ADVERTISEMENT

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

Share this story

Topics

#ARBatwork #ArbMatters #PledgeLessPlastic & 12 Faces of Arb 1987 storm 2 Rope 2018 30 Under 30 3ATC 3ATC UK Open 50th annual AA AA award AA Awards Aboricultural Association Accident accreditation advice AFL aftercare AGM Agrilus Biguttatus aid air quality Alert Alex Kirkley All Party Parliamentary Group on Horticulture amenity Amenity Conference Anatomy Ancient Tree Forum Annual Awards APF APF 2020 app APPGHG Appointment apprentice apprenticeship Apprenticeships Approved Approved Contractor Approved Contractors ARB ARB Approved Contractor ARB Approved Contractors ARB at work ARB Magazine ARB Show arb training ArbAC ARBatwork ArbCamp Arbor Day Arboricultural Association Arboriculture arborists Arbsafe Ash Ash Archive ash dieback Asian Hornet Assessments atf ATO Australia Autumn Review award Awards Barcham Trees Bark Beetle Bartlett Bartlett Tree Experts bats beetle beyond ism Bill Matthews biochar biodiversity biomechanical biosecurity Book Prize Book Shop Books Bookshop boundaries branch Branches brand Brexit bs5837 Budgeting Tool bursary business Call for Abrstacts Call for papers Campout Canker stain of plane carbon career Cavanagh CCS Cellular Confinement Cellular Confinement Systems CEnv CEO Ceratocystis Ceratocystis platani chainsaw chalara charity Charles charter Charter for Trees Chartered Environmentalist chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Claus Mattheck climate climate change climber climbing Cofor Colleges committees competition competiton conference Confor conifers conservation Consultant consultation Continuous Professional Development Contractor Contractors Cornwall Cornwall Branch Coronavirus Coroner Council Countryside Stewardship Course for beginners COVID-19 CPD cross industry news Crown & Canopy Cryphonectria parasitica Cumbria DART Date for your diary deadwood death debate Debt defra Design Devon Director disease diversity document donate dothistroma downloads draft EAC East Anglia ecology Economic Report economy Ecotricity education EFUF Election elections Electricity Elm yellows Emerald Ash Borer England England Tree Strategy English Elm environment environmental EPF equipment Europe European Arboricultural Council European Forum on Urban Forestry European Wood Pastures Event exeter Exhibitors Fall from Height Fatal Fatality felling Fellow Fellow Members Fera Field Trip Finance Fine firewood First Aid flood flooding for Forest Research forestry Forestry Commission forests freelancers FSC Fund4Trees funding fundraiser fungal fungi Future Flora Futurebuild gardening GDPR Geocells Gold Medal Gov.uk government grant grants Green Brexit Green Infrastructure Green Infratructure Guarantee guidance Guidance Note Guidance Note 2 guide guides Hazard Tree Health heart-rot hedges Helliwell Help Henry Kuppen History HMRC HOMED Homeworking Honey Brothers honours Horse Chestnut HortAid horticulture horticulturists HortWeek housing HRH HRH Prince Charles HS2 HSE HTA ICF ICoP identification Immigration import industry Industry Code of Practice industry skills Infographic InfraGreen Initiatives Inspiration Insurance Intermediate Tree Inspection International Urban Forestry Congress International Year of Plant Health Investigating Tree Archaeology Conference Ips typographus Irma irrigation ISA iso i-Tree IUFC Job job opportunity judgement JustGiving Karabiner Kew Kit land-based Landsaping Landscape Institute Landscape Show landscaping Lantra law Leaf Minor Lectures legal legislation Letters Liability licence London longevity LTOA Magazine manifesto maple Mayor of London MBE Melbourne Member Benefit Membership mentor Midlands moth' motion Myerscough NASA National Geographic National Tree Safety Group National Tree Week NATO NatureScot Netherlands New Year’s Honours News NHS nominations Northern Northumberland Notice notification NTIS NTOA NTOC NTSG Nurseries oak 'oak Oak Processionary Moth Oak-boring Beetle obituary Observatree occupation online opm Padua Papua parks parliament Perennial Pests & Diseases Pests and Diseases petition photo Phytophthora planning Planning Law Plant Health planting Pledge Plumpton College policy poll Poster Power PPE Pre-order Preston Twins Prince Charles Prince of Wales processionary Product Recall Professional Members prosecution Protect and Survive protected tree protection Qualifications Quotatis ramorum RC Reg Harris Registered Registered Consultant Registered Consultants Rememberance Day renewal Report Rescue research Research grant Resilience response results retrenchment review RFS rhs RHS Chelsea Flower Show Ride for Research Ride4Research rigging Rodney Helliwell rogue tree surgeons Royal Forestry Society RSFS Safe Working Practice Safety Safety Bulletin Saftey Sale Scotland Scotland Branch Scottish Branch SDG Accord security seminars Share Sheffield Show Sierra Leone Site Guidance skills skills survey SocEnv soil soils South East South West SRT SRWP staff Standards statement Stationary Rope Stationary Rope Technique statutory STIHL strategy student Student Book Prize Student Conference Study Trip Sub-contractors Supporter survey Sustainable Soils Alliance Sweet Chestnut sweet chestnut blight symposium T Level T Levels Tatarian maple TDAG technical guide Technical Guides Technical Officers Technical Team Technician Members Technology Ted Green tender Thames & Chiltern The Arboricultural Association The Woodland Trust Thinking Arbs Thinking Arbs Day Timbersports Tony Kirkham Tools top-handled chainsaws,Elcoat, TPBE4 TPO Trading Standards trailblazer training transport Tree Tree Care Tree Champion Tree Council Tree Fayre Tree Health Tree Health Week Tree Inspection tree loss tree management Tree of the year Tree Officer Tree officers Tree Planting Tree Protection tree register tree species Tree Supply Tree Surgeon Tree Surgeons Tree Week Tree Work at Height Tree Workers Zone Treeconomics tree-felling TreeRadar trees trees' Trees & Society Trees, People and the Built Environment trust' trustee Trustees TrustMark Two Rope two-rope UAG Uitlity UK favourite ukas UKWAS urban urban forest Urban Forestry Urban Tree Challenge Fund Urban Tree Cover Urban Tree World Cup urban trees Utility Arboriculture Group UTWC vacancy VETcert veteran trees video Videos volunteer VTA WAC Wales Warning Watering watering solutions Webinar webinars website Western Westonbirt Wharton White Paper WIA Witley Women Women in Arb women in arboriculture woodland Woodland Carbon Code Woodland Carbon Guarantee woodland trust woods Workshops World Environment Day Xylella young young arborists Young People’s Breakfast Event zoo

