Safety climbing and working in trees


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  • Become familiar with the ISA methods of tree work in general as well as safety techniques and recommendations.
  • General safety, climbing techniques and methods of doing day to day tree work.
  • Safety: Laws and Regulations. Occupational Safety and Health Act.= Laws private employers are subject to, these laws are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration( OSHA) ANSI Z133.1= set of standards for arboriculture operations approved by The American National Standards Institute. These are the recognized safety standards for pruning, repairing, maintaining, or removals and cutting brush. Developed by a committee of professionals. ANSI. Terms: Approved= acceptable to federal, state, or local enforcement , frequently pertains to equipment. Shall= mandatory, you have to, Don’t think about not doing it. Should= recommended.You really ought to but you can’t be forced. Familiarize yourself with the ANSI Z133.1 Standards. They can CYA if something happens. PPE: NO loose fitting clothing. ANSI approved hardhats or helmets Class E if working around electric. Eye protection, approved glasses or goggles.Face shields don’t count, they can be worn with the others not solo. Hearing Protection approved muffs, plugs or both. ANSI does not require gloves… however when performing certain operations it’s a good idea to wear them, saw sharpening, chipping brush(not gauntlet style) if its cold. Approved Boots. They make them with chainsaw protection built in now so this is good. A good sturdy pair of leather boots works as well . Working on the ground with a saw requires leg protection. This means chaps or chainsaw pants must be worn. It requires a little getting use to but if something happens you’ll be glad you had them on. COMMUNICATION: Extremely Important. Think about it you get 1 chance to get it right so everyone involved has to be on the same page. Clear and efficient means of communicating are need to know when it’s safe to enter the drop zone. This is the voice command and response system. Stand Clear must be acknowledged by all clear before proceeding. Use agreed on hand signals when hearing is a problem. All this needs to be discussed in your job briefing before each and every job. This will lay everything out such as hazards, PPE, job assignments and who will communicate the work plan so everyone knows what is expected of them and there are no questions about responsibilities. General Safety: Get proper training, you need to be trained in the job(s) you will be performing. It is recommended that everyone be trained in First Aid and CPR have an adequately stocked First aid kit and be instructed how to use it. Everyone should be trained in emergency response and aerial rescue. Individuals should know what to do in an emergency situation. Practice makes everyone involved more comfortable and efficient should an actual emergency occur. Identifying poisonous plants, like poison ivy, oak, or sumac, dealing with stinging, biting insects or animals are things that workers should be trained in. Trucks and all applicable equipment should be equipped with fire extinguishers and employees trained in the use. When re fueling gas powered equipment the engine must be stopped, don’t be smoking and do not operate or start within 10’ of the re fueling site. All flammable liquids must be in approved containers. Traffic control: Pedestrian or Vehicular. This is a very important consideration on every job. Controlling this effectively may include signs, cones, flags and barriers. The crew is responsible for securing the work zone. All control devices must conform to state and federal reg’s and all control procedures should follow DOT standards. ELECTRCAL HAZARDS: Before starting tree work anywhere, it must be determined if any conductive object that you will be in contact with come within 10’ of an energized conductor. This defines an electrical hazard and workers must be properly trained to work in proximity to electrical conductors. Overhead or underground devices as well as communication wires and cables, power lines and related components are ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS. All should be considered energized with potentially deadly voltages. Direct and Indirect Contact: Direct is when your body contacts an energized source, Indirect is when your body comes in contact with a conductive object that is in contact with an energized source.( Truck, tools, limbs,fences, cables) Coming in contact with a energized source directly or indirectly where there is a path for the electricity to go to ground results in electric shock. Contact with two energized conductor simultaneously also results in electrical shock, this can result in serious or fatal injury. CHAINSAW SAFETY: The chainsaw is one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in the industry. It allows to work faster and more efficiently , however it is one of the most dangerous tools we use so proper training and safety procedures are a must. All manufacturers guidelines should be followed and Proper PPE should be worn, hardhat, eye and hearing protection, work boots and chaps while working on the ground. When starting any chainsaw, the area around you should be clear of debris and the saw must be gripped firmly or otherwise supported. Make sure your footing is firm and the chain brake is on. Chainsaws should always be gripped firmly with two hands and your thumb wrapped. They are right handed, keeping the saw close to your body and actually bracing it on your right leg helps reduce fatigue. Be aware of your surroundings when operating a saw. Don’t work any closer than 10’ from another saw operator. Never