Audit

General

Before starting work, the crew have identified general and site specific hazards and assessed the associated risks.

All workers / crew understand the scope of work being undertaken

All crew members are trained and competent to perform their required tasks.

The most suitable method for accessing the tree has been identified(ie EWP, Climbing, Falling) Hazards including but not limited to the ones listed below are considered:
- Condition, soundness and stability of the tree (ie is the tree decayed, dead, unsafe to climb)
- Crown / shape and weight distribution (leaning, nests, insects)
- Nature of the terrain (steep / slippery)
- Proximity of overhead power lines and other underground services or structures (drains, septic tanks etc.)
- Weather conditions (rain, wind force, direction and consistency)
- Staff required (ie spotter or rescue climber etc)
- location of other persons or equipment (public, vehicles etc.)

All crew members fit to undertake the task(fit and no drugs or alcohol)

Regular breaks are taken and working hours managed.

All crew members understand the emergency procedures, Mobile phone or other means of communication is available.

At least one ground person is trained aerial rescue and is able to climb.

A complete aerial rescue kit is available on site including a climbing harness and carabiners, suitable lifeline, pole belt, Prusik Knots, climbing spurs, soft rope, first aid kit, micro pulleys, redirect slings, pocket knife with lanyard.

Each vehicle to carry stocked first aid kit including a large wound dressing, all crew members to have current first aid ticket

Fire Extinguishers to be carried and easily accessible in all vehicles.

Ropes used for lowering should have contrasting colour to the vegetation to make it easily visible and should have suitable length to reduce excess rope, or excess rope is secured in rope bag or retractable system.

Climbing ropes not to be used for lowering.

If High Voltage conductors present, are Suppressions in place.

Traffic Management.

Adequate traffic management measures in place to protect workers, motorists and pedestrians. Traffic management in accordance with AS1742.3

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is provided where necessary- e.g. eye protection, hearing protection, safety helmets, gloves, high visibility vest and other personal protective clothing or equipment.

PPE meets relevant Australian Standards.

PPE in good condition, replaced if damaged.

PPE is used by all workers on site.

Sun Protection including sunscreen and long sleeves are provided and being used if required.

Elevated Work Platforms - Part 1

Correct EWP is selected for the task, considering insulation requirements, ground conditions, height and reach and the type of work to be done.

EWP operators are trained for the particular EWP the are using
Note: A high risk work licence is required for persons operating an EWP with a boom length of 11 metres or more.

Emergency decent device is operational and other crew members know where and how to activate it (rope descent, bleed down valve, auxiliary power)

Daily pre-start checks are made in accordance with manufacturers handbook to ensure EWP is safe before operation.

Manufacturers handbook / operating manual is accessible to persons operating the EWP.

EWP has an up-to-date written record of inspection, testing and maintenance available.

Safe working load (SWL) of the EWP is clearly marked and observed, taking into account tools and equipment.

Any levelling indicators are clear and in working order and any out of level alarms are functional.

EWP basket can be accessed safely

Handrails are maintained in good condition.

Spills of oil, fuel and other slip hazards are cleaned up immediately.

Elevated Work Platform - Part 2 - Safe set-up

Ground surface conditions are checked
Note: This is extremely important. Soft soil, underground services and tanks can collapse and cause EWP to tip over. Never work on gradients which exceed the manufacturers specification.
Always keep the work platform to the uphill side of the base vehicle even if the gradient is acceptable.

The EWP is positioned to operate safely. All parts of the EWP remain clear of traffic hazards.
Beware of tail or knuckle swing into the trafficable area.

When fitted, stabilisers or outriggers are always positioned before platform is raised.
NOTE: Do not position stabilisers onto gratings, drains, manhole covers, voids or other excavations. Put stabilisers onto suitable spreader plates when required.

The location of overhead power lines is checked before starting work, if work is in close proximity to HV lines ensure suppressions have been set.

All workers to have minimum of instructed person training if working in vicinity of power lines.

EWP has adequate electrical insulation rating for any power lines within the work area.

Operator and any other person working in bucket wearing safety harness. These must be correctly secured to the anchor point. Harnesses must be in good condition and fitted correctly.

