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Is this the best cold weather clothing for tree surgeons?
After many years I think I might have found it, and it comes in the form of Woolpower, merino wool clothing manufactured in the north of Sweden.
Naturally you’d expect the Swedes to know a thing or 2 about dressing warm so it shouldn’t be any surprise that their range of clothing does exactly what its supposed to. But is it worth the price tag?
What price do you put on comfort?
Woolpower certainly isn’t the cheapest clothing on the market by a long shot, in fact as far as working clothes go its probably right at the top end of the market before you venture into designer labels. I have paid varying amounts for winter clothing over the years and have tried many different base layers from well known brands such as Helly Hanson, Under Armour, and Musto, to more generic brands. Its fair to say that most will do the job well enough, with perhaps just a few extra layers needed here and there as a top up. Having said that, there are many that will just make you sweat more with their poor wicking ability, and we all know what that means when it comes to break time on a cold day. Sometimes you can get lucky with cheaper brands, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, certainly when jumping up to the next tier in the pricing bracket.
We all know how theft is rife, particularly it seems within the tree care industry. Barely a day goes by when there isn't machinery reported stolen on social media, Arbtalk, or the Arbsafe database of stolen tree surgery equipment.
The effect of these crimes can be massively damaging, particularly for smaller outfits. Not only does the victim suffer the loss of their tools, but more often than not there is significant damage done to their properties in the process. The issue is only compounded by the fact that many yards are in rural areas where police response times are likely to be far longer than elsewhere, if indeed there is a response at all.
One Cheshire based tree care company recently had their Timberwolf wood chipper stolen along with many of their tools. Fortunately for the business owner, they had invested in a sure-track wood chipper tracker, which, with its 91% recovery rate within 9 hours, proved to be a hugely worthwhile investment.
The unit was put into alarm mode within a couple hours of going missing, and the sure-track team knew they had to act fast, dispatching one of their experience finders immediately to a location near Bolton. Using RF scanning equipment, they bag a thorough investigation of the area and picked up the signal from the stolen wood chipper within a matter of minutes. The police were called and promptly arrived to assist with a successful recovery.
Not only did Sure-Track recover the chipper, but also the majority of the tools were also found in the same location, leaving one very happy customer.
If you are a tree surgeon or run a forestry business then you are right to be concerned about machinery theft. We believe the tracker solution we offer right here at Arbtalk is one of the best on the market, and as has already been proved, works! Check out the sure-track wireless theft recovery tracker for more information.
So following on from the other thread I’m starting this as a more serious discussion as to where we go from here.
Please keep any responses sensible and constructive, use the other thread for any banter / moaning.
This is being read by the HSE so if we want to persuade them that we are a serious professional bunch whose concerns ought to be heard then we need to behave accordingly.
For staff of the AA or HSE I have tried to summarise a lot in one paragraph, if I have got anything factually wrong please post corrections.
So to very roughly summarise how we got to this point: the EU passed a directive in 2004 which the U.K. adopted into our own HSE law, this stated ‘roughly’ that for rope access 2 attachments to separate anchors were required. At this point our industry through the AA and possibly others pushed back against this citing many of the issues that have been raised on the other thread. This push back was successful since at that time almost all tree work was being carried out using DDRT (doubled rope techniques) Helpfully DDRT is classified as work positioning by the HSE and not as rope access, ( basically if the rope is static and the climber moves up and down the rope it’s rope access and if the rope moves with the climber it’s work positioning, don’t ask why!) So we all carried on as normal using work positioning techniques, usually tying in twice when we were cutting and once the rest of the time. More recently however SRT has been adopted in tree work, this shares much more with rope access and is classified as such by the HSE (fixed rope remember). So at this point it became increasingly hard for the AA to argue that tree work was a special case since the techniques used appeared identical to the rope access industry which had been happily using 2 lines for a long time.
Paul, @AA Teccie (Paul)
Can this article be translated into a couple of sentences for simple folk rather than pages of script which left me no clearer on what / when a change might be imposed?
Is it saying that HSE require climbing arbs to use 2 separate ropes rather than the 2 ends of the same rope (for those that still dwell in the 19th century?)
If so, when is this likely to be implemented? Are we non-compliant now? Is the training non-compliant?
I have to admit, after reading it, I wasn't really any clearer on whether a change is imminent now, in the near future or maybe not at all.
Love & peace,
Confused of Cornwall..
Arboricultural Association - Background to the HSE decision on two rope working
WWW.TREES.ORG.UK A range of tree related help and advice for members of the public as well as tree surgeons.
! ! No more Quercus imports from the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany…..press release Friday 12th July 2019 from DEFRA.!!
Tighter restrictions on oak tree imports to come into force.
Strengthened measures on the import of most species of oak into England are to be introduced to protect native trees from the threat of the tree disease Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).
The bolstered measures will only permit imports of certain oak trees, including:-
· Those from OPM free countries.
· Those from designated pest free areas including Protected Zones (PZ) - an area of the European Union declared free of OPM.
· Those that have been grown under complete physical protection for their lifetime.
This Statutory Instrument (SI) – which is due to be introduced in Parliament shortly– builds on measures introduced in August 2018 and applies to all oak trees, except cork oak, over a certain size.
The restrictions will cover both imports from overseas and the movement of trees from areas of the country where OPM is already present – in London and surrounding counties.
At the Barcham Trees nursery in Cambridgeshire, UK, we have been enforcing a strict Biosecurity Policy for a number of years.
Our trees are supplied free of OPM. Visit www.barchampro.co.uk
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