approach a saw operator from behind. Use the chain brake when taking more than two steps or holding the saw with one hand. Reactive forces of the chainsaw: Top of the bar will push, bottom of the bar will pull. Upper quadrant of the tip is the kickback quadrant. Kickback occurs faster than anyone can react, always position yourself so you will be out of the way if this happens. Avoid operating saws above shoulder level. Climbing with a saw requires extra precautions. Always use a safety lanyard and if the saw is over 15 lbs. attach a separate line. All procedures on the ground apply in the tree, firm two handed grip, stable footing. Proper positioning to avoid kick back or follow through and don’t cut your ropes. Position yourself not to be struck by falling limbs. Tree Felling and Removals: Before any removal a work plan needs to be created. This takes into consideration all factors that my affect the removal process. Terrain, wind, flaws in the tree are just a few factors to consider and discuss. Everyone on the crew should be aware of their responsibilities as well as the entire process before work begins. Trees sometimes require rigging other times a tagline or pull line is all that’s necessary for removal. If you are not involved in the felling process get out of the way, at least two tree lengths. If directly involved plan an escape route, for the saw operator the recommended escape route is 45 degrees away from the direction of fall. Felling notches and back cuts need to be made high enough off the ground to safely control the saw and have freedom of movement for escape. There are a number of notches used, open faced, conventional and a humboldt notch are 3. An open faced notch, around 70 degrees will allow the hinge to control the tree longer. The notch depth should not exceed 1/3 the diameter of the tree and should not be place in cracked or decaying area of the tree. This would compromise the hinge and its critical to have solid hinge wood. 10 percent of the trees diameter is a rule of thumb for hinge thickness, however there is a bit of flexibility in this rule. Don’t cut into the hinge. The back cut is suggested to be made slightly higher than the apex of the conventional and humboldt notch to reduce kick back. Cutting even with the apex of the open faced notch is recommended. Barber chair can happen when the tree has a definite lean or internal faults. This is when the tree splits upward from the back cut. Be aware of this possibility, stand to the side, don’t allow other workers behind the tree have your 45 degree escape route planned. Felling wedges can be used to help initiate fall and keep the tree from pinching on the back cut. CHIPPER SAFETY: Chippers can be dangerous proper PPE is crucial, eye, ear and hearing. Do not wear any loose clothing or gauntlet style gloves. Always feed from the side butt end of the branch first. Push smaller branches in with larger branches. Don’t feed anything other than brush into the chipper. Never work on the chipper while wheel is moving…… Turn off machine, remove key, wait for wheel to stop moving then secure it before performing maint. First Aid Procedure Get properly trained. Call 911
  • Climbing and Working at trees: Tree climbing is very physical and potentially hazardous. However a climber who follows safety standards can work safely and efficiently. All equipment should be inspected. The jobsite as well as the tree you will be working in need to be checked for any hazards. Climbers should be familiar and comply to ANSI standard Z133.1 INSPECTION OF GEAR: Climbers safety depends on the reliability of their PPE(personal protective equip.) All equipment climbing gear, tools, ppe must conform to applicable safety standards. Do not alter or “customize” them they are designed that way for a reason. Inspect saddles rivets and stitching for excessive wear. Make sure snaps are self closing and locking. Carabiners must be self closing and positive locking both with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 lbs. Check these before and during use to make sure they are still working. Climbing lines must be suitable for climbing trees by the manufacturer generally no less than ½” in dia. with few exceptions, and a minimum tensile strength of 5400 lbs. Lines should be made of synthetic materials and have adequate stretch and characteristics for tree climbing. Check ropes routinely for cuts, glazing, abrasions ,if you use snaps rotate ends routinely. If the rope shows excessive wear retire it from use they aren’t that expensive. Work positioning lanyards, prusik loops and split tails all must meet the same minimum strengths that climbing lines do. KNOTS: Tree workers should be familiar with the knots used in tree work. You should know how to tie and untie these knots. Dress and set these knots and the advantages and dis-advantages of each. Hitch is a type of knot to secure the rope to an object. A bend secures two rope ends together. Hitches, bends and knots are generally all called knots. Climbing hitch is important in tree climbing, this is what you use to tie into the tree. Tautline hitch, Blake’s hitch and the prusik hitch are three examples of a climbing hitch. INSPECTION OF THE TREE: Every job should begin with a briefing that covers the job plan,responsibilities, required tools and procedures as well as potential hazards. Climbers should always inspect for hazards up in the tree ( electric lines, broken branches, cracks) as well as around root crown of the tree (rot. Fruiting bodies). Be sure to inspect closely, as soil, mulch or groundcover can hide symptoms of decay. Plan out how you plan to climb and work the tree while you’re still on the ground. Techniques and Procedures: Getting into and ascending