Check that the weather conditions are acceptable for safe operation of the EWP.

Elevated Work Platform - Part 3 - Safe Use

EWP is kept clear of power lines, clear of traffic and clear of other hazards for the entire time it is in use.
NOTE: These hazards should be identified in the risk assessment conducted at the start of each job.

Safety spotter (observer) is in place to monitor clearance between EWP and power lines, traffic or any other hazards. Safety spotter is not distracted with other tasks and has adequate communication with the EWP operator.

Operators keep both feet flat on the floor of the basket and do not stand on the sides or guard rails to gain extra height.

If climbing from the basket into a tree, the climber is wearing a harness suitable for tree climbing and is attached to the tree, on a tested anchor point before releasing the anchorage in the basket.

All EWPs are operated according to the manufacturers instructions.

Self propelled EWPs are not driven with basket elevated (unless set in low speed)

Self propelled EWPs are not driven over changes in level, e.g. gutters, kerbs, sloping driveways, branches that may tip the EWP over.

EWP basket floor is kept free of debris and tools.

EWP never used to lower objects.
NOTE: Do not attach ropes between the EWP and any part of the tree. An EWP is not intended to be used as a crane. Use an independent rope to lower off-cuts

Drop zone is clearly identified and all workers are trained in procedures for entering to collect material.

Before moving off, the EWP is shut down and prepared for travelling as per the manufacturers instructions, (boom is correctly stowed and secured, stabilisers are fully retracted and secured, PTO disengaged and warning lights off.

Tree Climbing

Before climbing, the tree is inspected by a competent person to determine suitability, precautions or special techniques required.

Weather conditions are considered to determine if it is safe to climb (ie rain, wind, temperature)

A minimum of two persons are present; one climber and one ground person who is able to climb and trained in aerial rescue.

Regular visual and/or verbal communication is maintained between the climber and the ground person(s)

The climbing rope should only be passed around healthy, sound and suitably strong anchor points.

The climber has access to the climbing rope at all times and the rope is kept taut at all times.

A figure eight knot or eye splice is tied to the end of the climbing rope to prevent the rope accidently running through the Prusik knot.

The position of anchor points should be suitably selected in such a way that a slip or fall would swing the climber away from power lines or other potential hazards.

All points of attachment are correctly set and visually inspected before placing weight on them (ie knots correctly tied, dressed and set, carabiners closed and locked

Adequate personal protective equipment is provided and used, including high visibility clothing, climbing helmet, eye protection, adequate boots and clothing.

All climbing equipment is checked daily (prior to use and throughout the day) and is in good condition.

The climber must be attached to the tree at all times with an approved safety harness, climbing rope and/or pole belt.

Safety harnesses are adequate for tree climbing (AS1891 or equivalent)

Climbing ropes are suitable (minimum 11mm 12 strand, plaited or braided construction, minimum breaking strength at least 10 times greater than the SWL, friction resistant, heat resistant, not made of natural fibres)

Caribiners are self-closing and lockable (triple action and auto locking)

No more than one climber is working in a tree (in most situations this is the safest method to perform the task)

Risk of falling equipment is minimised by attaching equipment including chainsaws to the climber by a triple locking carabiner or equivalent.

Wood Chippers

An adequate number of emergency stops are in place for the size of the machine (so operators can readily reach them)

Emergency stops are regularly checked to ensure they are working.

Gaurding of engine, hot parts and nip points are adequate.

A drop down table is fitted at the rear.

Operators are trained and competent.

Two workers to operate the chipper at all times.

The chipper is fed off the centre line and from the kerb side (where practical)

The chipper is never left unattended while operational.

Operators wear eye, and hearing protection.

Material for chipping is checked for entanglements, before it is fed into the chipper.

Chainsaws

Operator is trained and competent to use a chainsaw

Chainsaw is checked before each use: bar, chain and sprockets are in good condition, bar oil flowing, chain brake operational, chain is sharp.

When chainsaw is refuelled, bar oil is topped up and chain checked.

Adequate PPE is worn: eye protection, safety helmet, ear muffs, safety boots, cut resistant pants.

