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Bill Trail
Safety Director
Energy Group, Inc.                  


Matt Donnellon
Energy Group, Inc.                  

The Energy Group, Inc. is committed to a Safety-Always Culture providing a safe and healthy work environment to all employees. This is a continuous effort by everyone to ensure that the proper safety measures are in place to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. This commitment is established daily through the systematic application of a comprehensive safety program. This commitment is consistent and focused on the unique elements of Line Clearance Tree Trim (LCTT) as it applies to The Energy Group, Inc. employees, customers, and the public. The basic philosophy of the program is as follows:

  1. Management has the responsibility to implement the safety program at The Energy Group, Inc. Effective development and implementation of the safety program are the collaborative responsibility of all employees within The Energy Group, Inc.

  2. All employees must be properly trained and equipped to work safely.

  3. Safety is a fundamental requirement for continued employment by The Energy Group, Inc. Each employee is responsible for personal compliance with all applicable safety rules, standards, and work practices. Willful or repeated violations of safety rules will result in discipline or termination.

  4. Management is committed to effective communication and consultation with the employees on matters of safety and health.

All Energy Group, Inc. employees are equally charged with the responsibility of the overall safety of themselves, their co-workers and the public on the job site and on Energy Group, Inc. property. We will:

  • Create and maintain a culture where safety is considered the number one priority.

  • Provide employees with the training and resources to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

  • Encourage employees to utilize the Stop Work Procedure, if any employee has a question or is not confident or understanding the safe work practices of the job.

  • Be our brother’s keeper an approach to safety that focuses on taking care of your other crew members and not just yourself.

We understand the importance of investing time and resources into every employee to prepare them to perform their job safely.


Energy Group, Inc. Safety Policy Manual Overview
The Safety Policy Manual provides Line Clearance Tree Trim (LCTT) employees with, written environmental, health and safety policies and procedures for promoting a safe and healthy work environment.
The information in this manual is part of The Energy Group, Inc.’s comprehensive approach to safety and work practices: no single section shall ever be used independently from the rest of the manual. It is the intent of The Energy Group, Inc. to strive for continuous improvement to these standards and work practices. In addition, this manual provides guidance, through necessary training documents, to assist employees in promoting through greater job classifications. The Energy Group, Inc. Safety Policy Manual addresses:

  • Regulations and Safety Standards for LCTT workers

  • Energy Group, Inc. required Safety Training

  • Energy Group, Inc. Job Class Skill Requirements and Training for:

  1. Ground-hands

  2. Trimmers

  3. Climbers

  4. Lift Operators

  5. Foremen

The Safety Policy Manual cites numerous industry standards, regulations, organizational references, and other resources used in the creation of this document including:

  • ANSI Z133-2017 Safety Requirements for Arboricultural Operations

  • ANSI A300 Standards for Tree, Plant and Other Woody Plant Management

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA)

  • U.S. Department of Transportation (FMCSA)

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service

  • National Safety Council (NSC)

  • Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)

  • American Red Cross

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

  • Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA)

  • Dr. Alex Shigo, Pruning Trees Near Electric Utility Lines

  • J.J. Keller and Associates


General Guidelines


It is the goal of the Energy Group, Inc. Inc. to plan and manage all projects in a manner that minimizes risk and enhances efficiency.


The Energy Group, Inc. places its number one priority on the safety of our workers and job sites. Energy Group, Inc. management will provide all employees with an overview of Energy Group, Inc. Safety requirements. Each employee will comply with all federal, state, and local regulations; and any safety requirements Energy Group, Inc. has listed pertinent to the job. The standard safety practices for the client industry and client safety policies and procedures shall also be followed. The employees shall conduct operations in a manner which shall prevent personal injury and property damage through fires, accidents or otherwise. To this end Energy Group, Inc. shall furnish, at no cost, all: required personal protective equipment and devices unless specified otherwise by contract.


All Subcontractors are also bound by the same requirements as the employees.


It is the purpose of Safety Management to prevent or minimize the consequences of all accidents. This includes injury, property damage, equipment failure, theft, fire, hazardous material releases and environmental damage.

Energy Group, Inc. reserves the right to stop all work, at any time job conditions occur, which would endanger personnel or property should such work continue.




The development of the Energy Group, Inc. Safety Program is the responsibility of the Safety Director. The responsibility for implementing the program is directed through the: Manager, Supervisor, General Foreperson, and each Crew Foreman to establishing safety as an integral part of crew operation.


  • All employees are responsible for protection of themselves, fellow employees, and company property.

  • All company safety rules, as well as those of the system owner, SHALL be followed as a condition of continued employment.

  • All safety rule violation will result in disciplinary action, which may include time off or termination of employment.

Safety Director


  • Develops safety policies for the corporation.

  • Directs and coordinates safety audits of field operations.

  • Monitors and assures compliance with regulatory agency safety and develops safety related training materials.

  • Directs the investigation of fatal and serious accidents.

  • Evaluates the quality and effectiveness of safety programs.


Manager and Supervisor


  • Implements company safety policies and procedures.

  • Develops safety standards and goals.

  • Communicates safety management responsibilities to General Foremen.

  • Implements the development of employee safety training program and written disciplinary programs.

  • Directs safety program audit activity.

  • Reviews injury reports, property damage claims, auto accidents reports, and accident investigation reports. Insures that personal protective equipment, tools, and equipment satisfy company standards.

  • Assures required annual inspection of vehicles and equipment by a qualified inspector.

  • Evaluates General Foremen safety performance.


General Foreman


  • Implements the safety program.

  • Ensures that Crew Foremen and crew members are properly trained on Safety policies, proper use of tools and equipment, and work procedures.

  • Communicates the safety policies to Crew Foremen and clearly defines Crew Foreman safety program responsibilities. Audits crew operations for compliance with safety rules.

  • Assures that all required manuals and other documents are maintained on company vehicles.

  • Investigates all accidents.

  • Disciplines employees according to policy.

Crew Foreman


  • Implements safety policies and procedures and trains crew members in company safety policies and work procedures.

  • Performs a job site hazard evaluation and job briefing for each work site before work begins.

  • Observes work activity on the job and corrects unsafe acts and/or conditions.

  • Inspects and maintains equipment and tools as required.

  • Repairs or replaces damaged or unsafe tools and equipment.

  • Thoroughly explains safety materials and documents.

  • Reports accidents immediately to the General Foreperson and completes written reports as required. Disciplines employees who violate safety rules according to policy.

Crew Member


  • SHALL be aware of the hazards of a job and SHALL see that the job is completed in a safe efficient manner, using proper safety equipment/tools, in their proper respective manner.

  • Learns and complies with all safety policies, procedures, and work methods during all operations.

  • Participates in the job briefing and asks for clarification if they do not understand.

  • Inspects tools and equipment before use.

  • Does not use damaged or unsafe tools and equipment.

  • Reports and/or corrects unsafe conditions.

  • Immediately reports accidents to the Crew Foreman.



The establishment of a safe and productive working environment is a team effort that involves all employees. Each employee is expected to contribute to this atmosphere of working safely and together. Employees are not only responsible for working safely to protect themselves, but also fellow employees and the public.


  • Alertness and having your mind on the job at hand is expected.

  • Only employees qualified to do the job SHALL be allowed to perform the work.

  • Employees who are ill or unfit to work SHALL not be allowed to work.

  • Illegal drug and alcohol use SHALL be prohibited on company property and at the work site.

  • Employees suffering from the effects of drug or alcohol use SHALL not be allowed on the job.

  • Proper clothing and shoes for their job SHALL be the responsibility of the employee.

  • If an employee needs assistance the employee SHOULD ask another employee first and NEVER ask anyone from the public.

  • Horseplay of any type SHALL not be allowed on the job. 

Critical Safety Violations


Because of the serious nature of certain safety violations, the company has instituted six critical safety violations. Violation of any one of these rules can result in immediate termination of employment.


  1. Employees MUST recognize and abide by any employee’s Stop Work Authority Order.

  2. Seat belts MUST be worn by all vehicle operators and passengers whenever the vehicle is in motion. Equipment operators MUST use seat belts and passenger restraint systems during operation of all equipment.`

  3. All employees MUST be secured with a climbing line or lanyard at all times while working aloft, whether ascending, descending, working or repositioning. (This includes, while in a tree, in a bucket or other aerial lift devices, or on a ladder.)

  4. All workers MUST never approach closer to any energized conductor than the distances indicated on the OSHA minimum approach distance chart.

  5. Climbers MUST be tied in with a climbing line and either a second climbing line or lanyard at all times while operating a chain saw off the ground.

  6. The chain saw MUST be held with the thumbs and fingers of both hands encircling the handles at all times during operation.

  7. The operator MUST where chain saw chaps at all times while operating a chain saw on the ground. This includes starting and warming up the saw.


  • Each employee is a direct representative of the company in the field.

  • The employee's actions influence what the public sees and thinks of the company. Remember that often only the bad that is seen is remembered

  • All employees must always do their best to project themselves and the company in a positive manner.

  • Many employees do not interact well with the public and should keep this in mind when around or dealing with the public.

  • If a situation feels uncomfortable, delegate another employee to handle it.

  • If it starts to become a heated issue back off and refer the problem back to a supervisor.

  • Always be polite and remember that if it were not for the customer, we would not have the job at hand. Employees will find that more can be accomplished with cooperation achieved through a kind word than through heated emotions.

  • Employees SHALL disregard any disrespectful comments made towards them or the company. Continue doing the job in a safe professional manner, ignoring anything that is said.

  • Remember that the customer is a human being also. Many times, their anger is more at the situation at hand and not the employee directly. During storm work, remember the customer may have been without power for several hours or days. This is a time when everyone's temper and nerves are on edge.

  • If the situation is such that an employee can foresee it getting out of hand, back off and contact supervision to deal with the problem. Never force the issue.

Each Employee has an individual responsibility to safeguard confidential information, that has been obtained in connection with, his or her employment. Confidential information about Company business is the property of the Company. Confidential information includes: all significant financial and operating information, such as proposed or advance plans, service contracts, construction of facilities, earnings, dividends, trade secrets, employee personal information, managerial changes, organizational changes, and customer information.
All reporting should be prepared honestly and with care and should present an accurate and complete picture of the facts. All Employees are required to maintain true and accurate records of business transactions for which they are responsible.

All employees will be required to participate in a Morning Stand Up Meeting for the first 15 minutes of the shift at the yard. The Morning Stand Up Meeting is held every day at the beginning of the shift and is designed to share key operational and safety information from multiple sources with all employees across the Company. Operating and Safety information will be coming from many sources such as from customers, other contractors, previous shift safety incidents or near–miss incidents, or from the industry. The topics for the Morning Stand Up Meeting will change each day and shall contain a daily "Safety Topic" for crew members to focus on. If you have questions about any items discussed during the Morning Stand Up, do not hesitate to speak up and ask questions.
Supervisors are required to complete a package of information each day that includes – signed copy of the Morning Stand Up Report, Roster, Time Sheet and Pre-Job Brief(s). All rosters, time sheets and pre- job briefs must be completely filled-out and match accurately for those that are on the job across all of the forms and also provide clear indication who is taking PTO or unpaid days off if any.
PPE is required for visual verification during the Morning Stand Up Meeting by the supervisor at the yard prior to going to the job site. Required PPE includes hard hat, safety vest, safety glasses, and Company ID. If you do not have your Required PPE on you during the Morning Stand Up meeting, you cannot go to the job site. PPE must be worn at all times when in the yard and on the job site.

The Stop Work Authority process involves a STOP, NOTIFY, CORRECT and RESUME approach for the resolution of a perceived unsafe condition, act, error, omission or lack of understanding that could result in an injury or damage to any equipment and/or property.
All Energy Group, Inc. employees have the authority and obligation to stop any task or operation where concerns or questions regarding the control of health, safety or environmental risks exist.
When an unsafe condition is identified by an employee, the Stop Work Authority order will be immediately initiated and coordinated by the supervisor (Foreman of the crew or highest ranking manager at the job site), where the supervisor must initiate the Stop Work Authority order in a positive manner, notify all affected personnel at the job site to stop work and address the stop work issue, discuss and correct the issue. Once everyone agrees that the issue is corrected, and the work environment is now safe, the supervisor may allow the team to resume work.
If a supervisor fails to recognize an employee’s Stop Work Authority order, the employee must call the General Foreman or the next highest manager over the supervisor and let them know that Stop Work Authority order has been made but not addressed by the supervisor. Supervisors are not allowed to ignore any Stop Work Authority order.
No work will resume until all stop work issues and concerns have been adequately addressed and a safe work environment exists as determined by all employees at the job site.
Any form of retribution or intimidation directed at any individual for exercising their right to issue a stop work authority will not be tolerated by Energy Group, Inc.