the tree can be done in many ways, ladders or climbing lines are just two. Climbing spurs should only be used if the tree is to be removed.With a few exceptions the climber must be tied in or other wise secured when climbing or working a tree and always climb the side away from electrical hazards if present. A throwline can be used to set your rope in a tree. Shot pouches of varying weights can be tied to the end and thrown into the tree accurately. Once the throwline passes through the crotch and falls to the ground the climbing line can be tied on.. For short open throws you can just loop the rope over a limb, however a throwing knot may be required. Throwing knots are several wraps that hold the rope together to provide weight. They can be open or closed. Two methods of ascending are body thrusting and secured footlock. Technique is important in both of these methods, always keep your hand(s) below your climbing hitch while ascending. If you are using the footlocking method always tie in or use a lanyard before removing the prusik hitch when you transfer to the tree. A third method is using climbing spurs. These should only be used if the tree is to be removed. Like in the other methods you should always be tied in or using a work positioning lanyard while ascending the tree. If you are using a wire core lanyard it should never be used around electrical conductors and it does not make it chainsaw proof, you can cut through it. If it is necessary to reset your climbing line., you must be secured with a lanyard or alternate ends of your climbing line before recrotching. TYING IN: Choosing where to tie in is very important. The location determines your freedom of movement and access to the points below. The higher the tie in the farther you can walk out on a limb. The more vertical the tie in the more secure you are. Do not tie in in a way that if you slip or fall you would be swung towards power lines. Pick a crotch large enough for the rope to pass through easily, size of the branch can vary with species but generally 4” at least in dia. should be used. The climber ties in by tying a climbing hitch from the tail of the attachment to the D-rings of the climbing saddle, to the other side of the climbing line. A figure-8 knot should be tied in the tail from the climbing hitch as a stopper knot to prevent the end from going through the climbing hitch. It is a good idea to use a climbing line that is long enough to allow the climber to reach the ground. If there is any question of this, the climber should tie a stopper knot in the opposite end of the climbing line when working in tall trees to prevent the end from passing through the climbing hitch if the climber reaches the end of the line. Sometimes it is helpful for a climber to double crotch. Double crotching is simply tying in at a second crotch using the far end of the climbing line, or a second line. The primary use of this technique is in ascending a tree. The climber can be secured against a fall while crotching the climbing line at a higher point. The lower tie-in would be untied as the worker climbs past. The double-crotching technique may also be used if the climber is ascending a second leader in a tree with a wide spread. The climbing line can be used to help climb the upright limb without sacrificing the original tie-in point. Another use of the double-crotching technique is to allow the climber to be suspended between limbs. This can also be useful for installing cables, working on hazardous lower limbs, working on storm damaged trees, or transferring from one tree to another.   USE OF THE CLIMBING LINE AND WORK POSITIONING The climbing line is more than a safety device to secure the climber against falling. A good climber uses the rope to ascend the tree, access branch tips, maintain balance, and move freely within the tree. In addition, the rope enables the climber to use both hands, without any loss of stability. If the climber is able to keep his or her weight on the climbing line, both hands can be used for working. To be stable, the three-point contact rule should be followed. The climbing line, when taut, can be considered one point of contact. The lanyard, if used, is also a point of contact. Whenever the climber's weight is not on the climbing line, a three-point contact should be maintained with the tree. A climber can walk out on limbs for access to tips for proper thinning. Generally, the preferred method is to walk backward or sideways on the limb, keeping tension on the line. whenever the climber is out toward the tip of a horizontal limb, it is important to keep his or her weight on the rope. If the climber allows his or her weight on the limb, the limb might break. The angle of tie-in is important. As a rule, the higher above the work station the tie-in point is, the greater the distance the climber can move from the trunk. Another technique in which the climber relies on the rope is swinging. When suspended on his or her climbing line, the climber can sometimes swing like a pendulum to reach other parts of the tree. Control is crucial when swinging, to avoid crashing back into the trunk of the tree. WORKING IN A TREE While in a tree, the climber may require various tools and equipment, including a chain saw, pole pruner, pole saw, cable hardware, and-or other tools. Most climbers climb with their handsaw and scabbard (sheath for the saw). The ground workers send up other tools. Workers may tie equipment onto the climber's line using a clove hitch. If pole pruners or pole saws are used in the tree, they should be hung vertically in the tree when not in use. They should be hung in such a way that the sharp edge is away from the worker, and so that they will not accidentally dislodge.    
