June 10

Arborist Risk Management: Tree Climbing

Arborists face many risks with the myriad of tree services they perform on the job every day. Of all the workers that make up a tree services team, perhaps the one that faces the most exposure are the men who climb up the tree to cut down dangerous limbs, prune, or prepare a tree to be taken down.

These workers climb up trees that can be anywhere from 15 to 45 feet tall; and in some rare cases even taller. When working at such great heights, safety becomes a number one priority. When it comes to staying safe when scaling large trees, the usefulness of all the safety equipment rides on the shoulders of one small, but very important thing: the carabiner.

Carabiners serve as the connecting point between the harness that is wrapped around the worker and the rope system that is holding him up. The integrity of the carabiner being used directly impacts the safety of the user because if it fails, the worker will fall.

To ensure their safety, tree climbers should always follow these tips before ascending a tree:

  • Check the carabiner locking action before climbing
  • Check the gate has closed fully after each opening
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions for use and maintenance
  • Avoid circumstances where rope, strops, tree, etc., may exert force on the gate mechanism
  • Remove carabiners from service if they fail to close properly every time
  • Make sure carabiners are thoroughly examined every six months

Tips by: www.HSE.gov

Carabiners serve the greatest role in fall protection for tree services professionals and proper use of them is an efficient way to keep a tree worker safe. By following these guidelines, tree climbers can effectively mitigate the risks they face by being at elevated heights.

For more information, visit LandPro / TreePro.

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