On Tuesday, March 26, TCIA and several local member companies provided a full-day training for OSHA field-enforcement personnel from Region 1 (New England). The training took place at Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, Mass.
The event seems to have met or surpassed expectations for all who participated.
The event was organized by Scott Kennedy, Occupational Safety & Health Specialist from OSHA Region 1, and Peter Gerstenberger, TCIA’s point person for OSHA regulatory compliance.
Roughly 30 field Certified Safety & Health Officials (CSHOs), representing most, if not all, of the OSHA Area Offices in New England, took part in a morning lecture and conversation focused on the big four hazards in tree care, including contact by trees and falling branches, falls from height and electrical contact, as well as understanding Z133 requirements. The CSHOs observed a series of field demonstrations of safe work practice in the afternoon.
The immediate benefit to tree care companies in the region is that from that day forward, the 30 CSHOs who attended had a greater ability to discern between good practice and bad practice.
In the long term, the industry’s dialogue with OSHA helped us to know where we need to focus our efforts, and the training informs our dialogue around a revised OSHA compliance directive and ultimately an industry-specific standard at the federal level.
In fact, one week later TCIA met with the head of OSHA as well as top representatives from enforcement, standards-writing, compliance assistance and the OSHA Solicitor’s Office.
They were briefed on the training and heard first-hand from a national office representative who was there. They were so impressed with what happened that they asked TCIA to repeat the event for federal officials in D.C. as well as in OSHA’s Region 4 (southeast U.S.).