  • WORKING IN A TREE While in a tree, the climber may require various tools and equipment, including a chain saw, pole pruner, pole saw, cable hardware, and-or other tools. Most climbers climb with their handsaw and scabbard (sheath for the saw). The ground workers send up other tools. Workers may tie equipment onto the climber's line using a clove hitch. If pole pruners or pole saws are used in the tree, they should be hung vertically in the tree when not in use. They should be hung in such a way that the sharp edge is away from the worker, and so that they will not accidentally dislodge. Chain saws can be equipped with a chain saw lanyard; saws weighing more than 15 pounds should be supported by a separate line when used in a tree. Climbers must be stable and secure when using saws and other equipment in the tree. For added stability and safety a lanyard should be used in addition to the climbing line when using a chain saw in the tree.   When pruning a tree, the climber usually works from the top down. Limbs may be pruned evenly out to the tips. The climber normally works radially around the tree to access the limbs. Normally the lowest limbs are the last to be pruned, but this may vary from tree to tree. The climber should think ahead and plan descent, especially in large trees.   EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND AERIAL RESCUE   Accidents are prevented through the conscious recognition of potential hazards in the workplace, and the effort to avoid them. Yet it takes only one lax moment or unexpected event for an accident to happen. Because of this, every worker on the crew should be trained in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and aerial rescue. Aerial rescue is the process of safely bringing an injured or unconscious worker to the ground. The most important aspect of aerial rescue is safety. Workers must be trained to assess the emergency situation and make decisions based on the circumstances, the victim’s perceived condition, and the help that may be available. Good training and practice help workers handle emergency situations efficiently. There is no time for panic. A rescuer who fails to take the proper precautions may become a second victim.   Climbers can be injured many ways in a tree. Electrocution, heart attack, heat exhaustion, insect or animal attack, a blow from a swinging limb, or a chain saw cut could leave a worker dangling helplessly in a tree. Ground workers should keep an eye on the climber, they could get hurt and lose consciousness without ever calling for help.   When a climber is injured or unconscious in a tree, the rescue procedure should begin immediately. If there is more than one worker in the area one should immediately go for help. Emergency numbers should be posted on the dashboard of the vehicle. When calling for emergency assistance, be sure to give the exact location of the accident and the nature of the emergency. Do not hang up first. Let the emergency personnel obtain necessary information and be the first to hang up. If there is only one rescuer, they may call for assistance but should stay and help the injured worker if possible.   The first step in assessing the emergency situation is to determine whether there is an electrical hazard. Because the chance of the rescuer becoming a second victim is great, utility company experts recommend that the local electric company to be called to avoid any further direct or indirect contact. If the victim has been electrocuted the rescuer must make an informed decision whether to attempt a rescue or wait for the utility’s emergency help. Minutes can make the difference between life and death. Yet a hasty rescue attempt may lead to the electrocution of the rescuer. Never attempt to climb a tree or rope that may be energized. If there is no electrical hazard it is important to get to the victim to assess their condition. The rescuer should use proper climbing equipment and remain secured while climbing to the victim. If the tree is not energized, climbing spikes may be used to reach the victim. Upon reaching the victim, a quick should be made to determine the nature of the injury. If the victim appears to have a broken neck or spinal injury, no attempt should be made to move the victim. Be sure the victim is secure and get emergency help immediately. One of the first rules of first aid is to avoid moving the victim unless necessary. Although all first aid procedures can be preformed more effectively on the ground, moving the victim may complicate injuries. However an injured worker hanging for a prolonged period in the climbing harness could lose consciousness and/or go into shock. The rescuer must use good judgment based on training and the severity of the situation when deciding if it is necessary to move the victim. In some cases, the best decision may be await emergency personnel who will have equipment that can prevent further injuries while lowering the victim . Most emergency rescue teams are not trained or equipped to rescue victims out of trees, however. In many cases, it will still be up to the tree workers to get the victim down. If the victim is not breathing artificial respiration should initiated. Clear the victim’s airway, pinch the nose closed, and give several quick breaths through the mouth. If there is no pulse, get the victim to the ground as quickly as possible. CPR cannot be performed in the tree. If there is severe bleeding elevate the wound and apply direct pressure. If the bleeding is from a head wound, do not apply pressure. Talk to the victim while performing the rescue. Be as reassuring as possible.   