What Keeps You Safe?

Frax

Well-Known Member
#1
What really keeps you safe on the job? This is a personal question for each of you.
We all have PPE and techniques we can use or not use based on our judgement of the situation and attitude at the time, but I'm talking about what is in your hearts and heads that keeps you safe every day - making good choices.

For me it's the instant 'do-over' moment. You know what this is. We have all had these things in our lives where a bad choice cost us physical well-being, money, or even a relationship. And whenever we think about it we want nothing more than to go back to the point immediately preceding that awful thing.

Well, right before I am tempted to swing out into an iffy position with one hand on the saw because I'm tired or feel pressure to step it up, or make those few bucking cuts without chaps - I think that this is my 'do-over' moment - right now - so I don't have to ache uselessly for it for the rest of my life.

Sorry - long again...
 

theXman

Well-Known Member
#2
1. praying in the morning, for guardian angles to watch and protect over family, friends and co-workers for that day.

2. Being extremely wide eyed and very aware of everything around you on the jobsite. And being so in touch with everything, that you can basically see the future a few minutes ahead of time. I can't explain it maybe...

In the rare moments when very tired, sick or not aware of things for some reason; listening to the "gut" feeling that something is wrong and therefor get away from it.
 

Jako

New Member
#3
striving not to be a hack that gives tree guys a bad name. Who I want to be as an arborist is what usually checks me when I start making those "unsafe" decisions. Having to set an example for the other guys on the crew as well...especially if there is a greenhorn. He's just gonna pick up any bad habits that he see's me doing.
It's funny, some of the guys I worked with in the past that initially taught me how to climb, rig, even simply run a chain saw. Inadvertantly passed off alot of bad work practices without even knowing it. When we are first learning we don't realize this until the better way is shown to us. But looking back on those times and seeing where I am now and where I'm headed makes me push harder to be smarter, and safer...and therefore more fast and efficient.
 
#4
take mental notes like, tie dress and set, and hitting the chain brake right after a cut. i agree with X about being aware of your surroundings and taking the time to look around and see what is going around you before make a cut.
 
#5
Always listen to your inner voice.If you think for a second you need a second tie in do it. Don't disregard those brief thoughts, take an extra second or two. Climbing is one profession where you only get one chance to do it right.
 

markprz

Active Member
#6
Frax,
Your question hits at the heart of the issue.

For me, treework IS meditation... living in the now.
Awareness, Awareness, Awareness.
Where is everybody on the ground?
Where is their attention?
Are my groundies paying attention? Have they eaten properly, hydrated, Have they left there personal troubles at the shop?
Are they concentrating on keeping an eye out for me? Or am I on my own?
Work position is everything.... If I'm set properly, I have created a safe location to work from, thereby mitigating some possible negative outcomes.

Did I listen to what the tree tells me about it's condition?
Am I respecting this being as I prune, or remove?
What are my intentions?.....

I am never in a hurry... efficiency comes from a steady pace and no-one getting hurt.

Inspecting gear... ALL of it... maintaining tools... ALL parts.... Maintaining trucks and equipment... CHECKLISTS!
We don't leave the shop until every piece is approved for use..... Don't jury rig anything! Do it right, or don't do it.

We instill this in every crew member.... we talk about responsibility... we all share the responsibility of returning everyone to their loved-ones at the end of the day. We talk about the consequences... in detail.
We talk about the anatomy of an accident... we use awakenings and the TCIA accident/injury reports as a starting point, and brainstorm the ripples of each accident.
We talk it out to make it real.
We talk about Mrs. Ethel M. Hugg whose tragedy helped forge the ANSI Z.... that we live by.

We plan out escape routes... hoping to never take them.
We discuss the worst case scenario...hoping never to see it pass.
We endure ridicule from those who scoff at our commitment to each other's safety.


Listen to your heart, that 'little voice'.... intuition.
Treework is more spiritual than religion.
Treework is more personal than meditation.
Treework is more healing than yoga.
Treework is more instructive than school. (if you can listen)
Treework is about loving yourself enough to be professional all the time. And loving your co-workers enough to vigilantly care for their safety and personal growth.

Even if you've worked in unsafe ways, or conditions in the past....once you've been exposed to new ways of thinking about safety, you can never go back to the 'bliss' of ignorance.... Every time you read about an injury, an equipment failure, a near-miss, or a fatality... it changes you a little bit... I think of my friends who can no longer participate in treework... their families...the ripples....

Somehow I try to keep all of this in mind with every footlock, every cinch of the lanyard, every reposition of the bucket, every pull of the trigger, every 'all clear' I utter.


Frax, If I could figure out how to distill this into a teachable nugget, and impart it to the 82,000 tree care companies and 160,000 workers.... I'd feel that I'd finally contributed mightily.

Yours in Trees,
 
#7
Thanks for this thread. That last kind of left me speechless. So I'll just say that what you all describe... is a good way not only to work but to live. Every time I read a post on here, it gives me more to consider.
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
#9
Attitude. In my mind's eye the goal is to see everyone go home in one piece at the end of the day. Everything stems from that. How will I reach that goal given where we're starting from in the morning.
 

