Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

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Technical Guides update

Author:  Arboricultural Association
Last Updated:  07/03/2019

Designed as a follow on from the Industry Code of Practice for Tree Work at Height (ICoP), five Technical Guide ‘scoping documents’ were produced in early 2018 for Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue, Use of Tools in the Tree, Rigging, Crane Use in Tree Work and MEWP Use in Tree Work.

The scoping documents identify that short summary leaflets will be produced alongside each full Technical Guide, in a similar format to the outgoing Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group/Health and Safety Executive safety guides that this suite will replace. The summary leaflets will be available as free-to-download pdf files. The full Technical Guides will be printed as hard copy.

The Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue draft was released for public consultation in mid-December and this consultation has now closed. The majority of responses to the survey were positive, and most acknowledge that it is quite a challenge to balance the following:

  • providing enough information to clarify certain points that were omitted in earlier guidance whilst trying not to immediately date the document by specific reference to legislation, regulations and standards;
  • avoiding being overly prescriptive or becoming a training manual, but still providing examples that people can use; and
  • keeping it short enough but not excluding anything that could be, or could become, more relevant.

Quite a challenge. We would like to thank all who have contributed thus far.

As Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue is the first of the suite, it is important to take some time to reflect on the comments we have received to see if there are issues in common with the other guides planned. The authors are considering the feedback received thus far and will send a final version to the Association in February.

A combined photo-shoot for Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue and Use of Tools in the Tree took place at end of January. We will finalise the format, layout and design of both before the finished documents are released, which will ideally be before the ARB Show in mid-May. Use of Tools in the Tree should go to public consultation in February.

The Rigging guide will reflect many of the recommendations made in Evaluation of Current Rigging and Dismantling Practices used in Arboriculture (2008) and will be ready for the first round of peer review soon.

Crane Use has been through two rounds of peer review and the photo-shoot is being planned, so it could be out for public consultation before the ARB Show. There is cautious optimism that the Construction Plant-hire Association will endorse its application as a concerted effort has been made to use crane industry terms of reference.

Work on revising the MEWPs guide has commenced and the first round of peer review is planned for March with public consultation in April.

Rigging, Crane Use in Tree Work and MEWP Use in Tree Work are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2019.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the release dates for public consultation and have your say on your industry guidance.

Article taken from The ARB Magazine Issue 184 Spring 2019. As a member you can view The ARB Magazine online, simply Log In and view the 'ARB Magazine' tab in your Account Area.