When it is necessary to bring a injured worker down it is best for the rescuer to crotch a second climbing line above the victim. Remember it must be strong enough to support the weight of the climber and the victim. If the victim’s rope is damaged, the rescuer can bring them down on the rescuers line. Otherwise the climber can operate both climbing lines if necessary. Check the victim’s rope and saddle for damage, and secure them before attempting to lower. Often the best method for bringing down is for the rescuer to attach the victims D-rings to the rescuer’s own and cradle the victim across their lap. The rescuer should support the victim while descending. Attempting to come down too fast may result in further injury to the victim. If practical, a ground worker can lower the injured climber with the climbing line. The ground worker should take a wrap with the end of the rope around the tree or another device for friction to ensure smooth lowering. Each member of the crew should be thoroughly trained in first aid and rescue. The necessary rescue equipment must be in good condition and readily available. Some companies keep a separate rescue kit that is not used for routine, daily work. This should include a climbing line and saddle, a lanyard, a throwline, climbing spurs, a pole pruner, a sharp knife, and a first aid kit. The rescue kit should be taken off the truck at the start of each job. It may not be accessible of it is on am energized truck. Some companies now advocate that a second access line be hung when working above 50 feet, particularly if the tree is difficult to enter or ascend. This can save valuable minutes if an aerial rescue becomes necessary. It is not always possible to foresee an accident. The ability to react swiftly and safely to save a life depends on keeping a cool head, using common sense, and being prepare, Proper training and practice can save crucial minutes that could mean life or death.     Rigging is the use of ropes and other equipment to take down trees or remove limbs. Rigging is necessary when free-falling is not possible due to potential hazards such as obstacles below or power lines. Rigging techniques often allow the climber to remove larger limbs in less time and more control. The basic tools and techniques of rigging are described in this chapter. However, it is emphasized that only experienced tree workers should attempt to use these techniques. Since rigging is one of the most advanced aspects of tree work, new techniques should be practiced in open areas where you can screw up. Tools and techniques vary if you are pruning or removing. Obviously if you are removing you don’t worry about damaging the tree as you would in pruning. Simple rigging uses ropes, wraps on the trunk and natural crotches used as rigging points.   ROPE Rope may be the Arborist’s most important tool. Rope characteristics ( stretch, durability strength) are a result of what they are made of and how they are made. Polyester is the most widely used material. Most commercially available ropes are made from this.   Types of Ropes Three Strand: It is relatively low strength and high in elongation but it’s cheaper. It is appropriate to run through natural and false crotches. It can however twist and bunch as it ages. Sixteen strand: This rope is a braided line. Braided lines have large cover strands for strength and abrasion resistance. A parallel core keeps the rope round and firm under load. The core does not carry the load. Natural crotch climbing and rigging are appropriate uses . Double Braid : Rope inside a rope, the core and cover perform equally. Since the core and cover share the load these should only be used with bollards or run over smooth sheaves. Friction from running through a natural crotch can imbalance the load. Hollow Braid: Is a braided rope without a core such as 12 strand. The number of strands and their diameter compared to the overall diameter of the rope will determine if it is spliceable or not. This also determines the abrasion resitance and if the rope remains round. Kernmantle: This means core and cover. It is adopted from rock climbing like a lot of the new equipment is. It has a tightly braided cover to protect the load bearing core. Arborists generally don’t use these types of ropes.   