Technical Guides now available

Author:  Simon Richmond
  04/01/2021
Last Updated:  16/02/2021

Simon Richmond, Senior Technical Officer

We are delighted to have launched four of the suite of five Technical Guides (TGs) which became available in December. The fifth guide, TG3: Rigging and Dismantling, will be published in the first half of 2021. You can now purchase the first four guides as a bundle or individually.

Much work has been going on in recent months to bring these long-awaited Technical Guides to publication. The second industry consultation on TG1: Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue closed in August and the technical authors have worked through the many constructive and helpful suggestions put forward by industry contributors. A huge thank you to all who took the trouble to respond and for the level of detail offered. Of course, not every proposal has been incorporated into the final document, but it has changed considerably as a result and the process has improved the technical content, readability, imagery and flow. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also responded to the consultation draft and contributed useful suggestions.

Technical Guide 1
Technical Guide 2
Technical Guide 4
Technical Guide 5

What started 10 years ago as a major review of industry guidance, with the creation of a new Industry Code of Practice (ICoP) (first published in 2015) for managers responsible for planning and controlling tree work and five technical guides to reflect current technical good practice for arborists and their supervisors, has resulted in a significant shift for our sector’s standard ‘mode of operation’.

The decision of HSE to insist on the use of a backup in addition to the primary climbing system for all tree climbing operations has had a massive impact on our industry, and will continue to affect our operations in different ways as we adjust to the new interpretation of legal compliance. It will undoubtably cost our sector financially, in terms of increased equipment purchases, checks, inspection and examination, as well as the increased time taken to implement ‘dual line working’ in every operation. There will be training requirements and accompanying costs for employers and the self-employed.

One of the reasons for this insistence from HSE is fundamental: individual arborists do fall out of trees and when that happens, they suffer injury or even die. While the formal UK accident statistics do not provide enough detail on arborists’ accidents, we do know that the accident rate is too high. When an arborist falls from a tree, they and their families, friends, employers and work colleagues are deeply affected; where the fall results in life-changing injuries or fatality, the effects are devastating. We have a responsibility to do all we can to ensure that folk go to work and come home again, safe. Having two points of attachment is not going to stop all falls from height but if it prevents even one, then that is (at least) one person’s life saved from devastation.

The Association’s response to these changes in the interpretation of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, involving industry consultation, discussions and negotiations with the Regulator and with the wider work-at-height sector, has extended our scheduled timetable for delivery of the new guidance by two years. It has thrown the tree climbing arborists’ sector into a period of uncertainty and insecurity while waiting for the details of industry good practice to be redefined.

However, that period of waiting is now over, and we can now focus on realigning work practices to the new industry standards for tree climbing, as set out in the second edition of the ICoP (published in May 2020) and now TG1: Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue.

As well as falls from height, life-changing injuries are also caused by falling objects, chainsaws and, to a lesser degree, handsaws, poor work positioning and poorly planned rigging, use of cranes, MEWPs or other equipment. TG2: Use of Tools in the Tree sets out the protocols for safe management and use of tools and equipment. TG4: Use of Mobile Cranes in Tree Work and TG5: Use of Mobile Elevating Platforms in Tree Work provide practical, useful guidance on the planning, management and carrying out of tasks using this equipment.

All the Technical Guides are designed to set out information in a clear and logical way. Roles and responsibilities, communication, correct set up, pre-work checks and safe operation are presented in an easy-to-read format with accompanying photos, diagrams and illustrations.

The technical sections in each guide start with a ‘checklist’ of the key safety points that must be considered for that part of the operation, and each of these points is posed as a question to help establish that work is meeting the recommended standards. All the checklists in each guide have been compiled into a separate, free-to-download Safety Guide, which is available from the Association’s website: www.trees.org.uk/safety-guides. Each Safety Guide provides a useful collation of all the key safety points from the Technical Guide and can be used to audit safe operations on a work site.

I would like to extend my personal thanks to the technical authors of these guides: Chris Cooper-Abbs, Matt Brooker, Paul Elcoat, Dave Robinson and Paul Hanson. They have all put in a huge amount of time and effort to ensure the guides are accurate, comprehensive and technically relevant.

And thanks to you, the end-users, for your patience! – I really hope you find the guides help to clarify and explain the relevant good practice as they become our go-to reference for practical and authoritative guidance.