UK. Two ropes at all times(USA next?)

TC

Well-Known Member
The UK Health and Safety Executive are now expecting to see the climber attached to two ropes at all times when in the tree.

UK climbers are now actively fighting the decision based on it being unworkable and at times more dangerous than moving through the tree on a single rope and in various other treework operations that involve rigging etc.. This is not to be confused with two attachment points when cutting - it means two ropes when working in the tree at all times similar to IRATA (SPRAT in the USA) industrial rope access workers.

The HSE attended a demonstration put on by the UK Arboricultural Association where the AA's demo climbers attempted to show just how difficult and impractical it would be to use two climbing ropes in various treeclimbing scenarios but the HSE having seen the demo are not moving from their position.

Much of HSE's concern seems to be based on the use of SRT and SRTWP (work positioning) - which they now class as rope access (conforming to IRATA/SPRAT) this means they're pushing for general DdRT on a single line (majority of UK climbers) to be doubled up as well.

Original AA article outlining the HSE decision -

https://www.trees.org.uk/Help-Advice/Public/Background-to-the-HSE-decision-on-two-rope-working

Arbtalk threads -

https://arbtalk.co.uk/forums/topic/116973-background-to-the-hse-decision-on-two-rope-working/

https://arbtalk.co.uk/forums/topic/117047-two-rope-working-consultation/
 
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ghostice

Well-Known Member
Location
Calgary
Sure glad I became a specialist in climbing only double/ triple topped conifers! Two lanyards maybe, but I think this is generally daft and will lead to a whole bunch of rigging accidents and whatfor. Most of the time I’ve admired HSE’s work but this seems like overstepping for the sake of regulating something some more. Lotsa paper pushers, not much to do? I suppose next, two separate lines when climbing waterfall ice for international guiding? Only twin engine helicopters with two independent tail rotor systems? 737 max’s with triple redundant MCAS anti buckin’ anit-splat systems? Where does it stop? Of Acceptable Risk.
I want to hear what some PNW loggers think of this. Let the fun and games begin . . .
 

Jemco

Well-Known Member
Location
San Diego
I've used two body lines at once to create V twin TIP's to access branches n leaders way too fragile to exert any real weight on, many times.

I'm even quite partial to climbin big decurrent hardwoods with two body lines, a long and a short.

But mandating having two TIP's at all times is a bridge too far, and a production killer.

Are there any commercial production climbers at all on board with this BS?

Jemco
 

Evan Sussman

Active Member
Location
Stanwood, WA
We just did some training at Aerial Rescue Challenge 2019 with SPRAT techniques, as well as some seminar style education on twin tension systems.

I've been trying to implement twin tension into my work practices. So far it's been on spar (bottom up conifer takedown, and on a cottonwood takedown).

There are some times when it has downsides, but it hasn't been a huge hangup so far.

Having a second climb line means you're always tied in with an egress system, even when passing limbs. Just the other day I found a massive bald faced hornet's nest. Due to this practice I had a system installed. All I had to do was drop my lanyard and bomb down 20' to safety. Otherwise, if I happened to be on only my lanyard I would've had to install a system undress stress / attack, or spur downwards under no protection from a misstep / slip.

There are issues with Twin Tension that we need to develop systems / gear to deal with, but there are benefits to it too.

Check out the Facebook post for pictures of the system deployed that I used, as well as the hornet's nest.

#saferthenyou :)

 
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Evan Sussman

Active Member
Location
Stanwood, WA
How easy is it to come down with 2 systems or this twin tension system if you injure your hand or arm?
I can operate both zigzags with one hand, not an issue. I did have to play with the carabiners to get the height correct. I believe others have successfully operated 2 hitches, and some other mechanical too.
 

JTree

Well-Known Member
Location
East Texas
The more I think about this the less I like it. Lots of good points being made and it already feels like the governing bodies don't give a crap about what leading industry professionals think.

I'm all for working safely, but there is a disconnect between the policy writers and the industries they are regulating, and sometimes it is putting people in unnessicary risks.

For example: I've been out of the full time tree game for sometime working in oil/gas. There are regulations in place that require workers to be in full Fire Retardant clothing on job sites all the time. This sounds like a great idea, but in practice it doesn't work out well in a number of scenarios. Example: in west Texas this year there were over 3 dozen heat related incidents. FR clothing is not breathable by design. No one can convince me that it did not play a role in those incidents. And once a person has had one heat related incident, they are far more susceptible to a second. Also, at times, a worker will be absolutely covered in hydrocarbons due to the nature of the task being performed......how much protection is that cloth when a body is soaked in oil? None......but that's not really the issue. The issue arises when that worker goes to wash his clothes. He can't get that crap out of his clothes with regular soap, so he uses some sort of high powered soap and now those clothes are no longer fire Retardant, because the soap has taken that quality out of the clothes, but he still gets a pass on an osha inspection because the tag says it's fine.

