HSE Review Tree Climbing
Following the HSE decision on two rope working our Managing Director at Arbjobs, Nick Pott, shares his thoughts on the decision:
Reviewing the Arb Associations article on the subject it appears the HSE are adamant that the Arb industry should be aligned to the WAHR regulations requiring two ropes to be used at all times. Previously the HSE were happy to allow the secondary work positioning anchor as the second line allowing easier access around the canopy but with reported levels of fall from height relating to "tree work" they have made the decision to enforce adherence to WAHR in an effort to reduce the levels of injuries and fatalities.
It is my opinion that the low access level in to the industry is the biggest issue the elephant in the room that the Arb Association and Government both choose to ignore. No policing or inspection of training or insurance just fuels the accident levels. Good well trained arborist companies struggle to compete against low entry level firms who slash trees and prices alike with little or no regard to any HSE guidelines yet their accidents are logged against our industry cause the HSE to review their policies whilst actuaries looking at our industry as a risk push up your insurance rates.
I understand that very few HSE officers are not trained to inspect arboricultural work sites so wouldn't know good from bad practice even if they did happen to come across a work site on their travels.
So arboriculture remains a dangerous industry and you as a practicing arborist will have to jump through even more hoops to try and make the industry a safer place whilst the gap between the professional and the entry level tree worker grows ever larger.
To read the full Arb Association article using this link : HSE-Decision