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hypothetical, do Arborist make a difference?

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by derwoodii, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    As arborist we hope to lessen tree hazards to persons by inspecting and controlling urban tree risks.. But each year the numbers tend to say 80 - 100 of us die doing our job. While each year about 100 public persons are killed by falling trees.
    So my hypothetical is,, what if we stopped looking and fixing could/should that spare 100 arborist and then would the public hit by tree deaths rise, fall or remain stable?.. Some help here be good as the complex cause and effect thinking is giving me a headache & a bit beyond me..

    oh the numbers are mainly from US & im happy for them to be critiqued as im not a good data cruncher.. In OZ much the same ratio but 90+ % less than the US nationally, 7 tree industry, 7 public per annum .

    some data sources

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5815a2.htm


    https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-in-the-US-are-killed-by-falling-trees-each-year

    https://www.reiffandbily.com/100-people-killed-trees-every-year-united-states/

    https://naturenet.net/blogs/2007/02/19/killed-by-a-falling-tree-what-are-the-chances/

    http://www.tcia.org/TCIA/Publications/TCI_Magazine/Accident_Briefs.aspx
     
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  2. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

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    Happy Fathers Day,,
    Jeff
     
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  3. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    ta that chap but down here its just 18th June our dads days a while off.. I can see my minds musing is not getting any traction meh oh well it is a bit out there pondering with many factors unknown hard to fathom or unworthy the time of thought..

    it began when i was asked to do super tricky danger tree i looked at it and my thought was,, bugger that just rope off the area and let it fall far to tricky risky to try climb and secure
     
  4. Bedford

    Bedford ArboristSite Operative

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    If you stop being arborists you're lessening your risk and sparing yourselves.

    If you stop removing hazards it would have to increase public risk.

    I'd look at like this, back in the '70's we did a lot of tree work (hazard reduction) around the Dandenong Ranges picnic grounds, there were 3 or 4 of us there for the time it took each job. (no-one died or got hurt)

    Since then there would have been hundreds of thousands of public visitors under those trees and no-one ever injured, because the danger was removed.

    Also, ask yourself how many public people may have died or been hurt if the hazards hadn't been removed.

    Take care out there.
     
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  5. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    ta chap & coincidence as i did 6 months early 90ies Dandy ranges working off dead and dodgy limbs out of a 90 foot boom often needed rope climb out from bucket on them big Euc ash & no one on our crew was hurt, i was scared a few too many times. sadly tho i know of a least 4+ public deaths over 10 years up that way from trees vs person eg limb falls on track road and home.
    Im sure our work reduces the potential tree hazard, im just curious if it ever could be analysed and measured what would the public harm would be if the tree - Arb industry stopped looking and chopping mitigating the risk .. same higher? or much much higher?
     
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  6. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had a neighbor ask me for a quote on removing an ash last week. He's the kind of guy who has trimmed and removed some of his other trees from a ladder in the past. This ash went over his garage and chicken coupe.

    When he saw my quote, I could tell he couldn't afford that. He asked me "how do you think I could go about doing it myself?" I basically told him that I would never let a friend, family, neighbor or almost anybody get up there and do stuff like that. We worked out a price of getting it on the ground and having fellow church members out to help clean it up.

    After all was done, and he saw what went into doing it the safe way and the cracks and decay in the wood, he said "you might have saved my life".

    Another group of injuries and deaths that we prevent are from brave/insane homeowners getting in over their heads.
     
  7. treesmith

    treesmith tree hugger/cutter

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    My question would be how many of those public deaths are caused by lack of common sense, aussie gums are called widow makers yet people still camp under big sketchy gums. There's also the question of how many worker deaths were caused by time/money pressures, get it done type stuff, also "**** it cuts" or just ignorance of physics play a part too. Not saying every death is an idiot as I know that's not true, but some professionals I've worked with seem hell bent on killing themselves or ground crew, whether through unsafe practices or just shonky gear. No thank you.

    Public can be weird too, you get the bloke who is scared stiff that the 20' pitto or privet is going to kill his whole family in th hair sleep, then on the other hand you get the people with a manna gum full of cracks leaning over their house and they think it's fine. Then there's the row of cyclists who break the exclusion zone and ride under your tree in a line just begging for a piece of deadwood in the head from 30 meters up.

    Trees do quite well on their own, grow/die/fall over, it's when people start encroaching that trouble starts. Trees only really hurt people that are in them or under them so that's a starting point.

    I've noticed though that so many poor form trees are left, and councils are especially bad, big tight included forks don't grow overnight so even with the level of arborists climbing (pardon the pun) the job isn't getting done and people are at risk, it would only get worse, so many trees in gardens only get attention when they're on the verge of failure and that's with a huge number of arborists working here already. Without us it would be carnage
     
  8. treesmith

    treesmith tree hugger/cutter

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    Example, took down a spotty Gum yesterday, in a grass area in a housing plot, some residents up in arms about the removal and wanted it to stay whatever.

    Problem is it's a twin stem joined at just above ground level, the "fork" is a tall vertical crack covered in bark and its just waiting to split

    All residents were informed of what and why, they still parked their cars under it...
     
  9. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Lurker

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    Sometimes I think of us like theripists for trees. There are definitly theripists out there that overprescribe medication, and overanalize a person to where they don't know if they are coming or going, but as a guy who has had some good therepy to correct a problem, I can tell you that good therepy works.

