OSHA has begun laying the groundwork for a proposed regulation to reduce fatalities and injuries in the tree care industry, reported Business Insurance, following a meeting with industry stakeholders this past summer. Interest in the development of a tree care rule was first instigated by the Tree Care Industry Association in 2010 and has recently attracted renewed interest, reported Bloomberg BNA.
While falls, falling objects, and electrocution are the most common causes of injury and death, one of the topics discussed at the July 2016 industry stakeholder meeting was best practices for using mobile equipment. Industry professionals were asked what controls and safety practices their companies have implemented to protect workers operating and working on and near vehicles and mobile equipment.
Cranes and aerials with A-frame style stabilizers are often used in tree care applications. For this type of equipment, DICA offers two Special Duty SafetyTech® outrigger pads that are frequently selected by arborists and tree care professionals. Cavity and Cleated models are used in a wide variety of ground conditions for securely positioning stabilizers on mobile equipment.
This completely solid design provides an unbreakable edge that prevents outriggers from sliding off the pad when placed in conditions that are less than level. DICA’s “Cavity SafetyTech outrigger pads were originally developed at the request of customers who were looking for a solution that would reduce the concern of a foot sliding off the pad,” says Dick Koberg, Founder, and President.
In addition, multi-purpose cleats can be ordered as an accessory to the entire line of SafetyTech® outrigger pads. Cleats provide two separate functions: When positioned downward, they grip the ground with a serrated edge for improved traction in grass, dirt, mud or snow conditions. The cleated side can also be positioned upward to provide a stabilizer foot guard in a single direction to prevent slipping in non-level conditions.
The cleats are made from the engineered thermoplastic material used in SafetyTech outrigger pads and are attached with metal fasteners. This allows the cleat to match the performance of the outrigger pad when operating under load or temperature changes. In addition, cleat accessories can be easily retrofitted to SafetyTech outrigger pads in the field.
Hazard awareness resources can be found on OSHA’s Tree Care Industry page, including a pamphlet on electrocution, a hazard bulletin, and a tri-fold wallet card.