Chainsaw not being used to cut anything above shoulder height.

Chainsaw is carried with engine off, muffler away from body and saw bar pointing to the rear.

After refuelling, chainsaw is moved away from fuel source before starting the engine.

Work is done in clear work area, escape route is in place.

Never operate chainsaw with one hand, unless it is designed sfor one hand use.

Bystanders and other persons/animals are kept away when chainsaw is in use.

Plant and Machinery

Adequate safe work procedures are provided and documented to test, use and maintain machinery - for instance look for:
- Pre-operational checks are carried out.
- Appropriate isolation and lock-out procedures are provided for maintenance activities.
- Where physical gaurds are provided, adequate provision is made for cleaning, maintenance, adjustment and repair.
- Where it is not practical to guard machinery, a safe system of work is in place for people operating or passing in close proximity.

Operators and maintenance personnel of mobile plant and machinery are:
- Properly trained (if required current high risk licenses)
- familiar with operation
familiar with set up of machinery
- knowledge of machinery / plant safety features.

Manufacturers decals, manuals and operator instructions are readily available and in English.

Mobile plant and vehicles/trucks are in good condition and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

Maintenance records and pre-start checks are available.

When mobile plant is in use, site hazards have been identified assessed and controlled (slopes, ground conditions, ground load limits, excavation, septic tanks, drains, underground and overhead services.

Manual Tasks

Risk assessments of potentially hazardous manual tasks have been conducted.

Practical control measures have been implemented and maintained to eliminate or reduce risk associated with manual handling tasks i.e lifting heavy logs, size of logs, equipment in use such as loader or excavator to move / load logs, position chipper close to work area (outside of drop zone) to reduce carrying distance when feeding chipper.

Induction and ongoing training is provided to everyone involved in organising and undertaking manual tasks.

Slips Trips and Falls

Workers can move safely around the work place, drop zone is clear and access to chipper kept free from obstructions.

Steps provide a safe, non-slip access to cabs and trays.

Warning signs are available and used - worker and public safety (footpath closed etc.)

Lighting is adequate for the movement of persons around the work site.

Work space is sufficient, without the risk of slips trips and falls.

Spills (i.e. fuel or oil on tray) are cleaned up, work area is raked frequently to avoid slips for workers and public.

Hazardous Substances

Register of hazardous substances is complete and current (SDS less than 5 years old)
The register includes a contents list of Safety Data Sheets for all hazardous substances used in the work place (such as fuel, oil and herbicides.

Register and copy of current SDS kept in vehicle folder.

Decanted bottles and containers with hazardous substances are adequately labelled. (not stored in drink containers etc.)

Adequate control measures are in place to reduce risks relating to hazardous.
For instance, hazardous substances are substituted for non-hazardous substances where practical, hazardous substances are used in accordance with the SDS, PPE is provided and used.

Adequate fuel containers are available and labelled.

Hazardous substances are appropriately secured while in transport.

Noise.

Where practicable, control measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of hearing loss, where noise levels are greater than 85 dB(A)

Hearing protection has been provided to workers that are exposed to noise levels greater than 85 dB(A) and is being used.

Workers have received information and training in relation to noise in the workplace and the use of hearing protection.

Local council time restrictions relating to noise are known and being adhered to (e.g. no chainsaw use before 10:00 am on Sundays)

Hearing tests for all workers undertaken every 12 months.

Electricity

If working in the vicinity of H.V power lines, is suppression required, if so has it been set.

Adequate systems for vegetation control work in the vicinity of overhead power lines are in place including but not limited to.
- A ground worker is on site and has minimum of electrical awareness and instructed person training.
- A designated spotter is on site whilst EWP or climbing work being undertaken.
- Insulated tools and equipment (i.e. EWP, poles) are in place - insulated tools and equipment should be electrically tested every 6 months.
- The chassis of EWP is connected to earth by a braided copper cable or metal earthing spike when working near H.V lines.
- PPE is and clothing is adequate (100 percent cotton long sleeve clothing, protective non-slip boots, safety helmet in accordance with AS 1801
- Operators / workers are not entering inside safe approach distance.

Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.