At the risk of stating the very obvious working at heights is dangerous. Regarding tree surgery, the decision to work at heights should be avoided whenever possible and only taken when work cannot be reasonably completed in another manner. The decision to undertake work at heights must be made by someone competent and authorized to make that decision.
When working at heights cannot be avoided and often in tree surgery, procedures to minimize risk are vital. The first inclination should be to limit the amount of time that arborists are working at height to the minimum possible, helping to carry out the specified work in a safe manner. The person who makes that judgment needs to be competent and have the requisite understanding of the task to plan and resource the en devour.
Work must be carried out safely by adequately trained and proficient operatives to undertake the work before they can begin a thorough risk assessment of the trees and site must be carried out. Plans for emergency scenarios such as an aerial rescue of the arborist must be in place as must first aid and adequate evacuation procedures. These procedures must be communicated clearly to everyone involved.
All equipment used in the tree surgery performed must conform to minimum safety standards, be tested and all operatives should be trained in its correct use. Sufficient time must be provided to complete the task safely.
Adequate insurance covering the work involved and those affected by it should be in place before any work commences.
This guide is intended to give you a rough idea of our practices as regarding working at heights and is by no means exhaustive further reading is encouraged and you can find a more complete guide on working safely at heights in the arboricultural industry here.