Trees fulfil many important functions on kiwi farms such as livestock shelter, shade, fodder, plantings for timber and promotes soil conservation and biodiversity. Well preserved trees can impart all these benefits but maintenance done safely is required says New Zealand’s leading farm consultants, AgSafe NZ.
Working with trees is high hazard environment that if not managed correctly can result in serious injury or death. “Along with an implemented health and safety plan, safely performing tree work in forestry requires all those involved to do their bit,” says Jim Findlay, Rural Consultant for AgSafe New Zealand Ltd.
It is always important to remember that forestry work is dangerous work, “only experienced and trained fallers and machine operators should attempt tree felling and log extraction,” adds Jim.
Due to the risks tree work must be undertaken by skilled professional like a competent and experienced contractor. Work with the contractor to ensure that all hazards and dangers from both the tree felling and your farm work are recognized and effective controls are in place.
Here are five items to discuss with your contractor before any work starts:
- How you and the contractor communicate new hazards.
- Emergency management, including fires.
- Accessing the work area.
- Incident reporting.
- Work done near utilities.
Anyone using equipment must be trained and competent, and only use the equipment for its intended purpose. “The equipment must be well maintained and should be reported immediately if it’s faulty,” advises Jim.
Everyone involved also must wear all required personal protective equipment and clothing such as high-vis clothing, leg protection, safety footwear, helmets hearing and eye protection and gloves.
Anyone working at height must use ladders safely, be aware of falling limb, use appropriate tool for job, carry tools on a tool belt and cover any blades when not in use.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724