    One of your posts seemed to nail one of thw big problems: $$$. That problem of "I can't afford a new replacement rope or carabiner to replace the damaged one so I'll keep using it", or "I am out of time so I have to cut this corner", or "I need work to do so I'll recommend trimming on this tree that doesn't need it." I have been guilty of these all at some point.

    I can't say that 100% of the fatalities and injuries are avoidable in our industry. But I wonder if we took out the speed factor, or using faulty equipment, or renting a boom instead of climbing a dangerous tree, we could reduce a good lot of the injuries and fatalities.
     
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  10. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm really a "free enterprise" kind of guy...but I also recognize that regulation within the industry would change a lot of things. The problem with regulation is that regulations need to be pretty hard/fast rules, and there are a LOT of circumstances in this industry that would be hard to fit in those, but they can still be done safely.

    Certain training requirements would make a HUGE difference even if there is no regulation after that. For whatever reason it seems like when a guy is out of work but has a pickup truck and a chainsaw, he decides he ought to start a tree "service". I'd be willing to bet a relatively large percentage of industry fatalities are from such. I've had a few clients ask a lot of questions before hiring me because they've had "that guy" injured while working on their trees before, and they don't want that to happen again. I wish more would ask so the problem is addressed through the marketplace rather than regulation. It really is a little surprising to me that OSHA hasn't made a bigger push into our industry.

    I know there are also a lot of fatalities related to line clearance work. Those are, generally, better trained individuals - at least from the electrical hazard stand point, they have some minimal training. But experience is often thin there because there is so much turnover.
     
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  11. scheffa

    scheffa ArboristSite Operative

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    I think many of the injuries and fatalities could be prevented by increasing the required level of minimum training.

    As a business owner training is a love hate thing. While I accept that my particular industry (line clearing) requires that all workers have completed certain training modules that cost quite a bit of money and eat up time.
    I don’t agree with the level of training that is provided. If I am to loose an employee for a week long training course, I want that worker to come away having gained knowledge, skills, techniques that are going to make them a safer, more productive part of my team.
    Instead they come back to work bored shitless from sitting in a classroom all week listening to things that are hardly relevant to our work and of little use onsite
     
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  12. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    I learned the hard way that there's a good ole boys network in the US tree industry, that like things just the way they are.

    Chipped groundmen n all.

    Not exactly a family friendly profession.

    To answer the question, getting rid of TCIA's the first step towards a safer tree industry, IMO.

    Sad, but true.

    Jomoco
     
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  13. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    LOL at that. Just went to an auction for a court-mandated sell off of the company's assets for 2 brothers that couldn't stop fighting long enough to keep the business together. (related to this thread somebody asked me: "did you but anything....I imagine they had a lot of gently used safety equipment). These 2 brothers split from their father and 3rd brother 20-25 years ago because they couldn't get along. They certainly couldn't make it family friendly.
     
  14. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Curious why you think that. They are one of the most prominent organizations promoting safety within the industry. Much more so than ISA. I am a member of both, and think both add a lot of value - wouldn't say one is better than the other...but each do their own thing better and TCIA is better with safety education, materials, and reminders.
     
  15. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    It's a rather sobering saga that illustrates who calls the shots at TCIA ATH.

    Dates back to NAA days when Bob Felix set me straight on that question, confidentially.

    But Bob's passed on a while ago now, Peter's callin the shots now, and nothing's changed.

    The reason big chipper mfg companies prefer the status quo be maintained as it is, and no new fangled safety systems integrated onto their big chippers powerful enuff to spit an operator into the back of a chiptrucks?

    Each time it happens, the manufacturer claims the operator fugged up, limiting their liability to whatever can be argued successfully in whatever court a case against them's filed.

    However, they argue that if they integrate a fail safe system onto their chippers and it fails for any reason, their liability becomes complete if an operator's eaten alive due to the safety system's failure.

    Telling that Morbark's changed their tune since Peter and I went at it so many years ago, and ChipSafe Technology's now available on all their big handfed chipper models.

    TCIA serves the interests of their largest advertisers, not treeworkers in the field, it's a pay to play operation.

    They'll never establish a qualified two man minimum rule to protect lowly chipper operators the same way they have for lofty climbers in the tree, who have also been known to make mistakes and require timely assistance to make it home from work alive at the end of the day.

    Climber's are special, like 365 huskies......

    Jomoco
     
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  16. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    Down under the tree industry after a few wood chipper accidents was compelled by OHS dept to retro fit chippers with additional knee height bump "feed off" bar and new machines had to comply with further operator safety design & devices.. There was some push back by some operators and manufacturers but install lead up time & engineering help was provided to meet new regulations.. We have now mostly/all adapted to the new bar operation & sure its hassle some days when limbs hit knee bump but its just needs a reach up around to press a feed restart & we're all grateful its there if ever your grabbed & getting pulled in.. wood-chipper-vermeer-bc900xl-3-1200x800.jpg

    1662071_725575470810415_189904510_n.jpg
     
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  17. scheffa

    scheffa ArboristSite Operative

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    The price they charge to fit the bump bars here in aus is ridiculous, was quoted between 7-10k last week to fit one to a 1590
     

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