Introduction: Sectional dismantling is a precise and controlled tree removal technique that prioritises safety for both workers and the surrounding environment. When carrying out this complex operation, safety measures are of utmost importance to protect the well-being of tree surgeons and ensure the task’s success. In this blog post, presented by Brixworth Tree Surgeons, we’ll delve into essential safety measures that must be considered during sectional dismantling.
1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment is the first line of defence for tree surgeons during sectional dismantling. Workers should wear the following PPE:
- Helmet: To protect against head injuries from falling branches or equipment.
- Safety Glasses or Face Shield: To shield the eyes from debris, wood chips, and sawdust.
- Hearing Protection: To safeguard against the noise generated by chainsaws and equipment.
- Gloves: To provide a firm grip on tools and protect hands from cuts and abrasions.
- Chainsaw Chaps or Leg Protection: To prevent injuries to the legs in case of chainsaw kickback.
- Safety Harness: A harness should be worn and securely attached to a climbing line when climbing trees or working at heights.
2. Rigging and Lowering Techniques
Rigging and lowering are critical aspects of sectional dismantling, and the following safety measures are essential:
- Proper Rigging Equipment: Ensure rigging ropes, slings, and pulleys are in excellent condition and rated for the expected loads.
- Safe Anchor Points: Establish secure anchor points in the tree for rigging, ensuring they can withstand the lowered sections’ weight.
- Cautious Lowering: Sections should be lowered carefully to avoid sudden drops or swings. Workers responsible for lowering sections must communicate effectively with the ground crew.
- Clear Communication: Maintain clear and constant communication among team members through verbal cues or radio devices to ensure everyone is aware of the situation.
3. Climbing Safety
For tree surgeons who need to ascend the tree during sectional dismantling, climbing safety measures are vital:
- Proper Training: Climbers should be trained and certified to use climbing equipment safely.
- Regular Inspection of Climbing Gear: Equipment such as ropes, harnesses, and carabiners should be inspected before each use to ensure they are in good condition.
- Climbing Spurs: If using climbing spurs, they should be properly maintained and kept sharp for efficient climbing.
- Fall Arrest Systems: In addition to a safety harness, climbers may use fall arrest systems to prevent falls.
4. Ground Crew Safety
Ground crew members play a critical role in sectional dismantling and must adhere to these safety measures:
- Safe Zones: Establish zones where ground crew members should stand during the operation to avoid falling sections.
- Head Protection: Ground crew should also wear helmets to protect against falling debris.
- Emergency Response: Ensure all crew members are trained in emergency response procedures, including first aid and emergency communication.
5. Weather Considerations
Weather conditions can impact worker safety during sectional dismantling. Monitor and respond to changing weather conditions, such as high winds or lightning, by halting operations if necessary and ensuring all team members are safe.
Conclusion: Safety is the top priority during sectional dismantling. By following these essential safety measures and working with experienced professionals like Brixworth Tree Surgeons, you can ensure that tree removal is conducted with precision and minimal risk to the workers and the surrounding environment. Remember that proper training, regular equipment inspections, and clear communication are critical to a safe and successful sectional dismantling operation.