Proper Planning and the Pre-Job Brief


Proper planning is necessary for the safe and productive operation of our crews. Before any work begins, each job must be planned and documented with an Energy Group, Inc. Pre-Job Brief to ensure the use of proper equipment, identify the hazards of the job, and define a plan to perform the work in a manner that eliminates those hazards.


The Crew or Job Foreman is responsible for surveying the job-site work location, identify all hazards that could jeopardize the safety of any employee and complete the Pre-Job Brief.


The Foreman must conduct Pre-Job Briefing review with all employees involved before they start each job. The job briefing shall include:


  • Hazard identification at the job site

  • Work Procedures review

  • Special precautions defined

  • Electrical hazards and M.A.D. review

  • Traffic cone setup and confirmation

  • Drop Zone setup and confirmation

  • Personal protective equipment

  • Tool and equipment inspection

  • Emergency Contacts and Hospital locations

  • Job assignments

Pre-Job Brief planning must be completed using the Energy Group, Inc. Pre-Job Briefing front and back form, and must be completed as outlined in the job briefing training directions.

If the job cannot be performed safely, it SHALL NOT be attempted. Call the General Foreman if any hazard exists that prevents the job from being performed safely with the crew and equipment assigned to the job.


The Crew Foreman and all crew members shall hand write (print) their name and then sign the Pre-Job Brief completed form for the job prior to performing the work. The Foreman shall make sure that all employees understand the hazards identified, their specific job assignment and answer any questions they may have.


Job briefings need to be reviewed mid-shift and if conditions change the Pre-Job Brief must be updated with relevant notes or changes. All job briefings must be turned in on a weekly basis.

Fire Prevention/Protection Policy is intended to provide compliance with all related regulation and standard safe work practice. The purpose of the policy is to prevent fires and to provide guidelines for action if a fire does occur.
Fire prevention program combines the following policies:

  • PPE Policy

  • Electrical Safety Policy

  • Emergency Action Plan

These policies encompass methods used for incidence avoidance, incident response and specialized training required in the event of a fire.
Issues addressed in the above policies include, but are not limited to:

  • Evacuation Procedure

  • Extinguisher Training

  • Basic Process Safety Training (if applicable)

  • Hot Work Safety Training (if applicable)

  • Confined Space Entry Safety Training (if applicable)

  • Emergency Life Support Training

  • Respiratory Protective Devices Training (if applicable)

  • Assured Grounding Programs

Employees shall be informed of the proper actions to take in the event of a fire. This includes, but is not limited to, notification and evacuation procedures. It is STRESSED that at no time does the task of fighting fire supersede an employee's primary duties of:

  • Ensuring their own personal safety and the safety of others.

  • Reporting the incident to the proper authority and ensuring personnel accountability for yourself and all subordinates at the jobsite, in accordance with company and client policy.


Fire Safety Procedure:

  • All employees are responsible for good housekeeping practices to enhance fire prevention methods. Supervisors will be held accountable for the housekeeping of their job sites.

  • If applicable, welding machine mufflers will be equipped with an approved spark arresting muffler.

  • Only approved containers will be used during fueling operations. These shall be of the self- closing type.

  • Flammable material shall be kept under the control. It shall be stored in compliance with applicable OSHA and client regulations. The quantity of flammable/combustible material shall be kept to a minimum on the job site.

  • Welding, cutting, and grinding sparks shall be contained.

  • Hot work areas shall be kept wetted down, and a fire extinguisher and hose maintained on each jobsite.

  • Oily rags shall be immediately disposed of in designated hazardous waste containers.

  • No hot work is to be performed without a Hot Work Permit.

  • All vehicle entry into process areas requires a permit or permission from the operator.

  • Use bonding straps to discharge and prevent static charges during transfer of flammable liquids from one container to another.

  • Report all spills or suspicious odors immediately.

  • Fire extinguishers are to be kept in areas easily accessible to employees.

  • Only approved fire extinguishers are to be used. They must have an inspection tag attached. Extinguishers are to be maintained in a fully charged, ready to operate state.

  • Extinguishers are to be inspected before each use and documented annually.

  • Training is provided to all employees who use or may use fire extinguishers.

  • NEVER put yourself or others a risk while attempting to extinguish an incipient fire.

  • DO NOT USE any fire hoses larger than 1-3/4”, unless fully trained as an industrial firefighter.

  • NEVER attempt to extinguish a pressurized fuel fed fire.

  • DO NOT direct a fire nozzle with a straight stream at any type of LPG fire. This action could extinguish the fire, producing an LPG vapor cloud capable of detonation.

  • DO NOT USE fire monitors as the force can damage small equipment and certain high chrome alloy equipment cannot have water applied as cracking could occur.

  • DO NOT APPLY water to any acid or caustic release as it can cause a violent reaction. Additionally, low concentration acids or caustics become extremely corrosive, causing an increasing leak condition.

Some locations within our operations such as repair shops contain potential fire hazards and have been designated as NO SMOKING areas. In addition, all offices, company vehicles or equipment and other enclosed work areas have been designated as NO SMOKING areas through the Company’s SMOKING POLICY. It is your responsibility to know these locations and comply with the Company’s SMOKING POLICY. Refer to the Employee Manual for additional details and information.


Fire Prevention:


  • All exits and fire equipment must be kept visible and free of obstructions.

  • Do not smoke or have open flames in designated NO SMOKING areas.

  • Do not smoke or have open flames around gasoline, parts cleaners, fuel oil, greases, or other combustible or flammable materials or while fueling equipment.

  • Equipment powered by gasoline engines must be turned off during refueling.

  • Use only approved containers for handling and storing combustible and flammable liquids.

  • Immediately replace any cap from a flammable liquid container after use.

  • Take safeguards during welding, cutting, and grinding operations: inspect the area and know where sparks from the operations are going. Always have a Fire Extinguisher nearby to protect combustibles in the work area. Always check the work area afterwards to make sure no fire has developed.

  • Parts cleaning covers must be kept closed on all parts stations when not in use.

  • Gasoline or diesel may not be used for cleaning parts or equipment nor applied to the skin as a cleaner.

  • Know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them. Be certain to use the proper extinguisher.

  • Never return an empty or partially used fire extinguisher to its station. Tag it and turn it in for recharging. Report all extinguishers that have broken seals so it can be replaced.

  • Fire Extinguishers must be inspected and initialed on the tag once a month.

  • In case of a fire, call 911. If appropriate, attempt to extinguish the fire.


Fire Fighting:


Most fires, if detected early, can be put out with a hand-held fire extinguisher. However, must be trained to fight a fire and must use good common sense before attacking a fire. If there is any possibility of the fire getting out of control, then the employee should immediately exit the facility per the established fire escape route. Protecting Company property is never a priority and Should NEVER be done at the expense of employee safety.


  • Be sure you know how to operate your fire extinguisher and know the proper technique for fighting fires.

  • Be sure you have an unobstructed escape route should you fail to extinguisher the fire.

  • Know what materials are burning and be sure the extinguisher you are using can fight the fire. IMPORTANT! USING THE WRONG TYPE OF EXTINGUISHER FOR THE CLASS OF FIRE MAY BE DANGEROUS!

  • Consider the possible danger posed by hazardous or highly flammable materials near the fire area.

  • Determine if a fire extinguisher can extinguish the magnitude of the fire.


It is reckless to fight a fire under any other circumstances. Instead, leave immediately, closing all doors leading to the fire area as you exit. Call 911 or follow the posted emergency procedures.


Fire Extinguishers:


Fire extinguishers are tested by independent testing laboratories and are labeled for the type of fire they are intended to extinguish. There are four classes of fires. All fire extinguishers are labeled, using standard symbols, for the classes of fires they can be used to fight. A red slash through any of the symbols tells you the extinguisher cannot be used on that class of fire.

Class A Fires – Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, and paper. Class B Fires – Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and oil-based paint.


Class C Fires – Energized electrical equipment – including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliance.


Class D Fires – Combustible metals – such as magnesium or sodium. Extinguishers for Class D fires must match the type of metal that is burning.




It is very dangerous to use water or an extinguisher labeled only for Class A fires on an oil, grease, or electrical fire.


Types of Fire Extinguishers:


Depending on their intended use, portable fire extinguishers store specific extinguishing agents which are expelled onto the fire when used.


  • Pressurized water models are appropriate to use on Class A fires only. These must never be used on electrical or flammable liquid fires.

  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers contain pressurized liquid carbon dioxide which turns to a gas when expelled. Do not come in contact with the gas as it may freeze your skin. These models are rated for use on Class B and C fires, but never hesitate to use carbon dioxide extinguishers on a Class A Fire. Carbon dioxide is not corrosive.

  • Dry chemical extinguishers blanket burning materials with powdered chemicals. In some models, the chemicals are expelled by pressure supplied by a separate gas filled cartridge. The dry chemicals used are corrosive.


In general, Energy Group, Inc., Inc. utilizes multi-purpose dry chemical extinguishers which are appropriate for fighting Class A, B, and C fires. Every effort should be made to purchase multipurpose extinguishers.


How to Operate a Portable Fire Extinguisher:


Keep you back to an exit and depending on the size of the extinguisher, start 10 to 20 feet away from the fire and follow the following PASS procedure.


  • Pull the pin. This unlocks that operation lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other lever-release mechanisms.

  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher hose (or nozzle) at the base of the fire.

  • Squeeze the lever above the handle. This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge.

  • Sweep form side to side. Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out.


Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process. Always be sure the fire department inspects the fire site, even if you think you have extinguished the fire.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance:


Fire extinguishers shall be periodically inspected and maintained. In general, one employee from each location is assigned the responsibility of performing monthly inspections. As part of the monthly site inspections, such individuals must check to ensure that the:


  • Pin is in and secured.

  • Extinguisher is fully charged.

  • Hose is free of obstructions.

  • The yearly inspection tag is intact.


To document that the mandatory monthly inspection was performed, the employee performing the inspection will date and initial the back of the yearly inspection log in the block when the monthly inspection was performed.


An annual inspection of the fire extinguisher is also required. The yearly inspection is a more detailed evaluation of the condition and functionality of the fire extinguisher and this inspection is generally conducted by an outside vendor. If a fire extinguisher is identified to be more than 12 months beyond its last annual inspection than the employee should tag and bring the extinguisher to his/her supervisor and replace the extinguisher with one that is ready for service.


Should you become aware of a fire extinguisher which is not in compliance with these requirements, notify your supervisor immediately.



  • Proper warning SHALL be given to protect employees, pedestrians, and drivers of vehicles, from jobs that result in partial obstruction of street, sidewalks, entryways, roads, or highways.

  • Barricades, flags, flagmen, lights, flares, danger signs, and safety cones SHALL be used and placed to pre-warn the public.

  • Traffic control equipment SHALL be used as required by local, county, state, and federal regulations.

  • Illumination at night or during periods of low visibility SHALL be used on the job site.

  • When possible, a vehicle SHALL be used to protect work area and employees from vehicular traffic.

  • Some areas may need to be roped off for additional protection for the public.

  • Extra precautions SHALL be taken for the protection of children or bystanders near the work area.

  • In some cases, it may be necessary to have a crew member act as a watchman and direct safe passage for children or the public around the work area.

  • Tools and equipment SHOULD be kept off the sidewalk and roadways.

  • Any object that extends 3 feet or more beyond the end of a vehicle SHALL have a red flag or warning light hung on the end of the object



Employees may be exposed to extreme or severe weather conditions. This may include severe storms, hot, sunny days during the summer months and cold, snowy days during the winter months. Precautions should be taken to minimize the effects of these extreme conditions on your body.


It is the Energy Group, Inc. policy that line clearance work is NOT permitted in severe weather conditions. If surprised by sudden occurrence of severe weather, take shelter immediately to the safety of your crew truck or a safe building nearby and notify your supervisor immediately of the severe weather and your location.

