Using Proper Climbing Techniques

A big part of staying safe while doing tree work is using the proper climbing techniques. Remember these climbing tips to avoid injuries next time you’re on the job.

Before any tree work begins, a visual hazard assessment should be conducted. This includes an inspection of the tree’s root collar inspection for signs of decay. Having a second tree worker present and within visual or voice communication in the event of an emergency for operations above 12 feet is essential for safety in the event of an emergency. Before work can begin, workers are required to be secured in using their PPE.

Proper Climbing

After you’re secured in for the job, you’ll likely make your ascent up the tree. It’s important to stay secured at all times and use techniques like a foot-lock assist or body-thrust to avoid falling. When ascending, take care to avoid ropes dangling over roadways or sidewalks as this can cause a number of hazards for you and pedestrians or traffic below.

If you’re required to climb, hands and feet should be placed on separate limbs and if possible, three points of contact should be maintained. Never trust a dead limb and always inspect limbs before applying weight.

Remember, no work should begin until the climber is completely secured in.

Handsaw Use

Handsaws are an essential tool for your tree trimming tasks and should be used properly to avoid injuries. The climber or aerial device operator should take their hand tool with them when working aloft instead of having someone send it up to them. These handsaws should specifically be the type that can fold up or have a scabbard so that the teeth are not exposed.

Securing the Tie-In

Tree crotches are the bottom point of a connection of tree limbs and occur naturally; giving tree workers a stable place to conduct trimming activities. When a natural crotch is not present, a false crotch or false crotch redirect may be used at the discretion of the arborist.

Arborists who are working from a stem or spar without a suitable natural crotch need to select tie-in points of a tie-in method that prevents the climbing line from sliding down, up or off the stem during climbing operations. Unless a lateral limb is present, placing a climbing line around a stem is not acceptable unless the line is cinched or choked around the stem or runs through a double-wrapped or adjustable false crotch which is secure around the stem.

The tie-in point that is selected should be able to withstand forces being applied during pruning operations. To avoid uncontrolled pendulum swinging in the event of a slip, the tie-in position should be well above the work area.

Injuries during climbing are preventable when the proper procedures are being followed. Remember to always take your time and be thorough with inspections before beginning the job. By using these tips you can ensure a safe day on the job.

Posted: 8/27/2019 2:16:51 PM by Global Administrator