Designs and Limitations: You have to understand the design and limits of each piece of equipment used in rigging. If you don’t’ think out the loads and limits you can tear up a lot of shit even kill. If any link fails it can be disastrous. Rigging is arguably the most dangerous aspect of the arborist’s job, knowledge and experience are key Tensile strength is the breaking point of rope and hardware. As rope is used its strength is reduced due to loads, dirt, knots and wear. Cycles to failure - one cycle is one lift or one drop. Each time this takes place the rope is damaged . Enough of these cycles and the rope will fail. The number of cycles is reduced the heavier the loads are. If the load is equal to the tensile strength the rope can fail with one use. DUH!!! Working load limit is much less than the tensile strength. This is established to increase the life of the rope. You must ensure that the loads in the cycle are less than the WLL. The design factor is the tensile divided by the WLL . A design factor of at least 10 is recommended for rigging, with dynamic loading, high wear and dirty conditions.   Equipment: Choosing the right equipment for the job can make it safer and more productive. This being said though it needs to be designed specifically for the task. The demands placed on arborists equipment means that tools from other industry are not always applicable. Rigging lines require friction to help control the load. That’s why you would take a wrap around a tree trunk, to add friction. Since not all trees are alike friction devices have been designed for tree work they have some control advantages over wraps around the tree. Some examples are Bollards ( posts strapped to the tree) for taking wraps with the load line. They have a large diameter, which makes a favorable bend ratio . The larger the bend ratio the less strength you lose in your rigging line. Some of these bollards are ratchet style, which allows you to remove any slack or even lift a load. So you don’t have to tie a knot every time you use a rope carabiners, shackles or screw links are connecting links you can use to speed things up. They are generally not designed for dynamic loading so remember that. Be aware of the bend ratio when using links, an unfavorable ratio will weaken the system significantly. Links made out of steel are the preferred in rigging. Always load a carabiner across its major axis not the gate or the minor axis. Some of the shapes are oval, D, modified D and Pear. Some even have a fixed eye like a locking rope snap. The use of Blocks can decrease the dynamic load and wear on ropes as wellas damage to the tree. Rotating sheaves in pulleys can either have bearings or bushings. Bushings are better since they are stronger in dynamic loading and not susceptible to dirt. Therefore most arborist blocks are made with bushings. Rescue pulleys are usually made with bearings. Arborist blocks are heavy-duty pulleys with a large rotating sheave for the lowering line and a small fixed sheave to accept a rope sling. Being designed specifically for arborist the side plates extend beyond the sheaves protect the line from abrasion. In contrast rescue pulleys are designed where loads are known and there is low friction. Webbing slings can be bought in different sized sewn loops or knotted from tubular webbing. Their strength depends on the material the way the loop is formed and the way it is used. If the strength of a straight pull is 100% then throwing a girth hitch will reduce it to 80%. A basket hitch where an object is cradled by both legs of the sling it would be twice as strong.       FUNDAMENTAL RIGGING TECHNIQUES: While there is always more than one way to do the job. The best method is the one that maximizes productivity and safety. Equipment and education about the equipment is an investment that can pay off by making the job easier with less wear and tear. Choosing to use natural crotches or false crotches can be your first choice. Natural is fast and effective but false crotches provide constant friction and more versatility this is often advantageous. Reducing friction at the rigging point is just as important as how it is added to the rigging systems when lowering larger pieces. Certainly, wrapping the rigging line around a tree trunk will work, but the amount of friction added is inconsistent, and the wear on ropes and trees can be excessive. Lowering devices offer alternatives to these drawbacks, with the additional ability to help in raising wood. Choosing an appropriate knot to tie off a section of wood can be important in larger pieces, or when dynamic loading will be a concern. In cases where pieces are rigged from above, and swing is controlled, security is still important, but ease of tying and untying can also be considered. One standard knot is the clove hitch. If unsecured, a piece can roll out of a clove hitch, the same way a tautline hitch can roll, so a tail must be must be left in the tail of the working end of the rigging line at least two half hitches tied around the standard part of the line. Another option for tying off pieces is the running bowline . The advantage of the running bowline is that the rigging line can be set in a distant crotch, the working end retrieved, and the knot secured to that crotch by pulling on the standing part of the line. Rigging techniques are the various way to remove wood from the tree. The most simple is to cut the piece and throw into a safe area called the drop zone , once ropes become involved these techniques are categorized by the position of the rigging point. One of the most common is to use a rigging point above your work, butt tie the piece to be removed, cut