When personnel handle potentially hazardous materials, they are required to have Hazard Communication Training. This training includes a review of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for pesticides and for other hazardous materials, plus a review of safety precautions, first aid measures and personal protective equipment required for safe handling of these materials. All hazardous material shall be stored and transported in labeled containers.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) shall be available on Energy Group University, accessible by phone or tablet, at work sites, in vehicles used to transport them or locations where they are being stored. 
Information from the SDS data sheets will be used for emergency response and provided over the phone when calling 911. It is important to know where to find the SDS.
Hazardous Condition Reporting
If damage to client facilities, a hazardous condition, outage, downed power line or a security breach is discovered (or created) it shall immediately be reported to the customer, following the procedures defined in the customer agreement. The customer shall also immediately be informed of any unique hazards created by the Energy Group, Inc. work process. All crews shall be informed of the client reporting and notification procedures.
The foreman or supervisor SHALL determine if the work and/or area is hazardous enough to warrant the need of a safety watcher. The watcher SHALL not be assigned any other work duties and SHALL not leave the work area until relieved.
Always warm-up your back and legs before performing any lifting task! We are ALL athletes in life, so we need to warm-up our body to improve performance and to reduce risk of injury. It is important to prepare your body for work.
Plan Ahead
  • Know what you are lifting and how you will lift it.
  • Be aware of the weight of the object.
  • Determine whether it is safe to lift on your own.
  • Make sure the work area is flat, dry, and clear of debris.
Check Your Pathway
  • Make sure the lift pathway is clear.
  • Remove any tripping hazards or debris.
  • Check for any wet or slick surfaces.
Get Help When Needed
  • When lifting awkward or heavy loads, utilize a two-person lift.
  • Make sure you lift at the same time and keep the load level.
Wear Proper PPE
  • Wear proper required protective shoes and gloves.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
  • Get as close to the object as possible.
  • Use a wide stance with one foot forward and to the side of the object for good balance.
  • Keep your back straight, push your buttocks out, and use your legs and hips to lower yourself down to the object.
  • Slide the object as close to you as possible.
  • Put the hand (same side of your body as the forward foot) on the side of the object furthest from you.
  • Use this basic lifting technique for small objects when you can straddle the load and use a wide stance.
  • Put the other hand on the side of the object closest to you. Your hands should be on opposite corners
  • Grasp the object firmly with both hands.
  • Prepare for the lift, tighten your core muscles, look forward and upward, keep a straight and strong back.
  • Lift slowly and follow your head and shoulders. Hold the load close to your body. Lift by extending your legs with your back straight, and breathe out as you lift.
If necessary, 911 should be the first call made for all incidents and accidents.

All Incidents/Accidents must be reported immediately to the
General Foreman by the Crew Foreman or their designee.

All Incident/Accident Scenes must be secured and left in the
condition it was in following the Incident/Accident. At no
time shall the crew members clean-up or otherwise alter the
scene until directed to do so by the Energy Group, Inc. Safety

The following “Call Tree” process Shall be followed for all
incidents and accidents:

