By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.
The past week I have spent some time looking over comments and video following the recent snow storms on social media sites. You can learn a lot within today's electronic information. Because of the early snow, while leaves were still in place, they caused extensive tree damage across the country from Colorado to Maine. Crews from all over the area have logged many hours and miles traveling to assist with the reconstruction and clean up process.
Many of the comments reminded homeowners of the dangers of storm tree cleanup. To leave most of the tasks to a trained professional. I agree that a call to a professional is a wise choice in these storm situations. Homeowners and do it yourself fans need to be saw savvy enough to know when to put down the saw and pick up the phone.
I am a little disturbed however at what seemed to be "way too often" seen scenarios on the news and in photos. Professionals with a poor Professional Call for themselves. Now, don't get me wrong, the majority of the scenes having municipal workers and other professional's yielding chainsaws were properly equipped with PPE but it seemed to average only about half of the coverage. That means there are many,many professionals and even more homeowners who are unaware of the dangers, regulations, and even less the awareness and need for PPE.
It's a Professional's Call to protect themselves from some of the risks when operating a chainsaw. PPE is not going to keep an accident from taking place but it sure can help to reduce some of the injuries. It doesn't, just because you are paid, make you impervious to injury from tree and chainsaw incidents. Experience doesn't negate the pain. A professional should plan for, buy, and use every advantage they can to reduce those unplanned accident events. Professionals and occasional users alike all draw from the same pool of revenues, insurance and workers comp, to repair such incidents.
Whether a novice or professional the awareness of the operation dangers need to be sought out through written materials such as your operators manual, reputable video, or advanced training to handle the tasks. If one doesn't have properly maintained tools and Personal Protective Equipment they are not prepared for a storm cleanup operation. PPE includes a hardhat, face, eye and ear protectors, gloves, saw chaps and heavy boots. Make sure of these things before beginning work.
If you are a homeowner with do it yourself ability, make sure you have invested in your safety planning, knowledge, sufficient training for skills and PPE. If you haven't done this for yourself- Make the Professional Call!
If you are a homeowner, contracting the services of a tree care or landscape crew, insist the crew is equipped with PPE and safely plans the project before you allow them to begin your work. If they are trained and experienced they will be properly equipped.
Make sure their Calling is as a Professional. It's a Professional Call!
The author is president and lead instructor for Forest Applications Training, Inc., PO Box 1048, Hiram, GA 30141. For more information on Chainsaw Safety and Applications Training send your questions and or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website at www.forestapps.com
(c) Copyright 2011 Forest Applications Training, Inc.
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