and lower to the ground. A lot of times this is all you need. Sometimes it is not efficient to butt tie and take a limb out in several pieces. In this situation you might tip tie your piece to be removed and let it drop or lift it, whatever the situation dictates Your rigging point in either is still above your work. This is also true if you tie the piece so it is balanced so neither end hits first. This technique is a little more difficult since you have to figure out where your balance point will be. With any of these techniques controlling the swing is very important for safety. You can use a tagline, which is a separate line tended by a ground worker, to help to control the swing. Redirect rigging is when the rope is passed through several crotches to help distribute the load, control the swing or land the brush in a specific location. Butt Hitching is a rigging technique where you cannot anchor a rigging point above your work, you rig above your cut. This is used when all the brush is gone in a removal and you are chunking out the log. This really works your rope because the probability of shock loading is so high. This can also be dangerous for the climber ‘cause there is no place to hide. Speed line in its simplest form is when you stretch a rope from the canopy to an anchor point on the ground you then attach pieces to it and slide them down. This might sound simple but it ain’t. It is one of the most complex forms of rigging only arborist experienced in this should attempt this. Cutting Techniques: The Drop cut is the classic three point cut, under cut then a top cut further out on the limb, then your finish cut out slightly outside of the bark ridge. When using chainsaw your top cut needs to be directly over the under cut to keep your saw from getting caught in the kerf and ripping it out of your hands. The snap cut is when you cut halfway through the one side and then halfway through the other about an inch apart, this should hold until you snap it off…. Practice this on smaller limbs since the distance between will vary as the limbs get larger. Hinge cut is a variation of standard tree cutting techniques. Basically it’s like each limb is a little tree and you are using the notch and back cut to form the hinge that controls the limb just like it does when you are felling. This method when used without a rigging line has limitations, if your notch is too far around the side the hinge can break and you get no swing… not good. As a climber you must plan the removal of a tree so you don’t paint yourself into a corner so to speak. I mean you don’t want to be left with a large dangerous limb and say no good rigging point. Typically you would clear all the brush first so you have a good path to start removing limbs. Think don’t get in a hurry and overload your equipment it’s designed for a specific task use it that way have a plan. Be aware that components can fail even when used properly, pay attention at all times so you are out of the way if something does fail.                  
  • Safety climbing and working in trees

    1. 1. Safety, Climbing and Working in Trees
    2. 2. Why Are We Here <ul><li>Become familiar with ISA methods of general tree work as well as safety techniques and recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Jim Mitchell-City of St. Peters forestry. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Topics of Discussion <ul><li>General Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Climbing Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>General Methods of Tree work </li></ul>
    4. 4. Safety <ul><li>Laws and Regulations </li></ul><ul><li>PPE </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>General Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Electrical hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Chainsaw Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Tree Felling and removals </li></ul><ul><li>Chipper Safety </li></ul><ul><li>First Aid procedure </li></ul>
    5. 5. Climbing Trees <ul><li>Inspection of Gear </li></ul><ul><li>Knots </li></ul><ul><li>Inspection of Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Techniques and Procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Tying In </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Climbing Line </li></ul>
    6. 6. Working in Trees <ul><li>Working in a Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency Response and Aerial Rescue </li></ul><ul><li>Rigging </li></ul><ul><li>Rope </li></ul><ul><li>Designs and Limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental Rigging Techniques </li></ul>
    7. 8. Real Life <ul><li>Give an example or real life anecdote </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathize with the audience’s situation if appropriate </li></ul>
    8. 9. What This Means <ul><li>Add a strong statement that summarizes how you feel or think about this topic </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize key points you want your audience to remember </li></ul>
    9. 10. Next Steps <ul><li>Summarize any actions required of your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize any follow up action items required of you </li></ul>