  1. The General Foreman shall call 911 if necessary and report the incident to the Energy Group Inc. Safety Team and Operations Supervisor immediately upon stabilization of the incident/accident.
  2. The Safety Team Designee will Immediately contact the Energy Group, Inc. Safety Director.
  3. The Operations Supervisor will immediately contact the designated customer representative.
  4. The Safety Director will immediately contact the Energy Group, Inc. Administrations Director and Operations Director.
An incident is a work-related event during which injury, ill health, fatality, or damage to property could have occurred.
All incidents must be reported to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee via the Energy Group, University’s “Online Incident Form.” Forms and supporting documents, pictures, statements, etc. must be emailed in PDF form within 24 hours of the occurrence. All incidents shall be reviewed by the Energy Group, Inc.’s Safety Department, and the Safety Committee.
A final investigation report will be submitted to the President by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee within 72 hours of the Safety Committee Review. The final report shall contain quantified root cause analysis, corrective action recommendations, and recommended disciplinary action, if applicable.
An accident or recordable injury is a work-related event during which injury, ill health, fatality, or damage to property occurs.
All accidents must be reported immediately to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee by phone in accordance with the following:
  • Non-life-threatening injuries requiring basic first aid at the scene – Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
  • Non-life-threatening injuries requiring basic first aid at the scene from first responders – Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
  • Non-life-threatening injuries requiring care or treatment from a clinic or hospital – Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence but prior to transporting the employee to a medical facility.
  • Non-life-threatening injuries requiring ambulance transport to a clinic or hospital - Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
  • Life threatening Injuries of any kind – Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
  • Overnight Hospital Stay – Immediately upon confirmation.
  • Amputation of any body part or loss of an eye - Immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
Additionally, all accidents must be reported via the Energy Group University’s “Online Incident Form.” Witness statements and supporting documents, pictures, etc. must be emailed in PDF form within 24 hours of the occurrence.
Vehicle Incident/Accident
All vehicle accidents, regardless of their severity SHALL be reported to the supervisor immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence. A Vehicle all accidents must be reported via the Energy Group University’s “Online Incident Form.” Witness statements and supporting documents, pictures, etc. must be emailed in PDF form within 24 hours of the occurrence.
OSHA Reporting of Accidents
In addition to the OSHA 300 log, as the employer, Energy Group, Inc. is required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
  • The Energy Group, Inc.’s Director of Environmental Health or their designee must report, by phone, all work-related fatalities within eight (8) hours to the local OSHA office in the state where the fatality occurred.
  • The Energy Group, Inc.’s Director of Environmental Health or their designee must report, by phone, all work-related hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye, within 24 hours to the local OSHA office in the state where the hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye occurred.
Notification shall be made to the President, Dan Francis and John Francis when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee immediately upon stabilization of the occurrence.
All accidents must additionally be reported to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee via the Energy Group, Inc.’s “First Report of Incident Form.” Forms and supporting documents, pictures, statements, etc. must be emailed in PDF form within 24 hours of the occurrence.
All accidents shall be reviewed by the Energy Group, Inc.’s Safety Department, and the Safety
A final investigation report will be submitted to the President by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee within 72 hours of the Safety Committee Review or as required by regulatory agencies. The final report shall contain quantified root cause analysis, corrective action recommendations, and recommended disciplinary action, if applicable.
Near Miss
A near miss is an unplanned work event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage to property – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, illness, or damage to property; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless, very near.
All near misses must be reported to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee
via Energy Group, University’s “Near Miss Report.” Forms and supporting documents, pictures, statements, etc. can be emailed in PDF form. All near misses shall be reviewed by the Energy Group, Inc.’s Safety Department, and the Safety Committee.
A final investigation report will be submitted to the President by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee within 72 hours of the Safety Committee Review. The final report shall contain quantified root cause analysis and corrective action recommendations.
  • Training shall be provided in the use, care, maintenance, fit, and life of personal protective equipment.
  • Clothing and footwear appropriate to the known job hazards shall be approved by the employer and worn by the employee.
  • Work attire must include long pants and a shirt with sleeves. Long sleeve shirts may be required for specific operations such as herbicide use. Flame Resistant or natural fiber clothing may be required.
  • Loose clothing and dangling or loose jewelry are prohibited on the job.
  • Clothing with obscene or offensive pictures or phases is also prohibited.
  • Personal Protective Equipment SHALL be worn as required by regulations, policies, and manufacturer recommendations.
  • Class 2 reflective vests shall be used by all employees engaged in traffic control activities. All employees who are exposed to traffic and/or are working within 15 feet of traffic will be required to wear the Class 2 High Visibility Safety Vest or clothing. The High Visibility Vest shall be worn over all other clothing and it shall not be worn alone or in place of any other clothing.
  • Breathing protection shall be worn when required by the manufacturer and when high volumes of dust are produced on the job.
  • Seat belts shall be used whenever operating vehicles and equipment.
Eye Protection
  • Company supplied ANSI approved eye protection SHALL always be worn during working hours. Contacts, sunglasses, regular eyeglasses, eyeglasses with hardened lenses or any other types of eyewear are not a substitute for ANSI approved safety glasses.
  • Protective eyewear with approved radiation filter lenses (colored) SHALL be worn during welding or cutting operations.
Hearing Protection
  • OSHA approved hearing protection will be provided by the Company. Such hearing protection SHALL be worn when exposed to loud noise in the work environment.
  • Approved hearing protection SHALL be worn in areas posted "hearing protection required.”
  • Approved hearing protection SHALL be worn during the operation of any machine where the manufacturer has established that hearing protection is required.
  • Approved hearing protection may include ear plugs, molded ear or wax type ear plugs, or earmuffs that meet current hearing protection standards. Paper, cloth, cotton, or any other substances are not considered substitutes for approved hearing protection.
Head Protection
  • Company supplied ANSI approved head protection (hardhats, etc.) that meet current safety standards SHALL be worn by all employees while exposed to head injury hazards which may result from falling and flying objects, or electrical shock.
  • Head protection SHALL be worn according to manufactured specifications.
  • Head protection SHALL NOT be changed, defaced, or altered in any manner.
Hand and Foot Protection
  • Proper footwear SHALL be worn by employees while working. Leather boots with protective soles shall be the minimum standard. Cloth or open shoes of any type are not considered appropriate and SHALL NOT be permitted on the job site.
  • Additional protection SHALL be required as designated by the equipment manufacturer or by industry safety standards. This includes but is not limited to metatarsal guards that are required to be worn during the use of: jackhammers, power tampers, as well as the wearing of protective leg chaps while using a chainsaw during ground operations.
  • Proper hand protection SHALL be worn that is appropriate for the job being performed, which may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Standard work gloves for everyday use.
  2. Welder’s gloves if welding or cutting.
  3. Approved rubber or chemical resistant gloves while handling chemicals or caustics.
  4. Rubber gloves and protectors that are approved and tested for the proper electrical voltage being worked on.
Chainsaw Chaps
Chainsaw Chaps shall be provided by the company and Shall be worn by all employees operating a chainsaw when not in an aerial device or climbing a tree.
(See Energy Group, Inc. Gear Inspection Form For More Detailed Instruction)
Rope Inspection
Inspect your rope visually before, during, and after every climb and by running it through your fingers. If you see a damaged section, cut the rope immediately with a knife to prevent further use
Inspect for:
  • Webbing cuts, kinks, abrasions, burns, excessive swelling, excessive wear, discoloration, cracks, charring, broken fibers, lose or broken stitching.
  • Loose, bent or pulled rivets, bent grommets, broken or burned threads.
  • Tongue of buckle binds on buckle frame.
  • Nicks, cracks, distortion, or corrosion of hardware (Buckle, D-rings, etc.)
  • Worn or damaged accessory snaps, rings, and loops.
  • Correct tools and equipment shall be selected for the job.
  • Tools and equipment shall be properly stored or placed in plain sight out of the immediate work area, when not in use.
  • Brush and logs shall not be allowed to create hazards in the work areas.
  • Workers shall maintain a safe working distance from other workers when using tools and equipment.
  • Prior to daily use of all tools, equipment and vehicles, thorough inspections and operational checks shall be made in accordance with manufacturers' and owners' instructions and applicable federal, state, and local requirements. Inspection will include all steps, handholds and railings used to mount or enter machinery.
  • All tools, equipment and vehicles shall be equipped and maintained with manufacturers' safety devices, instructions, warnings, and safeguards. Arborists and other workers shall follow instructions provided by manufacturers.
  • Tools and equipment that have been made unsafe by damage or defect shall not be used. Defects or malfunctions affecting the safe operation of tools, equipment and vehicles shall be corrected before such units are placed into use.
  • Maintenance shall be performed only by those persons authorized by the employer and trained to perform such operations.
  • Manufacturers' preventive maintenance inspections and parts replacement procedures shall be followed.
  • Hoses affecting dielectric characteristics of equipment shall meet manufacturers' requirements.
  • The flash point of hydraulic fluid shall meet the minimum set by the manufacturer.
  • Manufacturers' instructions shall be followed in detecting hydraulic leaks. No part of the body shall be used to locate or stop hydraulic leak.
  • Tools, equipment, and vehicles shall be operated or maintained only by authorized and qualified personnel in accordance with company policies and federal, state, or local laws.
  • Engines shall be stopped for all cleaning, refueling, adjustments, and repairs to the saw or engine, except where manufacturers' procedures require otherwise.
  • Hydraulic/pneumatic tools shall be disconnected when they are being serviced or adjusted, except where manufacturers' procedures require otherwise.
  • To avoid flying particles or whipping hydraulic/pneumatic hoses, pressure shall be released before connections are broken, except where quick-acting connectors are used. Hydraulic/pneumatic hoses shall never be kinked to cut off pressure.
  • Units equipped with outriggers or a stabilizing system shall be operated in a manner consistent with manufacturers' requirements.
  • The operator shall ensure adequate clearance exists and give warning prior to lowering outriggers. Pads shall be placed under outrigger feet when they are needed to ensure stable footing.
Wedges, Chisels, and Gouges
  • Wedges, chisels, and gouges shall be inspected for cracks and flaws before use.
  • Tools with damaged heads shall not be used.
  • Wedges and chisels shall be properly pointed and tempered.
  • Only wood, plastic, or soft-metal wedges shall be used while operating chain saws.
  • Wood-handled chisels should be protected with a ferrule on the striking end.
Chopping Tools
  • Chopping tools should not be used while working aloft.
  • Chopping tools shall not be used as wedges or used to drive metal wedges.
  • Chopping tools shall be swung away from the: feet, legs, and body, using the minimum force practical for function and control.
  • When swinging tools such as: grub hoes, mattocks, and axes, a secure grip, firm footing, and clearance of workers and overhead hazards shall be maintained.
Pole Saw
  • A saw will cut only so fast. Any attempt to force it through or make it cut faster will generally result in binding and buckling the saw-and may produce an injury.
  • A saw must be kept straight in the cut, or it will buckle or bind.
  • A slight down pressure on the blade will prevent the rake of teeth from jumping the saw out of the cut.
  • The free hand shall be kept away from the cut, so that, if the saw should jump out of the cut, it will not result in an injury.
  • Knees shall be kept well out of the way of the sweep of the saw. If they are not, a slip may produce a severe wound.
  • Don t use the cutting edge of the saw blade to knock off dead stubs or branches.
  • Avoid bending the saw blade. A bent saw blade tends to bind in the cut.
  • Saws shall be stored in the proper place away from ropes and hazardous materials.
Pole Tools – Pruners and Pole Hooks
  • Pole tools are used to trim small branches from the ground. they also clip vines that are attached to the limbs or trees that are being cut. Use the pole clip to cut the vines before cutting the limb and the limb can fall free. If the limb catches in vines the trimmer can remain a safe distance away, and cut the vines with the pole clip, until it falls free.
  • DO NOT cut directly overhead.
  • A clean, dry pole clip is a nonconductive tool for working around the electrical conductors. If cut limbs hang in the trees or on conductors, the pole clip can be used to pull the limbs off or cut the limbs to make them fall free.
  • Pole clips can be used to set lines. This can be done by placing the rope over or around the pulley side of the head and dropping the rope through a crotch. If the crotched rope does not fall back to the worker, the pulley side of the head can be used to pull the rope down. DO NOT use the hook side of the head as this can accidentally cut the rope.
  • Keep fingers out of the hook of the pole clip. Never pull the pole clip off the truck or drag it along the ground by putting a finger in the hook, nor should workers grasp the end of the pole just below the hook. The sash cord can too easily catch on something and operate the blade.
  • Pole tools should not be leaned against any object or laid on the ground.
  • A pole clip shall never be hung on a conductor.
  • Wood and fiberglass poles may need to be sanded to remove splinters.
  • Cracked poles should be replaced.
  • When hung, the pole saw shall be hung securely with the sharp edge away from your body. A pole saw shall never be hung on a conductor of any kind.
  • Poles shall not be painted or wrapped with electrical tape, as this can make the pole retain moisture.
  • Blades shall not be stored loosely with other tools, ropes, or hazardous materials.
  • Poles with blades attached should not be stored in a position in which they can cause injury to a person passing by or moving around the truck.
  • Pole pruners or pole saws shall not be hung on electrical conductors.
  • Pole tools used in utility operations shall be constructed with fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) or wooden poles.
Requirements for Proper Tool Maintenance and Care
  • All hand tools and equipment to be used aloft SHALL be handed aloft or raised and lowered by means of a work-line or climb-line.
  • Tools and equipment SHALL not be thrown into or dropped from a tree.
  • All tools and equipment SHALL be placed in truck storage compartments when not in use.
  • Pruners SHOULD not be "stood" against a work truck, tree, fence, or any other structure where it is vulnerable to damage or it may fall and cause personal injury.
  • Pruners SHALL not be "hooked" on any powerlines, telephone lines, or cable television lines and shall be positioned with the sharp edge away from the climber.
  • Pruners SHALL be raised and lowered by means of a work-line tied to the pruner pole just below the head. Fingers and work-lines. SHALL be kept out of the jaw area.
  • All tools SHALL be stored out of the working area when not in use to avoid personal injury which may result from tripping and falling.
  • All hand saws SHALL be stored in scabbards while not in use.
  • Defective equipment SHALL be tagged "Defective" and removed from service. The supervisor SHALL be informed of any defective equipment as soon as possible.
  • All engine powered equipment including chain saws, chippers, and vehicles SHALL be allowed adequate warm-up time during cold weather.
  • Tree gaffs or "Hooks" SHALL be kept sharp and covered when not in use. Gaffs SHALL be retired when inside measurements fall shorter than 1-1/2". Gaffs SHALL be worn only when required and be removed and stored when no longer needed.
  • Material and equipment carried on vehicles shall be properly stored and secured, in compliance with the design of the unit, to prevent the movement of material or equipment.
  • Logs or other material shall not overhang the sides; obscure taillights, brake lights, or vision; or exceed height limits per state and local requirements for bridges, overpasses, utility lines, or other overhead hazards.
  • To avoid the hazard of spontaneous combustion or the generation of undesirable odors, wood chips should not be left in vehicles for extended periods.
  • Ropes and climbing equipment shall be stored and transported in such a manner to prevent damage through contact with sharp tools, cutting edges, gas, oil, or chemicals.
  • Step surfaces and platforms on mobile equipment shall be skid resistant.
  • Safety seat belts, when provided by the manufacturer, shall be worn while a unit is being operated.
  • Riding or working outside or on top of units shall not be permitted unless the units are designed for that purpose or the operator is performing maintenance or inspection.
  • Hoisting or lifting equipment on vehicles shall be used within rated capacities as stated by the manufacturers' specifications.
  • Units with obscured rear vision, particularly those with towed equipment, should be backed up only when necessary and then should be used with external rear guidance, such as a spotter.
  • When units are left unattended, keys shall be removed from ignition, the wheels chocked, and, if applicable, the parking brake applied.
  • Units shall be turned off, keys removed from the ignition, and rotating parts at rest prior to making repairs or adjustments, except where manufacturers' procedures require otherwise.
  • When towing, safety chains shall be crossed under the tongue of the unit being towed and connected to the towing vehicle.
  • Towed units that detach from another unit (for example, a motorized vehicle) shall be chocked or otherwise secured in place.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that a unit's exhaust system does not present a fire hazard.
  • Units operated off-road shall be operated in the proper gear and at the proper speed relative to the operating environment and the manufacturers' instructions and guidelines.
  • Cutting Equipment should be equipped with a Deadman control. When Deadman controls are not available, the worker shall disengage the power source to the rotary or cutter head before dismounting.
  • Units equipped with outriggers shall be operated in a manner consistent with manufacturers' requirements.
