaths in the tree business seems to be: cutting yourself out of the tree, struck-bys, and equipment failure. Lesser things are jumping into the chipper and electrocution. We know how to eliminate these injuries, we need to do it.

These deaths are not a matter of interpretation: 200% tie-off when cutting, communicate what you are doing, don't stand in the drop zone, inspect your equipment, stay out of the chipper and keep away from energized conductors unless you are trained and authorized. These don't require interpretation, they require implementation.

The need for a culture change is huge, I see it with many of the people I train, in tree work and other industries.

The first problem is that we do not have an industry, arborist has come to mean anybody that owns a chainsaw. The
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
My point exactly eliminate the opportunity for interpretation and hold to account those responsible for implementation. How many of these accidents result in penalties for the supervisors, managers, ceos or owners?

Yes, it will take a industry wide shift in culture. That includes a willingness to address what defines an arborist and how we can uphold that definition.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
These employers out there sending ignorant new guys to jobs without prior training should definitely be held accountable, especially in the event of injury or death. On-the-job training is a joke unless one person is fully dedicated to training the hire. I really liked the idea of guilding our trade to have an extensive apprenticeship approach to educating new professionals. At any rate newbies should be required to practice elements of tree work in low stress, low risk, low consequence senarios preferably not on a job at all. But who wants to do that?
 
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