I've just returned from attending the Massachusetts Tree Wardens and Foresters Association's annual meeting in Sturbridge MA. It is a yearly gathering of Tree Wardens, Urban Forest Professionals, Arborists, Academics and a few token non-professionals who are there simply because they love trees. The conference has various sessions which provide information such as pest and pathogen updates, safety topics and the finer points of Shade Tree Laws in Massachusetts, to name a few. This was my 4th year attending the Conference which was sponsored by an organization that has been around for 103 years - now that's pretty cool!
In addition to attending conferences, ArborTech Tree Services also provides its field employees with in-house training (regular Tailgate Safety meetings); on-line training such as OSHA 10 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), which is a comprehensive training course for overall safety in a construction related field and EHAP training which is an Electrical Hazard Awareness Program. Both OSHA 10 and EHAP require those who work near conductors to be properly trained in electrical hazard recognition and avoidance. As the training manuals state, "electricity is the most unforgiving and often the most unfamiliar hazard facing any tree worker".
This month, we have our annual EHAP training. As a group, we will review electrical hazard information, watch training videos and even perform a mock Aerial Rescue, which is where we simulate an emergency situation and practice our rescue procedure skills. All of us are required to have up-to-date First Aid and CPR Training. By the end of the day we each take a written exam, demonstrating our knowledge of the EHAP program, and submit our answers to the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) for approval/renewal of our EHAP certifications.
Commitment to safety is one of the qualities that set ArborTech apart from the rest. Safety is always first, no question. It's the ArborTech Way!