  • The operator shall ensure adequate clearance exists and give warning prior to lowering outriggers. Pads shall be placed under outrigger feet when they are needed to ensure stable footing.
  • When positioning equipment, inspect the location of the outriggers.
  • Outriggers need to be set on a firm, flat, solid surface to help stabilize the equipment. Look for cracks or damage in paved surfaces. Sloping ground should not be used.
  • If the ground or surface is not solid, outrigger pads SHALL be used to distribute the weight over a larger area.
  • Use outrigger pads when the surface is wet or icy.
Outrigger Placement Procedures
  • Inspect the surface where the outriggers will be placed.
  • Set outrigger pads if the surface is not firm, flat, or solid enough to support the outriggers. The outriggers are used to support and stabilize the equipment in conjunction with the wheels.
  • Lower the outrigger(s) on the lower side of the equipment until the equipment is level.
  • If the equipment cannot be leveled with the wheels on the ground, do not proceed. Move the equipment to a position where it can be leveled
  • Lower the outrigger(s) on the other side of the equipment until the equipment is level and supported.
  • If an outrigger shifts or moves during operation carefully cradle the boom(s) and inspect the outrigger placement.
  • If an outrigger leaves the ground during operation, check the other outriggers for shifting or settling and reset the opposite outrigger, if it is safe to do so. DO NOT lower the outrigger that has left the ground.
Traffic Safety
Some Energy Group, Inc. employees may be required to utilize traffic controls in their normal line clearance, overhead or underground construction work. It is critically important that we protect public drivers and our employees in and around our job sites through the use of appropriate traffic control devices and techniques for maintaining safe traffic flow in and around the job site. Traffic control devices shall be defined as all signs, signals, markings, and other devices used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic, placed on, over, or adjacent to a street, highway, pedestrian facility, bikeway, or private road open to public travel by authority of a public agency or official having jurisdiction, or, in the case of a private road, by authority of the private owner or private official having jurisdiction. So, as you can see from the lengthy definition there are many job sites that require traffic controls.
Traffic controls are required to control motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic in and around the job site. Traffic controls are required to be established at the job site PRIOR to the start of work. A pre-job brief shall be utilized to outline all hazards in and around the work site.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is incorporated by reference in 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F and shall be recognized as the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, bikeway, or private road open to public travel (see definition in Section 1A.13) in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 402(a). The policies and procedures of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to obtain basic uniformity of traffic control devices shall be as described in 23 CFR 655, Subpart F.
Placement and Operation of Traffic Control Device Guidance:
  1. Placement of a traffic control device should be within the road user’s view so that adequate visibility is provided. To aid in conveying the proper meaning, the traffic control device should be appropriately positioned with respect to the location, object, or situation to which it applies. The location and legibility of the traffic control device should be such that a road user has adequate time to make the proper response in both day and night conditions.
  2. Traffic control devices should be placed and operated in a uniform and consistent manner.
  3. Unnecessary traffic control devices should be removed. The fact that a device is in good physical condition should not be a basis for deferring needed removal or change.
All employees must comply with traffic control requirements as follows:
  • Traffic controls MUST be in place before commencing line clearance or construction work.
  • Employees shall ware high visibility safety clothing meeting requirements for ANSI/ISEA 107.
  • Drop zones shall be clearly marked and used with appropriate traffic control devices at all job sites, where line clearance operations occur to protect employees and public pedestrians from walking underneath the area where tree trimming operations are occurring.
  • Public pedestrians including bicycles, strollers, dog walkers, etc. shall have separate movement around the worksite and shall never be allowed to enter the work site while work is being performed. If a public pedestrian enters the work site, the employee is required to communicate to all employees at the job site that they must stop work until the public pedestrian leaves the work zone. The employee should let the public pedestrian know that it is unsafe to be in the work zone.
  • Arborists and other employees with specific temporary traffic control zone responsibilities shall be trained in traffic control techniques, device usage and placement, and how to work next to
  • traffic in a manner that minimizes the employee’s exposure.
  • Arborists and other employees should use the necessary devices that get the road users attention and provide positive direction in accordance with the MUTCD.
Working Near Railroad Safety
Some Energy Group, Inc. employees may be required to perform work on trees near power lines that run along railroad tracks. P.A. 354, Section 402, was enacted by the Michigan Legislature to provide for the safety of railroad employees when walking on railroad rights-of-way in the performance of their duties. The provisions of Section 402 are applicable to all individuals, partnerships, or corporations that are engaged in the operation of a railroad. Also, this applies to all individuals, partnerships, or corporations that own, lease, or otherwise have jurisdiction or control of land on which, or adjacent to which, railroad tracks or sidetracks are located and operated.
Section 402 provides that no person shall knowingly permit any scrap iron, lumber, debris, vegetation (including tree debris from trimming operations) exceeding a height of 4 inches, marked unevenness of terrain, or any material or condition which unreasonably endangers any employee, to remain or continue in the "safe space" over which the person has full or partial legal control. "Safe space" means the area encompassed within the following distances:
  • From the actual grade level to 22 feet 6 inches above the top of the rail head.
  • A distance of 8 feet 6 inches on both sides of a perpendicular from the center line of a railroad track with a radius of not less than 400 feet lateral curvature (straight track to radius of 400 feet curved track, see Appendix 1);
  • A distance of 9 feet on both sides of a perpendicular from the center line of a railroad track with a radius of less than 400 feet lateral curvature (high curvature areas of the railroad track, see Appendix 1 and change to 9 feet on both sides).
Driver Overview
Driving a Company vehicle is a privilege and not a right, or a guaranteed benefit of your job. The Company reserves the right to revoke the assignment of a vehicle and/or your driving privileges at any time, and for any reason without prior notice.
The Company vehicle assigned to you is to be used to travel to work in the morning, throughout the course of the day for business purposes only. The Company vehicle is to remain parked at the overnight parking location until the next working day, or until you are called to duty. This is unless you are given permission to use the vehicle for other business-related activities during off hours.
The only individuals who may operate or ride in a Company owned or leased vehicle are authorized employees of the company, and, when necessary, authorized Customer Representatives. Additionally, the transportation of weapons, alcoholic beverages, or illegal drugs within a Company vehicle, is strictly prohibited. Violations of the above stated policy will result in immediate termination of employment.
Drinking and driving with a company vehicle, is cause for immediate termination of employment.
Vehicle accidents are costly to our company, but more importantly, they may result in injury to you or others. It is the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner and to drive defensively to prevent injuries and property damage. As such, the Energy Group, Inc. endorses all applicable state motor vehicle regulations relating to driver responsibility. The Energy Group, Inc. expects each driver to drive in a safe and courteous manner pursuant to the following safety rules.
For purposes of monitoring the condition of the Energy Group, Inc.’s equipment, Energy Group, Inc. employs state of the art technology in its GPS system. This GPS system monitors engine temperature, fluid levels, brake pad/disc temperature and various other vehicle performance information, so that the equipment may be maintained adequately.
A fringe benefit of the GPS system is that it also monitors the location of all the equipment to ensure the equipment is used exclusively for the benefit of the Energy Group, Inc. In addition, the system monitors, real-time, the speed at which the vehicle is traveling and events such as “hard” or normal brake patterns. The primary benefit of this GPS system is, that it provides management the information that helps identify unsafe driving practices, to keep all our valued employees safe from harm.
The Energy Group, Inc. Safety committee is responsible for:
  • Reviewing accidents and employer’s overall driver safety record to determine if there should be corrective action (such as training, equipment changes, etc.), implemented to enhance the safe operation of company vehicles, and/or personal vehicles on company business.
  • Reviewing driving records of individual employees and making recommendations to Senior Management when driving privileges should be suspended or revoked.
  • Reviewing all other issues that arise with respect to compliance with this policy.
  • Ensuring that company equipment is used only for the benefit of the company, and for the purposes intended.
Authorized Driver Criteria
Employees of the Energy Group, Inc. authorized to drive a company vehicle must meet all requirements and are expected to drive in a safe and responsible manner and maintain a good driving record. The Safety Committee will facilitate the process of authorizing drivers and maintaining their authorization by: monitoring GPS reports and reviewing records, (including accidents, moving violations, etc.,) to determine if an employee’s driving record indicates a pattern of unsafe or irresponsible driving, and to
make a recommendation to Executive Management for suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
Driver Authorization Requirements:
  • All drivers of Energy Group, Inc. vehicles must sign an Energy Group, Inc. DOT Driver Policy.
  • Anyone authorized by the Energy Group, Inc. to operate a company vehicle must be adequately licensed for the type of vehicle they are operating.
Any of the following items may cause the driver to lose their authorization to drive:
  1. Evidence that a driver uses reckless and negligent behavior while operating, either their own vehicle for company purposes, or a company vehicle.
  2. Three or more moving violations* in a year.
  3. Three or more chargeable accidents within a year. Chargeable means that the driver is determined to be the primary cause of the accident.
  4. Any combination of accidents, moving violations, or other evidence of reckless and negligent behavior
Violations include any ticket, charge, or other law enforcement proceeding relating to these, as well as independent evidence of violations deemed relevant by the Security department.
Energy Group, Inc. Driver Rules
Company vehicles are provided to support business activities only, and: are to be used only by employees that are qualified by DOT regulations governed by the State; and must be trained and authorized to use the equipment by the Energy Group, Inc.. An active Energy Group, Inc. employment status is required, by any person operating a vehicle that is: owned, rented, leased, or otherwise property of the Energy Group, Inc. Drivers must comply with all Driver Rules, including but not limited to the following:
  • Company vehicles are to be driven by authorized employees only. If driver authorization is lost, the employee will be notified in writing.
  • Any employee who has a driver’s license revoked or suspended shall immediately notify the Director of Safety by 9 a.m. eastern time the next business day, and immediately discontinue operation of the company vehicle. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
  • Drivers operating vehicles identified with a Department of Transportation number, or requiring a CDL license, MUST complete a Pre-Trip Drivers Inspection Report for their vehicle.
All accidents in company vehicles, regardless of severity, must be reported to the police, your direct supervisor, and the Director of Safety. Accidents are to be reported immediately (from the scene, or as soon as practicable if immediate or same day reporting is not possible). Accidents in personal vehicles while on company business must follow these same accident procedures.
  • Drivers must report all ticket violations received during the operation of a company vehicle, or while driving a personal vehicle on company business, within 1 business day to the Director of Safety.
  • Motor Vehicle Records will be obtained on all drivers prior to employment and periodically as necessary. A driving record that fails to meet the criteria stated in this policy or considered to be in violation of the intent of this policy by the Safety Committee, will result in a loss of the privilege of driving a company vehicle.
  • Company vehicles shall not be operated for purposes other than company business without prior written permission from the President.
  • Company vehicles shall not be operated to conduct business for personal gain or any alternative use.
  • Tampering with or removing GPS devices is prohibited.
  • Driving on company business and/or driving a company vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances including but not limited to, alcohol and illicit drugs (which impair driving ability) is prohibited.
  • Cell phone use while driving is prohibited. Drivers should complete calls while the vehicle is parked. While driving, attention to the road and safety should always take precedence over conducting business over the phone
  • No driver shall operate a company vehicle when his/her ability to do so safely has been impaired by illness, fatigue, injury, or prescription medication.
  • All drivers and passengers operating or riding in a company vehicle must wear seat and/or shoulder belts.
  • No unauthorized personnel can ride in company vehicles.
  • Drivers are responsible for the security of company vehicles assigned to them. The vehicle engine must be shut off, ignition keys removed, and vehicle doors locked whenever the vehicle is left unattended.
  • All State and Local laws must be obeyed.
  • Operation of the vehicle in a manner consistent with reasonable practices that avoid abuse, theft, neglect, or disrespect of the equipment.
  • Adhering to manufacturer’s recommendations regarding service, maintenance, and inspection. Vehicles should not be operated with any defect that would prevent safe operation.
  • Attention to, and practice of, safe driving techniques and adherence to current safety requirements.
  • Company business is defined as driving at the direction, or for the benefit, of employer. It does not include normal commuting to and from work.
Defensive Driving Guidelines:
  • Do Not Follow too close
  • Do Not Drive too fast for condition
  • Do Not Fail to observe clearances
  • Do Not Fail to obey signs
  • Do Not Make Improper turns
  • Do Not Fail to observe signals from other drivers
  • Do Not Fail to reduce speed
  • Do Not Park improperly
  • Do Not Pass improperly
  • Do Not Fail to yield
  • Do Not Back up improperly
  • Do Not Fail to obey traffic signals or directions
Pre-Trip Inspection
Drivers are required to perform pre-trip inspections daily per DOT regulation.
  • When approaching the vehicle: Notice general condition.
  • Look for damage or vehicle leaning to one side.
  • Look under the vehicle for fresh oil, coolant, grease, or fuel leaks.
  • Check the area around the vehicle for hazards to vehicle movement (people, other vehicles, objects, low hanging wires, limbs, etc.).
  • Verify that the inspection stickers and IFTA stickers are up to date and that all required marking is in place and legible 
  • Know where the registration and insurance card are.
  • Review Last Vehicle Inspection Report.
  • Drivers must complete a vehicle inspection report in writing each day.
  • Repairs must be made to any item in the report that affects safety and certify on the report that repairs were made or were unnecessary.
  • Verify that any needed repairs were completed.
  • Check the fluid levels, hoses, belts, and wires in the engine compartment.
  • Check the gauges for proper function.
  • Oil pressure should come up to normal within seconds after the engine is started.
  • Ammeter and/or voltmeter should be in normal range.
  • Coolant temperature should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Engine oil temperature should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Warning lights or buzzers should go out right away.
  • Check the condition of the controls and pedals. Check the lights.
  • Check Mirrors and Windshield.
  • Check Emergency Equipment.
  • Walk around inspection Door latches or locks.
  • Wheels, rims, and tires.
  • Suspension of springs, spring hangers, shackles, U-bolts, shock absorbers, Brakes, drums, discs, and hoses.
  • Axles.
  • Steering system.
  • Windshield wiper arms and blades.
  • Fuel tank and lines.
  • Exhaust system.
  • Frame and cross members.
  • Air lines and electrical wiring.
  • Spare tire and mount.
  • Cargo secure and bins closed.
Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection
Drivers should be responsible for knowing the mechanical condition of their vehicles. It is the driver who must assure that at the start of each trip that the vehicle is in good condition.
  • Before starting off, you should check inside the vehicle and be sure the floor is free of obstructions and debris such as tools, rags, or soiled clothing. You should also take a close look at the seat and seat belts to be sure they are sound.
  • Start up the engine and watch the instruments-they should give a normal reading. While the engine is running, heater, defroster and windshield wipers should be checked.
  • Check the emergency equipment. The fire extinguisher should be charged and operable and there should be adequate flares or reflective devices.
  • Check the headlights, body lights and reflectors outside the vehicle. The driver should be sure tires, and wheels are in good condition.
  • Look under and around the axles to see if springs, brake chambers and other parts appear to be tight and in good condition.
  • A driver who is on the road with a vehicle day in and day out, is in an excellent position to observe the vehicle’s performance under all conditions. Any: unusual squeaks, rattles, knocks, or grinding noises should be reported to maintenance. Be sure that your vehicle is always in top notch condition.
  • Always perform a pre/post trip inspection of a vehicle. Do not leave the yard each day until an inspection has been completed.
Electrical Hazard Recognition
Each employee shall be trained to recognize and be qualified to work within proximity to electrical hazards that are applicable to the employee's assignment.
All overhead and underground electrical conductors and all communication wires and cables shall be considered energized with potentially fatal voltages.
Workers shall understand that:
  • Electrical shock will occur when a person, by either direct contact or indirect contact with an energized electrical conductor, provides a path for the flow of electricity to a grounded object or to the ground itself. Simultaneous contact with two energized conductors’ phase to phase will also cause electric shock that may result in serious or fatal injury.
    Electrical shock may occur because of ground fault when a person stands near a grounded object.
    In the event of a downed energized electrical conductor or energized grounded object, there exists the hazard of step potential.
    If the minimum approach distance cannot be maintained during operations, the electrical system owner/operator shall be advised, and an electrical hazard abatement plan implemented before any work is performed in proximity to energized electrical conductors.
Nonconductive Equipment

