Compliance with the ANSI Z133.1 - 2006 safety standard among arborists in New England

INTRODUCTION: Arboriculture is hazardous work. A consensus safety standard exists, but little is known about compliance with it. This study aimed to determine whether accreditation and certification are associated with safety practices and to identify specific safety practices adhered to most and least.
METHOD: Sixty-three tree care companies in southern New England were directly observed on job sites. Adherence to the American National Standards for Arboricultural Operations (ANSI Z133.1 - 2006) was compared across companies that were accredited, non-accredited with certified arborists on staff, and non-accredited without certified arborists on staff.
RESULTS: Companies with accreditation or certified arborists demonstrated greater safety compliance than those without. However, low compliance was found across all company types for personal protective equipment (PPE) use, chain saw safety, and chipper safety.
CONCLUSIONS: Greater attention to PPE, chain saw, and chipper practices is warranted across the industry. Safety in non-accredited companies without certified arborists especially needs improvement. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Only partial compliance was found among accredited companies and companies with certified arborists. Intervention strategies are needed for all company types for the use of PPE and safer use of chain saws and chippers.

Source: Julius AK, Kane B, Bulzacchelli MT, Ryan HD. J. Saf. Res. 2014; 51: 65-72.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2014.09.010

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