It’s a Safe Day at Preservation Tree!
By Susan R. Landers, ISA Certified Arborist We-7005a, TCIA CTSP 1189
Here at Preservation Tree Services we keep a close eye on safety: yours and ours! We like to think of safety as our first piece of PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment. But before our crews put on their physical safety gear (PPE), there are a few other safety control steps we take to ensure the viability of our Safety Program.
A safety program has many elements that begin with many steps. There are three important elements of every safety program: Engineering controls, Administrative controls, and Personal Protective Equipment.
During a job site analysis, we are trained to assess hazards related to the safe work practices involved in the process of completing the task at hand. Once these items are identified the next step is to make educated decisions on how to handle the process of eliminating the hazards for both the property owner and our staff.
Can the hazard be engineered out? Do we need to change our process or approach? Have we chosen the proper personal protective equipment for the hazards at this site? Do we need additional personal protective equipment designed to protect from a hazard that is unique to this hazard? These are all questions that must be answered before we bring crews and equipment out to a job site.
Engineering control allows us to physically remove a hazard object or target. Is it cost effective and time efficient to remove this hazard from being a target. For example, a tree team may be instructed by their foreman to move a patio table or a crew foreman may ask a customer to move a vehicle. These are simple examples of applying engineering controls during a job site analysis.
Administrative controls assist in safety by creating parameters within our standard operating procedures. These procedures assist the crew foreman in making the correct decisions related to a hazard that cannot be easily removed while performing the prescribed work. Administrative controls are an ever-changing set of guidelines to assist the crews in the field in making the right decisions while dealing with more challenging hazards. An example of Administrative controls would be an amendment to a standard operating procedure to allow for a safer, more efficient approach to a unique hazard.
After the first two safety controls are applied to a hazard situation in the field, then and only then can you apply the third control: Personal Protective Equipment! Personal Protective Equipment is designed to protect the skilled staff in the field after all other measures of hazard elimination are applied. PPEs are used to directly protect the worker during the actual acts of work performance that directly expose his or her body to the hazard.
Hazard assessment and risk management are managed by a successfully implemented safety program. Safety is practiced just like we celebrate birthdays and holidays: it is a cultural practice within Preservation Tree Services. So, when you see our crews on your property, and you notice they are all wearing their PPEs, there should be a feeling of peace of mind knowing that Preservation Tree has a safety plan long before we arrive at your home.
Safety. A culture that grows with us!