When studying close calls with serious injury potential (SIP), we discovered a recurring pattern. Several of our SIPs were caused by crew members who were using back cuts when other types of cuts would have been more effective. Why? Because they were more comfortable with back cuts; in other words, back cuts were the default cut for their crews.
Our work environments are highly variable and include difficult terrains, changing and extreme weather conditions, myriad tree species/conditions, and energized lines
As most reading this can attest, for decades the traditional view of safety in the utility line clearance industry centered around defining and following policies and practices...
“I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. It was winter and fresh snow was heavy on the tree limbs as we began piecing down a 50 ft. pine. We were wearing layers of clothing and could see our breath when we pulled our face masks down to talk.”
Wednesday, at Lewis Tree Service, is now Drill Day. On Drill Day, we are creating the space to practice simple tasks that have the potential to cause serious injuries. And, as it turns out, we’re having fun in the process. Some of the drills have included a) dropping limbs from heights onto watermelons (with and without hardhats) to see the...
Have you ever seen the episode of The Simpsons when Ned Flanders is discussing the difference between apple cider and apple juice? Homer’s brain floats away saying, “You can stay but I’m leaving.” We can all relate. When our brains get bored, we zone out. That’s why, at Lewis, we’re learning a situational awareness tool called “scan and focus.”
An interesting pattern emerged when we began analyzing close call data at Lewis Tree Service. When considering frequency, we learned that line of fire—by vehicle—has as much serious injury potential as struck-by, tree-related incidents. Yet, if you studied just our incident data, that picture would not emerge.
“It was 4:30 in the afternoon on nice, sunny day. Our crew had performed regular trimming on multiple oak trees around a three phase and was stacking brush while getting ready to shut down for the day. One of the crew members went to remove the drop zone cones when all the sudden he heard the sound of a limb slam on the ground. The employee was...
We often talk about and acknowledge that craftworkers, company-wide, make thousands of decisions each day, which lead to successful outcomes. It would be impossible to capture every one of these decisions; but, today's blog post is the first of two recent examples.
After reviewing an incident last week involving a decayed trunk that was unknown to the feller and reviewing two close calls with very similar circumstances, the question that comes to mind is: Are we doing all that we can to find out what kind of wood fiber, if any, is in the tree? Are the fibers punky, wet, dry, consistent, solid, etc.?