Nonconductive equipment includes wood or fiberglass tools, ropes and wood or fiberglass ladders. THESE TOOLS BECOME CONDUCTIVE IF THEY ARE WET OR DIRTY!! A rope or tool that is wet or that is contaminated to the extent that its insulating capacity is impaired, is not to be considered insulated, and may not be used near exposed energy lines. Footwear, including lineman's overshoes or those with electrical-resistant soles, shall not be considered as providing any measure of safety from electrical hazards. Rubber gloves, with or without leather, or other protective covering, shall not be considered as providing any measure of safety from electrical hazards. Ladders, platforms, booms, buckets, or any part of an aerial device or piece of equipment shall not be allowed to make contact or violate minimum approach distances with energized electrical conductors, poles, or similar conductive objects.

Equipment brought into contact with energized electrical conductors shall be considered energized. Contact by people and/or equipment shall be avoided. Operations shall be suspended when adverse weather conditions or emergency conditions develop involving energized electrical conductors. Electrical system owners/operators shall be notified immediately.

Workers performing operations after a storm or under similar conditions shall be trained in the special hazards associated with
this type of work.

Minimum Approach Distance (MAD):
Workers should remain ten feet from energized conductors whenever possible. All workers shall maintain the following minimum approach distances from all energized conductors:
MAD 2.jpg
Substation Safety
Utility company security procedures will be followed when working in substations. Required Personal Protective equipment for working inside substations includes: Hard Hat, Safety Glasses, Steel Toed Work Boots, and FR clothing. FR clothing MUST be the outer layer of clothing. Reflective vests are not FR and must be removed before entering substations. Substation gates must remain locked unless a worker is assigned to guard the gate.
If any damage to the facilities is encountered or caused, the utility SHALL be notified immediately. Minimum approach distances SHALL be maintained for all electrical equipment. It may be necessary to assign a worker to watch the equipment during operation, to maintain minimum approach. If this is necessary, the assigned worker shall not be performing any other work while performing this duty.
Never carry tools, materials, or equipment above shoulder level within substations. When driving vehicles or equipment within substations, the operator shall not drive over cable covers, underground cables, or near substation equipment. Do not drive under energized conductors unless minimum separation can be maintained. Drive less than ten miles per hour within substations. Workers shall not come in contact with vehicles or equipment that are in proximity to energized facilities.

Working in Proximity to Electrical Hazards
An inspection shall be made by a qualified arborist to determine whether an electrical hazard exists before: climbing, otherwise entering, or performing work in or on a tree.
  • Only qualified line-clearance arborists or qualified line-clearance arborist trainees shall be assigned to work where an electrical hazard exists. Qualified line-clearance arborist trainees shall be under the direct supervision of qualified line-clearance arborists.
  • A second qualified line-clearance arborist or line-clearance arborist trainee shall be within visual or voice communication, during line-clearing operations. This applies when aloft, if an arborist must approach closer than 10 feet (3.05 m) to any energized electrical conductor more than 750 volts (primary conductor) or when branches or limbs are being removed. (If they cannot first be cut, with a nonconductive pole pruner/pole saw to sufficiently clear electrical conductors, to avoid contact.) Roping is required to remove branches or limbs from such electrical conductors.
  • Qualified line-clearance arborists and line-clearance arborist trainees shall maintain minimum approach distances for qualified arborists, from energized electrical conductors. All other arborists and other workers shall maintain a minimum approach distance, for non- qualified arborists, from energized electrical conductors.
  • Branches hanging on an energized electrical conductor shall be removed using nonconductive equipment, only by a qualified line-clearance arborist or line-clearance arborist trainee. The tie- in position should be above the work area and located in such a way that a slip would swing the arborist away from any energized electrical conductor or other identified hazard. While climbing, the arborist should climb on the side of the tree that is away from energized electrical conductors while maintaining the required distances. Footwear, including lineman's overshoes or those with electrical-resistant soles, shall not be considered as providing any measure of safety from electrical hazards. Rubber gloves, with or without leather or other protective covering, shall not be considered as providing safety from electrical hazards.
  • A rope or tool that is wet, or that is contaminated to the extent that its insulating capacity is impaired is not to be considered insulated and may not be used near exposed energy lines.
  • Ladders, platforms, booms, buckets, or any part of an aerial device shall not be allowed to make contact or violate minimum approach distances, with energized conductive objects.
  • Aerial devices with attached equipment brought into contact with energized electrical conductors, shall be considered energized. Contact by people and/or equipment shall be avoided.
  • Line clearance shall not be performed during adverse weather conditions such as: thunderstorms, high winds, and snow and ice storms. Qualified line-clearance arborists and qualified line-clearance arborist trainees, performing line clearance after a storm or under similar conditions, shall be trained in the special hazards associated with this type of work.
  • Line-clearance operations shall be suspended when: adverse weather conditions or emergency conditions develop, involving energized electrical conductors. Electrical system owners/operators shall be notified immediately. Manufacturers Manuals and OSHA regulations SHALL be used for training on the SAFE use, maintenance, and repair of all equipment.
Lockout/Tag-out” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. All Energy Group, Inc. employees must follow proper LOTO procedures as required by type of equipment, machine, or facility system such as electrical, lift or other system that is typically associated with maintenance or operating procedures that MUST be followed. Ask your supervisor what equipment, facility system or maintenance procedure requires LOTO to be followed.
In general:
  • “Lockout” is the placement of a lockout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
  • “Tag-out” is the placement of a tag-out device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tag-out device is removed.
References: “OSHA Standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout / Tag-out)” 29 CFR 1910.147 and OSHA Publication 3120 “Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tag- out”
The OSHA Standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tag-out) 29 CFR 1910.147 covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected start-up or the release of stored energy could cause injury to employees.
What Does LOTO Require?
  • Lockout/Tag out requires, in part, that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy sources(s) before performing service or maintenance. That the authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively.
  • If the potential exists for the release of hazardous stored energy or for the re-accumulation of stored energy to a hazardous level, the employer must ensure that the employee(s) take steps to prevent injury that may result from the release of the stored energy.
What Employees Need to Know about LOTO
“Authorized employees”
  • Hazardous energy source recognition.
  • The type & magnitude of the hazardous energy sources in the workplace.
  • Energy-control procedures, including the methods and means to isolate & control those energy sources.
“Affected employees”
  • Recognize when the energy-control procedure is being used.
  • Understand the purpose of the procedure.
  • Understand the importance of not tampering with lockout or tag-out devices and not starting or using equipment that has been locked or tagged out.
“Other employees”
  • Must receive instruction regarding the energy-control procedure and the prohibition against removing a LOTO device and attempting to restart, reenergize, or operate the machinery.
  • If tag-out devices are used, all employees must receive training regarding the limitations of tags.
When is Lockout / Tag-out Required?
When someone will be servicing or repairing machinery or equipment and the unexpected machinery start-up or release of stored energy, could cause injury.
Group Lockout Devices
  • Used when more than one person doing maintenance or repair, on same machine or equipment.
  • Machinery or equipment cannot be started up until all locks are removed.
  • Each person places and removes their own lock.
What is Tag-out?
  • They do not provide the same physical restraint or level of protection as lockout devices.
  • Tags may evoke a false sense of security.
  • They can only be removed by an authorized person.
  • They must be legible, securely attached, and resistant to degradation.
Requirements for LOTO Devices
  • The employer must provide these devices and they must be singularly identified and not used for other purposes.
  • They must be durable enough to withstand workplace conditions
  • Standardized enough to minimize the likelihood of premature or accidentally removal. And
  • Labeled to identify the specific employees authorized to apply and remove them.
Energy-Control Procedures
  • Must Outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques that employees will use to control hazardous energy sources, as well as the means that will be used to enforce compliance. These procedures must provide employees at least the following information: • A statement on how to use the procedures.
  • Specific procedural steps to shut down, isolate, block, and secure machines.
  • Specific steps designating the safe placement, removal, and transfer of LOTO devices and identifying who has responsibility for the LOTO devices.
  • Specific requirements for testing machines to determine & verify the effectiveness of LOTO devices and other energy-control measures.
Lockout Procedures
  • Notify affected employees that machine or equipment will be shut down and locked out.
  • Shut down the machinery or equipment.
  • Isolate energy sources with energy-isolating devices.
  • Lock out energy-isolating devices with assigned locks.
  • Release or restrain stored or residual energy.
  • Test machinery to make sure it cannot start up.
What do I do if I cannot Lockout the Equipment?
  • If the energy-isolating device associated with the machinery cannot be locked out, you must securely fasten a tag-out device as close as safely possible to the energy-isolating device. Apply in a manner where it will be immediately obvious to anyone attempting to operate the device.
  • You also must meet all the tag-out provisions of the standard
  • The tag alerts employees to the hazard of re-energization and states that employees may not operate the machinery to which it is attached until the tag is removed in accordance with proper procedure.
Start-Up Procedures
  • All operators or employees on or near the job site are warned to stay clear
  • Remove all tools, locks, and tags
  • Remove, reverse, open or reactivate isolating devices
  • Visual check that all is clear
  • Startup machine, process, or line flow
Chainsaw Operation
  • Personal protective equipment including head protection, eye protection and work boots SHALL always be worn during chain saw operations.
  • Company supplied, and OSHA approved protective leg chaps SHALL be worn during all chain saw operations on the ground.
  • Company supplied, and OSHA approved hearing protection SHALL be worn during all chain saw operations on the ground.
  • Safe distances SHALL be maintained between the operator and other employees while starting and during operation of the chain saw.
  • The chain saw SHALL be held firmly on the ground or otherwise held in a position that does not allow movement of the saw when: the starter rope is pulled, with the chain brake engaged and with the bar and chain free of obstructions when starting.
  • The chain saw SHALL not be drop started unless working from an aerial bucket, and then only after checking to see that the area below is not occupied.
  • The chain saw SHALL always be held securely with thumbs and fingers of both hands wrapped around the handles during operation.
  • Secure footing SHALL always be maintained during chain saw starting and operation.
  • The chain saw SHALL have a properly functioning clutch and SHALL be adjusted so that the engine returns to idle, and the chain stops when the throttle is released.
  • All obstructions and debris SHALL be removed from the cutting path.
  • The chain saw SHALL always be maintained in safe operating condition. Any chain saw: with a defective spark arrester, non-working chain brake, dull or loose chain, loose, missing or excessively worn part, SHALL be removed from service until repaired.
  • The chain saw operator SHALL be aware of the location of the "tip" of the bar at all times. The "tip" must always remain free of obstructions, to reduce the possibility of personal injury, due to "kick back".
  • The chain saw SHOULD be used between waist and chest heights and should never be operated above the head or below the feet.
  • The chain saw operator SHALL maintain a firm grip on the saw handles, with both hands at all times during operation.
  • The chain saw SHALL be shut off with the chain stopped and the bar pointed to the rear, before being carried to a new location by the operator.
  • The chain saw SHALL be shut off with the chain stopped before being attached to a climber’s saddle or work line.
  • The chain saw operator SHALL be in good position and ready to cut before starting the saw.
  • The chain saw SHOULD not be allowed to become pinched in the saw cut.
  • Chain saws SHALL be used only by experienced and trained employees.
  • Trainees SHALL only be allowed to operate a chain saw on the ground under direct supervision until adequate experience has been gained. Once the trainee has gained the necessary experience, operations aloft may begin under direct supervision.
  • The appropriately sized chain saw SHOULD be used for the job at hand.
  • Chain saws SHALL be fueled and oiled on the ground.
  • Chain saws SHALL be started on the ground, warmed up, shut off, and then sent to the man in the tree. Chain saws SHALL not be left running while being sent aloft.
  • ALL chain saws SHALL be either handed aloft or raised and lowered to a climber by use of a work line or climb line.
  • When possible, a path SHOULD be cleared for the saw to travel. Avoid "Bumping" the saw over and into branches while being sent aloft
  • The chain saw SHALL be securely tied to a work line or climb line, before being sent aloft.
  • Any chain saw weighing more than 15 pounds SHALL be supported by a separate line, which is crotched in a way to allow the saw to safely swing away from the climber, in the case of a slip or loss of pip. A crew member on the ground may help support the weight of the saw or may tie off the tag end of the support line, while the saw is not being used.
Chainsaw Use in a Tree
  • Before starting a chain saw aloft, the climber SHALL be in good position, tied in and using a second point of attachment. The saw SHALL be held in a manner that does not allow movement of the saw when the starter rope is pulled.
  • A verbal warning SHALL be given by the climber such as "stand clear" or "headache" and a verbal response returned by the ground’s person such as "all clear,” before dropping a limb from aloft.
  • The starting area SHALL be clear of obstructions, including branches and ropes before attempting to start the chain saw.
  • The chain brake SHALL be engaged.
  • Place a firm grip around the trigger handle with one hand and pull the starter cord with the free hand.
  • Once the saw has started, release the chain brake and keep both hands firmly gripped around the handles until finished with the cut.
  • Turn the saw off and allow the chain to stop before attaching it to the saddle.
  • Do not "Rev" the chain saw needlessly between cuts.
  • Always Keep all ropes free of the chain. Chain saw chain can cause severe damage to rope whether running or stopped.
Chainsaw Safety
  • Maintain proper safety precautions when refueling chain saws. Use a funnel to prevent fuel spills.
  • The chain saw SHALL be at least 10 feet away from the refueling area before attempting to start.
  • Smoking SHALL not be permitted during refueling operations.
  • The chain saw muffler and spark arrester SHALL be maintained and kept in good operating condition.
  • The saw chain SHALL be kept sharp and free of burrs. A dull chain may "travel" on the log and could cause personal injury.
  • The chain saw oiler SHALL be maintained and kept in good operating condition. A chain saw that is out of bar oil or not oiling properly SHALL not be operated.
  • Keep all ropes and body parts away from cutting bar when the chain saw is running.
  • Use the chain brake if it is necessary to stop a moving chain. Never use you hand to attempt to stop a moving chain or to move the chain during sharpening.
  • NEVER work on a running chain saw.
  • All employees SHALL keep adequate clear distance between themselves, and the chain saw and operator. NEVER assume that the operator of a chain saw is aware of where you are.
  • The operator SHALL wear proper head protection, eye protection, hearing protection and leg protection during chain saw operations on the ground.
  • Jewelry and/or loose clothing SHALL not be worn during chain saw operations.
  • Under no circumstances SHALL any employee reach around, above, or below a running chain saw.
  • When a chain saw is in operation, always be aware of where it is and what is being cut.
  • Kickback may occur when the upper tip of the guide bar contacts an object, or when the chain becomes pinched.
  • Kickback is an immediate reverse reaction of the saw causing the bar to "kick' towards the operator.
  • Kickback can cause serious injury to the chainsaw operator.
To Avoid Kickback:
  1. Always maintain a firm grip on the saw with your thumbs and fingers wrapped around the handles.
  2. Always use two hands when operating a chain saw.
  3. Always avoid pinching the chain while cutting.
  4. Always be aware of the location of the guide bar tip.
  5. Always keep the saw chain sharp and properly tensioned.
  6. Always keep the chain brake in good operating condition. (The Chain brake may not prevent kickback, but it may reduce the seriousness of an injury should kickback occur.)
  7. Always keep obstructions out of the cutting path.
  8. Never use a chain saw when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Towing Speed
Prudent speed must always be observed to avoid excessive sway of towed equipment. Operators must adhere to instructions in the operator's manual regarding safe towing speeds. Road and weather conditions will also determine safe speed.
Parked Chipper
When disconnecting the chipper from the truck, make sure to chock the wheels to prevent the chipper from rolling away and causing damage to the: equipment, property damage or personal injury. A detached chipper must have the wheels chocked while parked.
You should leave the safety chains attached to the truck until you are sure the chipper and wheel chocks are stable. Never leave the keys in the ignition of a detached/parked or unattended chipper!
Safe Work Procedures
Any brush and wood chipper, like any cutting machinery, is only as safe as the people who operate and maintain it. Lack of training or a complacent attitude towards safety can result in tragedy, when using a machine designed for the sole purpose of drawing in and cutting material; be it a tree limb, or your entire body.
Don’t believe that a self-feeding chipper is safer than a rotary drum type; both are cutting machines that must be treated with equal respect. Complacency when operating a chipper can lead to unsafe work practices and, ultimately, to a serious injury or death. Make sure that the machine is in proper working order when it goes on the job. Read the manufacturer's operations and maintenance instructions. Replacement warning decals can be ordered through the Equipment Department, if the decals on your chipper are illegible.
  • All chippers must be equipped with in-feed chute deflector flaps, as provided by the manufacturer. Keep all shrouds and guards in place and unaltered.
  • The quick stop/reverse mechanism must function properly, or the chipper is not to be used until repaired.
  • Maintenance shall be performed only by those persons authorized by the manager/ supervisor and trained to perform such operations. Malfunctioning equipment or repairs performed by an unqualified person can lead to accidents.

