Title Page

  • Conducted on

  • Observers Name

  • Detail of Site Location

  • Location

1.0 Planning and Management

  • Is tree climbing the most appropriate method for carrying out the work?

  • Has a suitable and sufficient recorded site-specific risk assessment been carried out?

  • Do operators understand the risk assessment?

  • Is there an opportunity for everyone on site to contribute to the site-specific risk assessment on the day of the works

  • Are operators fully aware of the hazards and risks they are exposed to during the specific tree work at height task?

  • Do operators know the control measures they must implement to ensure safe working and in turn create the safe system of work for carrying out the tree work?

  • Have the control measures specified been carried out?

  • Does the risk assessment process include dealing with emergencies?

  • Are enough personnel present, including provision for rescue?

  • Is the weather suitable for the tasks to be carried out?

  • Has enough time been allocated to allow the work to be carried out safely and without applying undue pressure on the operational team?

2.0 Roles and Responsibilities

  • Do all operators understand their roles and responsibilities?

  • Are operators proficient to carry out their assigned duties?

  • Is there appropriate supervision in place to manage the tree work at height operation?

  • Does everyone on site understand the communication method between climbers and ground staff? Is it clear, unambiguous and agreed by all?

3.0 On-site Preparation

  • Have hazards and risks identified by the site-specific risk assessment process been adequately addressed?

  • Has a tree condition assessment been carried out?

  • Have clearly defined drop and working zones been established?

  • Do all operators understand the limits of each zone?

  • Are there established procedures in place (1) for when someone wants to enter a drop zone; (2) for materials to be dropped into a drop zone; and (3) when handling equipment above the drop zone?

  • Is the extent of the work zone clear with adequate demarcation in place to prevent unauthorised access?

  • Is PPE correctly worn and used by every operator in either zone?

4.0 Occupational Health

  • Can everyone on site maintain ‘situational awareness’? Are they fit and well, physically and mentally?

  • Is everyone on site aware of any individual operator’s limitations?

  • Does anyone on site require increased protection from, or reduced exposure duration to, a particular hazard which may affect their health? If so, has this been implemented?

  • Do the techniques selected for use minimise the risk of muscular-skeletal disorders and fatigue? Has equipment been chosen to meet the operator’s ergonomic<br>requirements?

5.0 Personal Fall Protection Systems in Tree Work

  • Has the climber elected to use a system that allows them to ascend, move around the tree and descend appropriately?

  • Does the system correctly comprise a primary system and backup, and does the backup provide protection against failure of the primary system, including main line,<br>components and anchor?

  • Are the correct connection points to the harness being used, appropriate to the operation?

  • Have all the working considerations for using a personal fall protection system been taken into account by the climber?

6.0 A Strategy for Access

  • Do the methods selected take into account: the tree condition assessment, climbers’ abilities, training, surrounding features and tree structure?

  • Have all aspects of the chosen access method and ascent technique been discussed and agreed as a safe method of working by the team?

  • Is the work team familiar with the techniques to be used to allow an effective rescue to take place?

7.0 Selecting an Ascent Technique

  • Does the system correctly comprise primary and backup systems?

  • Does the climber have the appropriate knowledge to safely ascend and descend on their chosen system?

  • When an ascent technique is used, are the distance and consequences of a fall minimised?

  • Does the climber use correct rope advance procedures during changeovers?

  • Is the climber correctly anchored to the tree at all times?

  • Are newly established anchors subjected to a full-body-weight test where practical?

  • If spikes are used, is it possible to descend without solely having to spike back down the stem?

8.0 Managing Slack and Improving Climber Positioning

  • Does the climber always remain anchored to the tree structure?

  • Does the climber ensure that the fall protection system does not allow a potential fall distance to exceed 500mm?

  • Are two high anchors used wherever practical?

  • Has the climber included an adjustable lanyard as part of their system?

  • Does the climber use their fall protection system appropriately to reduce the risk of pendulum swing?

9.0 Descent

  • Does the climber’s primary system allow for an uninterrupted descent to the ground?

  • Does the climber check the length of rope before descent?

  • Are the climber’s systems appropriately terminated?

  • Is descent carried out in a controlled manner that minimises risk to the climber and potential equipment damage?

  • Are anchor devices lowered in a controlled manner?

10.0 Anchors and Anchor Point Selection

  • Have operators been trained in anchor point selection?

  • Can the selected anchor support any foreseeable loading?

  • Have anchors been fully load-tested prior to ascent?

  • Have load-bearing anchors within the tree been subjected to full-body-weight tests?

  • Are climbers using equipment to create anchors in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance and is it suitable for its intended application?

11.0 Equipment: General

  • Is the equipment provided suited to the task?

  • Does everyone on site have the correct PPE and is it in good condition?

12.0 Equipment Components: Building a System

  • Does the selected climbing equipment meet the relevant conformity standard?

  • Are all parts of the climber’s system correctly configured, in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance?

  • Are neighbouring components of the system compatible with each other?

  • Are the standard(s) against which the equipment has been tested identifiable?

13.0 Equipment for Tree Access and Rescue

  • Are the components of the fall protection system being used correctly in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance?

  • Do the components selected meet technical guidance requirements?

14.0 Equipment: Inspection, Care, Storage and Maintenance

  • Have operators received training in climbing equipment inspection, maintenance and record-keeping?

  • Do specific users of equipment understand manufacturer’s recommendations for product lifespan, maintenance and storage?

  • Are adequate records maintained of equipment issue, inspection, withdrawal and disposal?

  • Are visual and tactile pre-use checks carried out to a proficient standard?

15.0 Aerial Rescue

  • Has an adequate rescue plan been prepared for aerial rescue?

  • Are suitable and sufficient resources to make an effective rescue immediately available?

  • Has the nominated rescuer(s) received training in rescue techniques and the equipment to be used?

  • Does everyone understand their role and responsibility in the event of an aerial rescue?

  • Have the nominated rescuer and the operatives involved practised rescue techniques at regular intervals to maintain skills?

  • Can the casualty be removed from the tree safely without risk of injury to the rescuer?


  • Who is being observed?

  • Comments


  • Are there any actions required?

  • Signature:

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