Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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www.landscapeirrigation.com Landscape and Irrigation October 2017 33 critical for overall crew safety, as well as business success. Would your crews consistently pass inspection? 1. Pre-job briefing. Each project should begin with a pre- job briefing that coordinates the activities of each member of the crew. Auditors ensure the entire crew is involved in a job briefing prior to starting the job. They also ensure the job briefing has information pertaining to job hazards, including work procedures, special precautions, and appropriate personal protective equipment. 2. Aerial lift operation. Aerial lift trucks are an essential tool for the work your crews perform, and safe operation of this kind of heavy machinery is critical. According to OSHA, major injuries and fatalities associated with aerial lifts include falls and electrocutions. Your audit team will check to ensure tree crews are wearing and utilizing the right body harnesses, including an attached lanyard to the boom or basket. They'll also check to see that lift platforms are positioned a safe distance from electrical lines, and the correct brakes or wheel chocks are being used when the lift is parked and positioned — specifically if on an incline. More focused audits can include a pre-job inspection that consists of flying the boom in order to ensure the equipment is free of mechanical issues, reviewing maintenance records, and inspecting equipment for general wear and tear. 3. Traffic control. Tree work will often bring crews near roadways, so it's important to make sure that crews are working safely in and around traffic flows. For this safety audit, an auditor will look to see that crews are taking the proper precautions, using traffic cones as necessary, are following local Department of Transportation specifications, and are ensuring that traffic has not been obstructed in an unsafe way. 4. Tree felling. There are a lot of activities involved in auditing tree felling. This audit will primarily focus on workers performing tree felling from the ground. Audit teams will look for technical safety, such as proper notching and rigging techniques, but also softer safety skills such as proper communication skills across the entire crew as a tree is being removed. 5. Crane operation. Cranes are a major piece of machinery that can cause significant damage or injury if deployed improperly. Often used to remove large branches, or sometimes entire trees, auditors look for multiple items when auditing safe crane-operating practices. Are crews keeping cranes clear of electrical hazards? Are they ensuring cranes haven't been overloaded? Are materials properly secured? Is the crane operator following and performing all the right functions within the manufacturer's tolerances? 6. Climbing safety. Tree climbing is a risky part of an arborist's job and close adherence to safety practices is imperative. Audit teams should check to ensure that all the proper techniques are being followed, and that all the necessary equipment is always used, including harnesses, clips, ropes and throw lines. 7. Chain saw safety. Safe chain saw operation requires constant, continual attention to all safety measures, but it's not uncommon for even veterans to become complacent and develop poor habits. Auditors will check for proper handling and cutting techniques, all in accordance with the ANSI Z133 standard for safety requirements in arboriculture. 8. Wood chipper operation. Wood chippers are another essential tool that have the potential to be extremely hazardous. Your audit team must evaluate how tree crews handle the equipment. Auditors will ensure that tree crews are properly maintaining the equipment for safe operation, in addition to the proper use and towing connections for the machine. 9. General housekeeping. Keeping things neat and organized is critical to safety, and that means making sure that generalized housekeeping among tree crews is orderly, and accounting for all the essentials. Auditors should check to make Chain saws must be periodically cleaned to keep internal chambers free from debris that may interfere with safe operation. Safe crane and bucket operation is essential to overall best practices, and can be incorporated into a comprehensive safety auditing program.

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