Never let an untrained person operate a chipper. Training shall be provided concerning the: proper operation, feeding, starting and shutdown procedures for the chipper being used. Part of the training should be a period of observation of an employee's work performance to be certain they are paying heed to the warnings and fully understand the operation.
Personal Protective Equipment
Head (hard-hat), eye (safety glasses) and hearing (ear plugs, canal caps or muffs) protective equipment shall be worn when in the immediate area of a chipper.
Hand protection (snug fitting, non-cuffed gloves) shall be worn when the employee is exposed to the likelihood of: puncture, abrasion or laceration injury while chipping - for instance, while chipping branches and wood with thorns.
Climbing equipment, body belts. full body harnesses and/or lanyards shall not be worn while operating a chipper or within 20 feet of an operating chipper to prevent the potential of entanglement.
Work Site Set-up
  • Traffic control around the job site shall be established prior to the start of chipping operations, along roads and highways.
  • Chippers should be placed in firm level locations.
  • Never back a truck or trailer when it is practical to go forward.
  • Always have someone behind the unit to direct the driver when backing. If the driver loses sight of the spotter, they must stop.
  • When attaching a chipper to a truck, back the truck to the chipper; don't pull the chipper to the truck. This has been the cause of many back injuries and pinched fingers.
  • Avoid pulling in driveways with chippers, if the only way to get out, is to detach the chipper and move it out of the truck's path, by muscle power.
  • Do not operate the chipper directly below or in close proximity of the tree being trimmed or removed. You may be struck by a falling limb and may not be able to communicate with the person aloft.
  • Noise from chippers makes it difficult for workers on the ground to hear shouted warnings, from climbers in trees. Climbers must be sure workers on the ground are in the clear, before dropping wood.
  • When feeding a chipper during roadside operations, the operator shall feed the chipper in a manner that prevents him/her from stepping into, traffic or being pushed into traffic, by the material that is being fed into the chipper. In most cases, it is safest to feed from the curb (right) side of the chipper. Feed the chipper from the side of the in-feed chute, so that:
  1. The chance of being struck by brush as it is pulled into the chipper is minimized.
  2. You do not have to step over the limbs being fed.
  3. You are in a position to operate the feed/safety control bar.
  • Be certain, at all times, to have firm footing when operating and using the chipper.
  • Brush and logs shall not be allowed to create hazards in the work areas. Brush and wood should be stacked in a way, that makes it easy for the operator to feed the chipper. In most cases, that means that the butt ends of the brush should face the in-feed chute.
  • Ground workers must ensure that climber's ropes are not entangled in the brush being chipped.
  • Plan to have one person at a time do the feeding. If two persons are chipping, coordinate the flow of work so that one person is feeding brush, while the other is picking up the next material to be chipped. The person not doing the feeding should keep watch over the feeder and remain in close proximity with an unobstructed path, to emergency shut-off devices on the chipper. Watch out for the other person, as well as yourself.
  • Keep children and curious by-standers well outside of the established work site.

Chipper Operation
Preparing to start the chipper
Before starting the chipper verify that:
  • The clutch is disengaged.
  • The chip discharge chute is pointed in a safe direction.
  • The chipper hood lock pin or hood bolts are secured.
  • The in-feed chute is free of tools or foreign objects.
  • The feed control bar is in neutral.
  • All personnel are clear of the area.
  • Never operate the chipper without making sure that the manufacturer's disc or drum hood fastener(s) are securely installed. Failure to do this will allow the chipper hood to slam to the open position, and possibly injure or kill someone.
  • Keep flammable materials, oils, rags and debris of all sorts away from the exhaust system.
  • When using a winch in chipper operations, the operator shall ensure that the winch cable is properly stored, and out of the way before initiating chipper operations.
Starting the chipper
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for starting the motor and engaging the clutch.
After starting the chipper:
  • Idle the engine long enough to warm it up. Slowly engage the clutch.
  • Slowly raise the engine RPM to full throttle.
  • Check feed control bar and hydraulic feed roller operation.
  • Check clutch operation; if it engages too easily, it may need adjustment.
  • Never leave a chipper running or with the key in it when unattended. Remove and pocket the key during any maintenance and/or when leaving the chipper unattended.
  • The brush chipper discharge chute or cutter housing cover shall not be raised or removed, while any part of the chipper is turning or moving.
  • DO NOT open the chipper hood without letting the chipper disc or drum come to a complete stop. WAIT at least 3 minutes before pulling the chipper hood pin. This means 3 minutes after it has come to a complete stop - not after it has almost stopped.
  • Stay out of the chip discharge area when the chipper is: running and the disk or drum is turning, even if brush is not being fed into the chipper. Chips discharge at high velocity and can cause serious injury.
Vital Chipper Operation Safety Reminders:
  • Never place hands or other parts of the body into the in-feed hopper of an operating chipper!
  • Never lean into, kick or push material with your feet into the in-feed hopper of a chipper!
  • Never attempt to unclog, service or clean the in-feed or chute area while the chipper is running, or parts are moving!
  • Never stand on the feed table of a chipper!
Feeding the Chipper
  • If you wear a watch, ring, necklace or bracelet that is exposed to getting snagged on the job, remove it before beginning to work.
  • Brush and logs shall be fed into chippers, butt or cut end first, from the side of the feed table centerline, and the operator shall immediately turn away from the feed table when the brush is taken into the rotor or feed rollers.
  • While material is being fed into the chipper in-feed hopper chute, pinch points continually develop within the material being chipped and between the material and machine. The operator shall be aware of this situation and respond accordingly.
  • Never feed vines or vine-type material directly into feed rollers. Cut the vines into 4 to 5-foot lengths and lay them on top of longer material.
  • Never take chances pushing wood too far into the in-feed of the chipper. Small branches shall be fed into chippers with longer branches, or by being pushed with a long wooden stick.
  • Never use tools, such as rakes or shovels, to push brush through or to clear the in-feed chute. Use a long-forked branch to guide material; it can be chipped with no harm if taken by the rollers - you can’t.
  • Never feed material containing rocks, nails, wire or foreign debris into the chipper. Anything other than brush will not only dull chipper knives but may cause knives to break and could damage the disc or drum, bearings or anvil, or cause projectiles to be thrown from the machine.
  • Never put sweepings through a chipper. Sweepings can fly back in your face or ruin chipper blades. It is better to throw fine material directly into the dump box. Avoid coming into contact with chips known to have poison ivy mixed in the debris.
  • Always feed the larger, or butt end, of branches into a chipper first. Never feed limbs small end first. Stubs can catch on gloves or clothing.
  • Never attempt to hold onto brush after it starts through the chipper. If material becomes jammed in the feed system, reverse the feed rollers to dislodge the material.
  • Feed large-diameter material while smaller pieces are going through the feed system. Smaller pieces will partially open the feed rollers, making it easier for the feed rollers to allow for the large-diameter pieces to be fed.
  • The in-feed end of large pieces should be cut at a sharp angle, to avoid violent thrashing, when a blunt end contacts the rollers.
  • Material too large for the chipper opening must be cut to the capacity of the chipper. Do not force material into the chipper; if it needs to be cut to size, do so before attempting to chip the piece.
  • Keep a hand saw or chain saw handy when chipping large diameter or multi-limbed material.
  • Do not operate the chainsaw inside the feed table or within 10 feet of another person.
  • If using a chainsaw, you must wear chainsaw leg protection, most often chaps, while using the saw. Hand saw use does not require the use of leg protection.
  • If using a chainsaw, either pre-cut the material with chipper turned off, or cut the material at a position away from the operating chipper, to avoid material catching on chaps, as it is drawn into the chipper.
  • Large-diameter wood can cause the engine to lug. Do not let the engine slow down to the point that it stalls or plugs the chipper. When you hear the engine slowing down, push the feed control bar to neutral to stop the feed rollers. When the engine regains full RPM, pull the feed control bar and resume chipping. Machines with feed sensors do this automatically.
  • If material becomes wedged in the in-feed hopper or rollers, shut the engine off and remove the key before attempting to dislodge stuck pieces.
Never feed chippers while they are being moved by the truck and driver.
When performing maintenance to a chipper, follow Lockout/Tag-out procedures.
Control of Hazardous Energy: Lockout/Tag-out Procedures
When a worker, hereafter referred to as the "authorized person," is doing mechanical work, there are safety precautions that must be taken to prevent accidental injury: caused by moving or elevated parts, or the release of stored energy, such as hydraulic pressure. Failure to do so could result in a serious, potentially maiming or fatal injury. The authorized person performing maintenance/repair shall comply with lockout/tag-out procedures.
Sequence for Securing Equipment
  1. The authorized person shall notify the crew and/or affected employees that maintenance/ repair is to be done and that such equipment must be shut down and secured.
  2. The authorized person shall refer to the manufacturer's manual for proper procedures, as needed.
  3. If equipment is in an operational mode, it shall be shut down by normal procedures.
  4. Rotating parts, such as chipper blades, shall be stopped before maintenance/repair. Keyed ignition systems must be in working order.
  5. Keys shall be removed and pocketed by the authorized person. When there is no keyed ignition system, the battery cables or ignition coil wire shall be disconnected.
  6. The power take-off should be disengaged before servicing or repairing tasks, such as hose replacement, are undertaken. All hydraulic tools should be disconnected before equipment is adjusted or serviced.
  7. An employee should never attempt to stop a hydraulic leak with his or her body.
  8. Materials/parts that must be raised or disconnected and suspended shall be properly secured, such as with an appropriate sling or jack stand. Flywheels, such as chipper cutter heads, are to be blocked to prevent pinch points.
  9. The authorized person shall ensure that equipment is isolated and inoperable before proceeding with maintenance/repair.
  10. No piece of equipment being serviced or repaired shall be started, energized or used by any worker who is not under the direction of the authorized person.
  11. When the engine must be running for tuning or adjustment, special care must be given to moving parts.

