Worker safety and professionalism are a primary focus of TCIA. This ever-growing list of safety resources and tips is intended to help spread the importance message of a culture of safety.
Texting & Driving
Driving and texting is a dangerous trend. And TCIA wants our members to be aware of this danger. Click here for a variety of resources designed by AT&T that can be used to educate your employees on the dangers of texting and driving.
Telling Stories, Saving Lives
The Occupational Health Branch’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program tracks and investigates workplace fatalities. Their new prevention strategy is using video storytelling to share the tragic stories that carry life-saving lessons. Learn more here.
June is National Safety Month. TCIA encourages you to encourage safe behavior in your company and on the jobsite. Do you have safety tips or stories? Email them to TCIA this month and we’ll add them to the National Safety Month list below, PLUS send you a free silicone “Until We’re All Safe” bracelet as thanks.
To get you started, we’ve outlined a few tips below:
Safety Tip #1: Wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an easy way to reduce employee exposure to hazards. So why wouldn’t you protect yourself with these tools of the trade? Download a PPE fact sheet here: http://bit.ly/jd7gxk
Safety Tip #2: Don't forget that getting to the job safely is as important as working on the job safely. Driving and texting is a dangerous trend, and TCIA wants our members to be aware of this danger. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/iyndvf
Safety Tip #3: If you work or spend time in wooded or grassy areas, you should be aware of the risk of Lyme disease. Download a quick card here http://bit.ly/lPX3Xj to educate yourself and your employees.
Safety Tip #4: TCI Magazine compiles a list of Accident Briefs each month. We suggest that you take time to review these incidents and remind your employees of how critical safety is in the tree care industry. Read them here: http://bit.ly/lNC3FP
Here are some safety tips submitted by TCIA members this year:
"While working on a municipal contract our crews were crown cleaning an 80 foot tall English Elm on a well-travelled city street. During the operation, many spectators had gathered. I was performing a visual safety inspection and recording notes to discuss with the crew after the operation was completed. After the crew had descended from the large tree many of the spectators lost interest and dispersed. Many had made comments to me on our crew’s “amazing lack of fear and acrobatics” while working on this tree. As the crew was loading the last of the brush into the chipper, the foreman jumped into the cab of the lift truck to back the rig up so as to get closer to the long pile. The observer used hand signals in directing the driver. All was well until I saw a four-inch stub, created from a final cut on a three-part branch removal, rocket across all traffic lanes and smack into the wall of a business five feet from where I was standing. This stub must have been travelling at more than 100 mph. If the spectators had been “spectating” just 10 minutes longer one of them would have been seriously injured. I stopped the operation immediately, as this was a good enough reason to choose “down time” and additional cost to the job, in lieu of production and profits. The crew never saw what happened, all seven of them, and I have to wonder how many other unseen incidents occur without our knowledge. I opened up a dialogue with the crew and asked them what we can do to prevent a similar occurrence. The answers/suggestions ranged from not using the three-part branch removal technique, to using ply board around the operation, to the final agreed method: the entire crew is to be responsible in viewing the work area, including on and under the equipment, every time prior to repositioning or relocating equipment. Its not enough to mitigate for all the seen and experienced safety needs…we have a duty to “see” beyond the obvious in protecting our fellow workers, public and clients."
- Chris Huppe, President of Jensen Tree Services, Inc. Certified Arborist # 753 and CTSP # 01114
And here are a few safety submissions from TCIA members last year:
“As it is National Safety Month, I thought I’d share a memo I once wrote and handed out to the guys after a safety meeting. It got a lot of “wows” and raised eyebrows. Our guys were both educated and entertained. Hope you all enjoy as well: Safety is such an integrated and oftentimes complex aspect of our daily operations that it is easy to forget some basic principles and how they affect our daily lives. For Example: Given the rate of gravitational acceleration (about 32Ft/second2) and Force = mass X acceleration. (And a page’s worth of scribble and eraser marks.) A 70 LB. piece of wood (relatively small) cut from a height of 37ft (not very high) would be traveling at a rate of roughly 33MPH and exert roughly 1,051 Lbs. (more than a half ton) of force when it hit the ground in about 1.5 seconds (the word “headache!!” yelled loudly immediately followed by either the word “oops” or “huh” spoken softly, takes about 1.8 seconds. So, there’s not much time to get out of the way). A 150 Lb. man would apply almost 2,252 Lbs. of force to the ground when he hit it from the same height. (Depending on how well he squishes when he hit the ground, the more the squish, the less the force.) Personally, I wouldn’t want someone to even ‘gently’ place an almost full pallet of salt on me. Let alone hit me with one. So let’s all keep the basics in mind and have a good day.”
– Jason Miller, CTSP, Clauser Tree Care
“Always carry your cell phone on your person. Was doing a tree risk assessment and left my phone in the truck so I would not be bothered by constant calls. As I walked to the back of the condo complex I slipped on an ivy slope breaking my leg and dislocating my ankle. As I lay in the ditch without my phone I called for help for 20 minutes. With no one coming, I crawled to the road where a latino worker saw me. He got my phone from my truck, I called 911 and now I’m recovering. Lesson learned. Will always have my phone on me.”
– Robert Brettschneider, CTSP, Boutte Tree, Inc.
“Not mine, but a great truth: Safety is not something you can take for granted. It is not an activity in which one participates only when being watched or supervised. Safety is not posters, slogans or rules, nor is it movies, investigations or inspection. Safety is an Attitude, a frame of mind. It is the awareness of one’s environment and actions, all day, every day. Safety is; knowing what is going on around you; knowing what can injure anyone anything, at anytime; knowing how to prevent that injury and then acting to prevent it. To do this does not require a Ph.D or event a title or rank. All it requires is a little intelligence and a reasonable amount of common sense and awareness (To see, to hear, to smell, to think and take action). To ignore safe practices does not indicate bravery, only foolishness. To do things safely, and correctly is the mark of professionalism.”
– Sam Kezar, CTSP, North American Training Solutions