Riggs

Well-Known Member
#10
Is it what keeps you safe or who ? If your a God fearing man , than that's your answer . If not , well than , roll of the dice , spin of the wheel or just some other plain ol luck . Just because you make it thru the day , does that make you safe or just a good day ? Too many variables , same is not going to be true for everyday . A groundmans life can depend on his aerial counterpart , a Tree climber could be in the hands of his ground "person" , you just don't know . I bet Funeral homes make more money than tree guys , if everybody was safe , firefighters and rescuers would be out of work ( ER , doesnt have a slow day) . Live everyday likes it's your last , because it just might be . No guarantees . None . Zero . If you just get a dozen stitches , how bad was your day , ask any man in a grave yard and he'd love to just have a dozen stitches . Plus five! I'd love to see everyone go home every day , only in a perfect over populated world . Next Baby ...your turn.
 

Riggs

Well-Known Member
#12
Zale , niether one of those opinions will keep you safe , now help us out and answer the question ...what keeps you safe? you can do it . I feel it . Do you know your limitations ? is that why your here ? Is your ego in check ? is that why your still here ? Hold your nose and fake a sneeze , and say BullS*t at the same time . Throw a little cough in there and it muffles it a little better .
 
#13
I don't know Riggs, I thought it answered the question for me. There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone who has posted is giving their opinion.

What keeps me safe today is learning from my mistakes from the past. As someone who has never made a mistake, I don't expect you to understand this concept.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
#14
pay attention to every little mishap, miscommunication, close call etc, implement a remedial strategy for every one. Pray on every job before the saw starts. watch the new guys out of the corner of your eye all day long.. stop and observe them when they aren't looking.. get on their case when you see unsafe behavior or better yet, get them off the crew.. Having co-workers you can trust to keep as much of an eye on everyone and everything as you do (thank GOD). take no chances with personal safety, like you might take a small chance with a fence..

ON Monday I was taking a 10" top out of a big leaning oak, flying the boom under one lead to reach out to the far lead to set the rigging and make the cut.. tree not only had a good bit of lean, but also had signs of serious structural issues at the base. I had already significantly lightened up the lead I was under, so I was 99.99% sure there was no way the tree was going to fail at the base when this piece landed in the rigging. BUT since my life was on the line, 99.99% was not good enough. I started the top cut with the chainsaw, then flew the boom around to the far side of the lead I was under, and finished the cut with a pole saw.. I actually felt a little silly doing it that way. SO I guess that's another thing.. don't let your pride keep from looking or feeling a little silly, when its a matter of life and death..
 

theXman

Well-Known Member
#15
[ QUOTE ]
Pray on every job before the saw starts.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ha! you see! I knew there must be a higher power keeping Daniel alive.


That settles it for me, now I know why he isn't hurt or dead.

Don't get too cocky Daniel or God might just bittch slap ya back to put you in your place. Despite having you and your crew protected every day.
 

Frax

Well-Known Member
#16
I look forward to Daniel videos. For awhile I thought maybe he'd gotten himself killed and we would all be the poorer for it.
Why do I like the Daniel vids so much? I have a bit of training and only a little experience in rigging. I watch the vid and make mental notes before I read the thread.

"Oh crap, really?"

"That looks scary to me but maybe I'm just a weenie"

"why the f would it be done that way, and not this way that seems logical to me?"

"But what do I know, there must be a reason for it. Maybe I'll find out what that is."

Then, I read all your comments and compare my thoughts to your feedback. I feel good when my instinct, inexperienced though it is matches the general concensus. I feel like I really am learning something.

Thanks Daniel. Glad you're still with us. Seriously, I never want to hear that one of the TreeBuzz Family got hurt.
 
#17
God (who made humans and trees, etc.)
A wife and two daughters
Keeping all that I've learned from my teachers (many of them, here on the buzz) at the front of my mind
Trying to have a humble spirit, calm mind, healthy body
Not wanting to show up on the Awakenings forum of Treebuzz

(in that order of importance)

Great thread, Frax! Thanks!
 
#18
[ QUOTE ]
What really keeps you safe on the job? This is a personal question for each of you.
We all have PPE and techniques we can use or not use based on our judgement of the situation and attitude at the time, but I'm talking about what is in your hearts and heads that keeps you safe every day - making good choices.

For me it's the instant 'do-over' moment. You know what this is. We have all had these things in our lives where a bad choice cost us physical well-being, money, or even a relationship. And whenever we think about it we want nothing more than to go back to the point immediately preceding that awful thing.

Well, right before I am tempted to swing out into an iffy position with one hand on the saw because I'm tired or feel pressure to step it up, or make those few bucking cuts without chaps - I think that this is my 'do-over' moment - right now - so I don't have to ache uselessly for it for the rest of my life.

Sorry - long again...

[/ QUOTE ].

Man does that ever hit home for me! I thank you for reminding me of those "do-over" moments and the feelings of regret that go with them! Ive definatly been blessed in my life to not have gone through too many of them. Good idea for a thread Frax, no money in gettin hurt bud!
 
#20
AS with anything I do tree work related or not, if my groundies and me can't go home to our families at the end of the day with nothing more than electrical tape for a band-aid at the most, then I need to find another way to do it or not do it at all. For me that is my bottom line.
 
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