Restoring Equipment to Service
When maintenance/repair is complete, and equipment is ready to return to normal operation, the following steps shall be taken by the authorized person to restore the equipment to service:
  1. Check for loose parts or tools that may have been left in the immediate area, to prevent accidental contact with moving or electrical components, when the equipment is engaged.
  2. Ensure that all guards are in place, properly secured, and all employees/bystanders are in the clear.
  3. Confirm that controls are in neutral.
  4. Reconnect key, cable or plug wires.
  5. Notify affected employees that equipment is ready to return to service.
Daily Maintenance
  • Check engine crankcase lubricating oil level; add lubricating oil, as needed.
  • Check radiator coolant level; add coolant, as needed, and remove debris from radiator.
  • Check fuel tank liquid level; add fuel, as needed.
  • Check all lights; replace lights, as needed.
  • Check trailer brake break-away switch.
  • Clear feed chute of chipper before operating (remove all foreign objects, stones, bolts, bottles, cans, etc.).
  • Check operation of the jack stand and that it is properly stored and secured.
  • Check hydraulic oil level; add hydraulic oil, as needed.
Weekly Maintenance
  • Check cooling system hoses and clamps.
  • Check all engine belts for tension and condition (fan, alternator, governor).
  • Check fuel tank and fuel lines for leaks and seepage, and that filler caps are in place.
  • Check battery liquid levels; this does not apply to maintenance-free batteries.
  • Check tire condition for cuts and proper inflation pressure.
  • Check wheel bolts and nuts; tighten, as required.
  • Check cutting head drive belts and proper tension. Loose belts cause belt slippage and wear along with poor performance; too much tension causes excessive stress on engine clutch bearings and the cutting head bearing.
  • Lubricate cutting head shaft bearings. Do not over grease bearings. Keep radiator clear of debris and sawdust.
  • Check over the entire chipper for loose or missing bolts and nuts; replace and tighten bolts and nuts, as required.
  • Check condition of cutting knives (blades)
  • Knives (Blades)
  • Keep blades sharp. Dull blades tend to reject material, sometimes forcefully. Dull knives cause excessive load on the chipper engine - sharpen them.
  • Visually check blades for cracks and evidence of loosening. Replace or tighten, as necessary. Broken or cracked knives are replaced using a matched set of new or reground blades.
  • If knives need to be changed, refer to the manufacturer's manual section covering the chipper make/model.
  • When changing blades, make sure blades and wedges are clean and free of any bumps or battered places which are not perfectly flat.
  1. Parts are of correct manufacturer's quality and application for the chipper.
  2. Refer to the manufacturer's manual for replacement and adjustment procedures.
  3. Cylinder cavities are clean.
  4. Ejector screws are turned back on wedges.
  5. Knives (blades) and wedges are firmly seated.
  • Replace all blade bolts, nuts or wedge block adjusting screws when changing blades.
  • Necessary torque wrench and adapters are available.
  • Wedge screws are properly torque.
  • Knives are absolutely the correct knives for the chipper! Use of the improper knife/blade can cause serious injury or death to persons, as well as serious damage to the chipper.
  • Knives (blades) are correctly adjusted.
  • Inspect the bed knife/cutter bar. Adjust; flip over the bed knife/cutter bar when blades are changed. Failure to do so will greatly affect performance.
  • Run the chipper and then re-torque before starting to chip brush or wood with new sets of knives (blades); re-check tightness periodically.
Only qualified employees shall be permitted to operate an aerial lift. Fall protection must be worn when operating an aerial lift. Fall protection consists of a body belt or full body harness attached to an anchor point on the aerial lift. All aerial devices shall be operated, inspected, and maintained in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s manuals. Instructions for the unit being operated, and these manuals must be kept on the Aerial Device.
Aerial Devices
An aerial lift is any work platform attached to an articulating boom.
  • Aerial devices shall be provided with an approved point of attachment on which to secure a full- body harness with an energy-absorbing lanyard or body belt and lanyard, which shall be worn when aloft.
  • The safety features built into aerial lift are additional protection only. They are not meant to allow operators to ignore safety rules and safe work practices.
  • Never touch any conductor, or any conductive material in contact with a conductor, except with a non-conductive tool.
  • The booms shall not be brought in contact with any wires, cables, or conductors.
  • Booms and lifts shall maintain minimum work distances.
  • Wheel chocks shall be set before using an aerial device.
  • Aerial devices shall not be moved with an arborist on an elevated platform.
  • Holes shall not be drilled in buckets or liners.
  • All underground hazards shall be located prior to operating aerial lift devices off-road. These hazards could include natural gas tanks, underground oil tanks, and septic systems.
  • One-person buckets shall not have more than one person in them during operations.
  • Aerial devices or aerial ladders shall not be used as cranes or hoists, to lift or lower materials or tree parts.
  • Combined loads shall not exceed rated lift capacities. Load ratings shall be conspicuously and permanently posted on aerial devices.
  • An aerial lift shall not be operated until the outriggers have been lowered. When outriggers are lowered, the operator shall ensure adequate clearance exists and give warning.
  • Outrigger pads shall be used when placing the outriggers on soft ground or slippery surfaces.
  • Do not work on the truck, screen, or dump when equipment is in operation.
  • Do not come in contact with any part of the equipment if the boom is in contact with conductors or adjacent to the conductors.
  • When operating aerial devices, the operator shall look in the direction the bucket is traveling. They shall be aware of the location of the booms, in relation to all other objects and hazards. Keep tools in the proper place or keep a secure grip on them while maneuvering.
  • If booms or buckets are operated over a roadway, clearance from vehicles must be provided.
  • Disconnect or divert power from hydraulic tools when they are not in use.
  • Disconnect all tools and secure them before moving the vehicle.
  • Clean brush, dirt, and debris from the cage, pedestal, turntable, and dump body before moving the vehicle.
  • Keep the non-conductive portions of the booms clean and dry, inside, and outside.
  • Make sure that the booms are cradled, and the outriggers are up before moving the vehicle.
  • Do not ride in the bucket while the vehicle is moving.
  • Chock the wheels, set the emergency brake, remove the keys, and lock the doors, whenever the aerial lift is left unattended.
  • All tool bins and doors must be locked and barred to prevent theft.
  • Aerial lifts are for tree work only. Do not use the boom of an aerial lift as a crane.
  • Insulated aerial lifts do NOT protect workers from other electrical paths to ground.
Required Inspection Procedures
Before operating, the aerial lift shall be inspected thoroughly. The inspection shall follow the manufacturer's guidelines and include all safety related components.
  • All manufacturer safety decals shall be legible.
  • Operate all controls from the lower control bank before entering the bucket.
  • Lubricate moving parts according to manufacturer's specifications.
  • All aerial lifts must be drift tested monthly. Drift test instructions can be found in the manufacturer's manual.
  • Many aerial lifts have an emergency stop knob or lever at the upper controls. Make sure that this is operating properly.
Tree and Job Site Requirements
Employees SHALL carefully consider the following and SHALL take appropriate action to ensure a safe tree removal operation:
  • A thorough check of the surrounding area including other 'trees as well as the tree being removed.
  • The species and shape of the tree to be removed.
  • The lean of the tree to be removed.
  • Loose limbs, chunks, or other overhead material in the tree to be removed.
  • Check the force and direction of the wind.
  • Decayed or weak spots in the tree, especially in the hinge area.
  • Check the location and determine the means to protect other persons, property, and electrical conductors.
  • Consider the size and terrain characteristics or limitations of the work area.
  • Be sure that any lowering crotch selected can support the strain of any limbs being removed. If not, other means should be used.
  • Removal should only consider felling when there is 1 and ½ height of the tree to be felled space available in all directions around the tree WITHOUT any chance of hitting a power line, house, garage, fence or other structure. Removal by tree trimming in sections is preferred.
  • A "Control Line" or tag line SHALL be used while felling any tree over 5"(DBH) or smaller, if there is a danger of the tree falling in the wrong direction, creating a safety hazard or property damage potential.
  • All trees with a (DBH) of 5" or greater, SHALL be notched and back cut.
  • A felling operation in progress SHALL be completed before stopping for lunch or quitting for the day.
  • Employees near the fall zone SHALL have a proper escape route, should the tree take an unexpected roll once felled.
  • The chainsaw operator SHALL be aware of potential hazard from "Barber-Chairing" or kick back of the butt end and have a clear path of escape established BEFORE making the back cut.
Maintaining Positive Control While Trimming
It is the responsibility of the tree trimmer to always be in positive control of where the tree limbs fall after trimming. Positive control can be achieved by multiple methods and the following list provides a recommended procedure for ensuring positive control:
  • When the tree trimmer is making a proper pruner clip and the cut piece is verified to fall to the ground and not fall into a hazard (pieces cut to length shorter than the distance between two adjacent primary or secondary wires of a power line are allowed);
  • When the tree trimmer is making a proper tree cut and the cut piece is verified to fall to the ground and not fall into a hazard (pieces cut to length shorter than the distance between two adjacent primary or secondary wires of a power line are allowed);
  • When the tree trimmer is using rigging to lower a cut piece away from a hazard.
  • When the tree trimmer is handling a limb by hand and throwing the cut piece to a location that is verified to fall to the ground and not fall into a hazard.
If it is not possible to use the listed methods above, then a planned outage may be needed. Contact your General Foreman immediately if a positive control method listed above cannot be managed on the job. The General Foreman will advise the crew on what to do including, coordinate with the customer to schedule the planned outage to safely trim the tree.
When a Planned Outage Should Be Considered
It is every employee’s right to initiate Stop Work Authority. The scenarios below define how to initiate Stop Work Authority and when a planned outage should be considered:
  • If anyone on the crew is questioning the safety, outcome, or positive control of the work to be completed, Stop Work Authority can be announced by any member of the crew and must be recognized by all crew members. All work must be immediately stopped, and the hazard discussed. The GF shall also be notified immediately.
  • When vines are putting pressure on conductors and or moving them from the original position.
  • When vines that are cut cannot be controlled.
  • If vines cover trees being trimmed/removed that the limbs cannot be controlled.
  • If cutting vines will cause conductors to bounce together.
  • If any part of a tree, limb or vine is pushing or pulling a conductor from its normal position.
  • When there is at any time no control of limbs falling.
  • When the tree is determined to be dead, partially dead or appears to be diseased and cannot support the weight of a climber or the shock of using rigging points on the tree.
  • Hazard trees that cannot support the weight of a climber.
  • When there are no proper rigging points to safely lower the limb to be cut.
  • When trees have significant overhang to power lines and are touching conductors
  • When the rigging point is not strong enough to support the limb causing a probable break out of rigging point
  • When tools are near conductors and may touch the power lines when the tree trimmer is trimming a limb.
Working Near Energized Power Lines
  • If you or your crew should encounter a system irregularity including a downed or fallen power line, immediately secure the area and notify your Supervisor as well as an authorized power company representative. Once the area is secure, notify the surrounding property owners of the hazard.
  • The area SHALL be protected from all unauthorized people, especially from children and the public. The crew SHALL remain on site until a power company representative arrives or is instructed otherwise by an authorized power company representative.
  • When working near an energized line, tree limbs SHALL be considered conductors of electricity.
  • Any limbs or branches that may contact power lines SHALL be removed before felling a tree.
  • At no time SHALL cut limbs or brush be allowed to contact or cross-energize power lines.
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