I hate to be this guy, but the less intervention the government has at this point the better off we are. Worker safety is a high priority to most people at this point and we do a pretty good job without the alphabet guys getting in our hair.
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
Location
Ontario, Canada
It's selfish and ignorant to not move forward with 2 life system.
Try explaining the injury or death of a loved one.
He/she died because there was no back up.
There is room for it, i'm proof of It as the owner and climber in a productive aerial arb tree co.
I free Climbed big trees all through my childhood and freeclimbed rock where others have died.
The focus was staying alive, pretty easy right?????
Throw in pwr tools, cutting, pruning, mental state, health and well being.
Do what u got to do just know others are not as capable. Someone you know nothing about.
 

ghostice

Well-Known Member
Location
Calgary
The more I think about this the less I like it. Lots of good points being made and it already feels like the governing bodies don't give a crap about what leading industry professionals think.

I'm all for working safely, but there is a disconnect between the policy writers and the industries they are regulating, and sometimes it is putting people in unnessicary risks.

For example: I've been out of the full time tree game for sometime working in oil/gas. There are regulations in place that require workers to be in full Fire Retardant clothing on job sites all the time. This sounds like a great idea, but in practice it doesn't work out well in a number of scenarios. Example: in west Texas this year there were over 3 dozen heat related incidents. FR clothing is not breathable by design. No one can convince me that it did not play a role in those incidents. And once a person has had one heat related incident, they are far more susceptible to a second. Also, at times, a worker will be absolutely covered in hydrocarbons due to the nature of the task being performed......how much protection is that cloth when a body is soaked in oil? None......but that's not really the issue. The issue arises when that worker goes to wash his clothes. He can't get that crap out of his clothes with regular soap, so he uses some sort of high powered soap and now those clothes are no longer fire Retardant, because the soap has taken that quality out of the clothes, but he still gets a pass on an osha inspection because the tag says it's fine.

Oilpatch FR stuff comes in two “flavors” - treated fabrics (subject to the washing problems) and stuff like Nomex - intrinsically flame retardant fabric. But whatever anyone does Do Not Buy Cheap FR clothing - usually sewn with plain cotton thread - they can fall apart in fire! Nomex thread can add $40 to the cost of a garment but it’s worth it for the protection. To find out if you have cotton thread sewn garments tease out some thread and put a match to it.
To manage heat stress we’ve used cooling vests ( don’t know if they come in FR). Other good Buzz threads on this.
my 2 cents for tonight . . .
 

climbingmonkey24

Well-Known Member
Location
Ludlow
It's selfish and ignorant to not move forward with 2 life system.
Try explaining the injury or death of a loved one.
He/she died because there was no back up.
There is room for it, i'm proof of It as the owner and climber in a productive aerial arb tree co.
I free Climbed big trees all through my childhood and freeclimbed rock where others have died.
The focus was staying alive, pretty easy right?????
Throw in pwr tools, cutting, pruning, mental state, health and well being.
Do what u got to do just know others are not as capable. Someone you know nothing about.
Yes but it raises the questions and concerns can it actually be more harmful than good in certain situations.

We know there are certain times when two lines are beneficial. But in situations where it’s questionable, what is the benefit versus risk?

For instance, what if you need to bail out of the tree real fast but you’re tied in with two systems and a lanyard?

I guess where people are questioning this is for those certain situations where is there the potential for it to be more of a risk than benefit.

I’m all for improved safety. Heck, sometimes I’ll use two lanyards in addition to my climbing line. Or two climbing lines and a lanyard in specific situations.

But is it applicable for every situation?
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Yes but it raises the questions and concerns can it actually be more harmful than good in certain situations.

We know there are certain times when two lines are beneficial. But in situations where it’s questionable, what is the benefit versus risk?

For instance, what if you need to bail out of the tree real fast but you’re tied in with two systems and a lanyard?

I guess where people are questioning this is for those certain situations where is there the potential for it to be more of a risk than benefit.

I’m all for improved safety. Heck, sometimes I’ll use two lanyards in addition to my climbing line. Or two climbing lines and a lanyard in specific situations.

But is it applicable for every situation?
I am all for having two systems available, but climbers choice to use it.

Makes me think if there was two lines at all times would there be even more force on a bridge if fell onto system as there would be less stretch.
 

*useless info*

Well-Known Member
Location
usa
i tried to keep failsafe of 2nd tie in, or at least controlling line of lanyard
>>sometimes check line, was unused rigging line for balance etc.
then lanyard off in addition to lifeline and put rig line on target
>>when situation allowed
.
On the flip side>>
Any strong connection to climber can save them;
but then if that system takes a hit opens to disaster as well; allowing to snag climber etc.
let alone .
 

ghostice

Well-Known Member
Location
Calgary
Can someone that was at aerialrescuechallenge outline two ropes for climbing a conifer please (no limbing out on the way up)? Throwline to two separate limbs and then two ropes? Climbing with one two-way lanyard to bypass limbs or two lanyards?
Wish I coulda gone but would like to hear the gospel. Dave we need a Wesspur video!
And if we're mandating two climb lines used (or available??) why not mandate a complete rescue system is available too?
In all of this there is still a single mode of failure - the harness bridge/ harness . . .
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Two points of attachment would be a lot easier to understand. That can be accomplished without two complete climbing lines and their support parts.

I can not recall reading any accident report on a fall from tree of this type where any second attachment would not have worked.

I would be against blanket, short-sighted and restrictive regulations. We use different climbing techniques in trees than other rope access industries for a reason.
 

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