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NZ Arbor Best Practice Guideline clashes with reality

Richard Tregoweth - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Last week Treetools posted a YouTube clip showing climberdad using a whole raft of new equipment (which is interesting in itself). This blog incensed one particular safety conscious arborist.

Evidence of two 'Bad Practices' in the video were the reason for this reaction.

The first 'Bad Practice' is tree topping. Luckily everyone agrees that tree topping cannot be considered arboricultural Best Practice - even climberdad himself accepts this.

The second 'Bad Practice' is working alone, aloft and with a chainsaw - a somewhat more risky activity (than tree topping).

Now… this is where it gets interesting.

Obviously, working alone is unlikely to be ever condoned by the industry as 'Best Practice'. Reference the NZ Arbor Best Practice Guideline on page 10, item 3.10, 3.11 and 3.12 for the collective view on the matter. 3.12 clearly states 'No person shall work aloft on their own'.

But then look at the comments below the Matt Glen blog .

There appears to be a rift between what is considered 'Best Practice' and what happens in reality, out there on-the-job.

It's highly likely, at some point in time, most arborists have fired up the chainsaw while on their own - not unlike the weekend warrior with his Bunnings special (he should be forgiven because he probably has no knowledge of the Best Practice Guideline) .

Climbing and rigging alone is another matter altogether but it appears this practice is also accepted as inevitable 'in the real world'.

Where does all this leave the NZ Arbor Best Practice Guideline ?

A target to strive towards, or a document so far away from reality it is considered irrelevant before it even finds its legs? Let's hope it is the former.

Page 10 in the NZ Arbor Best Practice Guideline, as referenced by an 'anonymous' blog reader (or a fag as suggested by some)

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