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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 50

TREE CARE 34 October 2017 Landscape and Irrigation sure that crews have the necessary cones for traffic work, a full stock of water to ensure crews remain hydrated, and ensure that things are labeled properly and stored safely. Choosing an audit partner When you're looking for a third-party partner to perform a safety audit, what criteria should you consider? Make sure that your audit team is well versed in the appropriate OSHA and industry- specific standards. For example, utility vegetation work is governed by the ANSI Z133 safety standard. A tree company may want to start with industry standards committees such as these. An audit partner that is involved with relevant committees will have vast knowledge and understanding of the safety standards to which your crew must adhere. In addition, the more industry experience the auditor has, the more likely they are to have great familiarity with safety best practices. With the right experience and knowledge, your audit partner will be able to work with you to develop a comprehensive auditing program that evaluates in real time the ways in which your crew is working in the field. Not all crews necessitate the same level of auditing. When selecting a partner to conduct your safety auditing, you should first identify the skills and background for the level of detail desired. Benefits of an auditing program Tree crews may go through formal safety training once a year where they'll learn about aerial rescue, chain saw use, tree felling, wood chipper safety, rope and saddle climbing, bucket operations, and more. However, safety is more than a once-a-year event, and perhaps more important than anything is consistency in working safely and following best practices. It's one thing to pass an annual safety test, but it's another to work the same way many months later when no one is evaluating you. Adherence to safety best practices is a critical part of any type of work related to vegetation management, and doing everything possible to ensure crews are safely upholding organizational commitment to their customers. As seen through these nine audit examples, a comprehensive safety audit is an immersive experience that takes an extensive look at a wide variety of safety practices. With a focus on safety, and implementation of a safety auditing program, you can ensure that your tree crew stays up to date on standards and any critical changes that may have been made since they were first educated on these. An auditing program also takes full account of how well a crew is living up to standards in their everyday fieldwork. Ultimately, a safety auditing program should help you keep close tabs on how tree crews are adhering to safety best practices at any given time. It can serve as a proactive approach to help you take action against any unsafe behavior before it turns into a pattern. Bob Urban is senior risk manager, senior business development manager, and senior manager contract training at ACRT, Inc. Safe chain saw operation depends on proper technique, as well as regular maintenance for the equipment.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Landscape & Irrigation - October 2017