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Tree Felling and Observation!

The ACoP – Forest Operations – (s.11.7.4, page 72) states that “…if a one-onto-two tree drive is unsuccessful, falling (tree felling) shall cease until an observer is present to help plan management of that hazard.” Here the ACoP identifies that some aspects of tree felling are a very high risk and that in such cases having two sets of eyes is a good thing!

Notwithstanding, there are other benefits in having two people involved – one felling, one observing the felling – particularly when the actual task of the felling is shared.

Sharing the felling enables the (1) transfer and upkeep of skills, (2) allows practice to be monitored and (3) ensures that mental and physical fatigue can be properly managed!

Observation – the more, the better!

The images shown above depict situations that most believe belong in the dark ages! However, from time to time the practices of some are questionable leading to incidents. This has been unfortunately true with and without observers present!

The Safe Op – Safe and Productive Manual Felling, published by PF Olsen Ltd, reaffirms the rules and principles taught in the tree felling (17766) and felling observer (24580) NZQA unit standards. Following these, ‘good practice guidelines’ is an imperative – because not doing so could mean your life!

The only thing worse than one person doing the job poorly is to have two people doing the job poorly! If you are appointed to a job – then you must do your job! Properly!

Additionally, if you are in a position of oversight – as a Contractor or Foreman – take a moment to think about the principle of ‘working on your business not in your business’!

View this article in Safety Bulletin 101