You are now a logger


Just slice it
Jan 29, 2006
Mpls, Minnesota
Check this latest govt bull__ from osha

TCIA Legislative / Regulatory Alert:

OSHA Declares Modern Arboriculture
Out of Compliance
Dangerous new directive puts tree workers at risk

On June 25, 2008, the Department of Labor issued a Compliance Directive that essentially wiped out commercial arboriculture as a distinct industry. Instead, we are all now lumberjacks according to the federal government, which insists that our work practices are the same as loggers and should be governed by regulations written for logging operations.

The directive issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifies that any tree care operation that removes the stem of a tree in a piece longer than six feet is henceforth classified as a logging operation subject to all of the rules and restrictions into the standard written for logging operations (29 CFR Part 1910.266). The directive ignores OSHA’s own data with respect to safe practices for tree care workers and constitutes illegal rulemaking that puts an entire industry at risk of injuries and fatalities.

Historically, OSHA guidance and enforcement for the tree care industry has been based on a patchwork of regulations and standards written for other industries. Applying these standards to tree care operations greatly increases the risk of fatality or injury to tree workers and creates unnecessary confusion about safety among workers, OSHA enforcement officers and small businesses.

Since the mid-1990’s, TCIA has attempted to resolve this problem by working to get OSHA’s agreement to create a standard that is specific to tree care based on ANSI Z133, a consensus standard for the industry developed by employers, employees, organized labor, equipment manufacturers and academia. Letters documenting this effort date back for more than a decade.

On May 10, 2006, TCIA formally petitioned OSHA to promulgate a separate standard governing tree care operations. Before that petition was filed, and in the two years since, TCIA has worked closely with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to educate legislators and regulators on the unique challenges, practices and hazards involved in commercial and utility arboriculture work. Our effort is supported by Congress.

On September 27, 2007, Senators Isakson (R-GA), Enzi (R-WY), Kennedy (D-MA) and Murray (D-WA), members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, sent a letter to the Secretary of Labor supporting TCIA’s petition and requesting OSHA move forward with a negotiated rulemaking based on Z133. On October 16, 2007, Representatives Wilson (R-SC), McKeon (R-CA), Woolsey (D-CA), Miller (D-CA) and Shea-Porter (D-NH), members of the House Committee on Education and Labor, sent a similar letter.

Our efforts appeared successful when on June 3, 2008, OSHA sent notice to Members of Congress indicating it intended to release an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for a standard governing tree care operations that would be published in August 2008.

On June 25, 2008, however, OSHA’s compliance directorate usurped the rulemaking by releasing an enforcement directive that brings our entire industry under an existing standard written for clear-cutting and pulpwood logging in the deep forest. The directive is directly contrary to the well-recognized safety practices in the industry.

The directive deems any tree care worker who removes a tree stem in lengths longer than 6 feet a “logger” who must comply with OSHA’s standard for loggers – despite numerous and substantial differences between arborists and loggers in hazards faced and practices used. Among other things, the logging standard would require:

all workers to wear chain saw cut resistant logging boots
all crew members to be CPR/First Aid certified
crews must carry a logger’s first aid kit
workers must wear face shields but not necessarily separate eye protection (contradicting Z133)
all crew members not involved in the operation must stay at least two tree lengths from a tree being felled.
all stems must be removed using a face cut and back cut, prohibiting standard cuts used with a crane pick.
The directive also discredits the widely used safe work practice of hoisting an arborist with a crane when removing a hazard tree. Arborists use this method when the alternatives for removing the tree are more hazardous or infeasible. Crane use is specifically recognized as an important and safe practice by several states, including California, Washington, and Oregon. California adopted the practice after reviewing OSHA’s own data, which revealed NO injuries or fatalities related to crane hoisting, compared to the many fatalities and injuries that could have been prevented with the use of the crane. In the face of all this information, the directive nevertheless states that the Z133 Standard provides less protection to the worker than OSHA’s 34-year-old general industry crane standard.

If you are a line-clearance tree trimmer doing tree removals and you are unsure of whether to comply with the standard written for line clearance operations (1910.269) or the logging standard (1910.266) in a given situation, the directive states that henceforth you will comply with both standards! When the standards have conflicting requirements, you are to apply the more stringent one.

Despite OSHA’s misguided directive, we are not loggers and our industry safety standard should not be invalidated suddenly. Our work and our work practices are so substantially different that this directive puts 300,000 dedicated tree care workers at increased risk of injuries and fatalities.

When TCIA first learned of this directive, we took immediate action. TCIA President & CEO Cynthia Mills spoke personally with Assistant Secretary Ed Foulke, insisting that this directive placed our members in immediate physical danger and undermined the rule-making process. Secretary Foulke subsequently requested a meeting on July 16 in Washington, DC. In a two-hour conference attended by the secretary, his staff, and representatives from OSHA’s legal, compliance, alliance and standards writing divisions, as well as representatives from the Secretary of Labor’s office, TCIA explained the illegal and dangerous nature of the directive. Cynthia Mills, Senior Advisor Peter Gerstenberger, Chief Program Officer Mark Garvin, Regulatory Affairs Advisor David Marren, and Public Policy Advisor Josh Ulman repeatedly stressed the differences between logging and arboriculture and called for the immediate withdrawal of the directive. OSHA agreed at that time not to allow any citation to stand from a Region without federal review, however the directive remains in force. Two TCIA members have already felt the misguided application of this directive – one was shut down for a crane use violation and another received a logging standard citation.

The following week on July 22, Ulman, Mills and Garvin met with key staff for Representatives Woolsey, Shea-Porter and Tsongas, in addition to meetings with staff for Senators Enzi, Isakson and Murray. Congressman Wilson, ranking member House Committee on Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and a signer of last year’s bi-partisan, bi-cameral letter, met personally with Ulman and Mills and has agreed to author a second letter and make personal calls to the Department of Labor on our behalf. A second meeting was also held at the Department of Labor with Thom Stohler, Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA. Fortunately, Congress and staff were already aware of and well briefed on the tree care industry as a result of the work done during the past three years, our Voice for Trees political action committee and meetings between TCIA members and staff and members of Congress during Legislative Conference fly-ins in 2005 and 2007.

On July 25, Josh Ulman presented details of the issue to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, the office within the SBA charged with assisting small businesses with burdensome regulations. We have also presented our case to the White House and its Office of Management and Budget.

On July 28, Senators Enzi, Isakson, Murray and Kennedy wrote a letter to the Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, requesting an “immediate withdrawal” of the enforcement directive. They wrote that “This directive disregards expressed bi-partisan Congressional support for an OSHA standard addressing the unique risks of the tree care industry and ignores OSHA’s own data and expert opinions with respect to safe work practices for tree care workers.” On August 5, Representatives Woolsey, Wilson and Shea-Porter wrote a similar letter to Secretary Chao, requesting immediate withdrawal of the directive and urging OSHA to "move quickly and immediately to initiate the negotiated rulemaking process."

TCIA also contacted our members whose representatives have oversight over OSHA, including Kevin Caldwell with Caldwell Tree Care, Rebecca Moran with Superior NW Tree and Shrub Care, Erich Schneider with Schneider Tree Care and Chris Freeman with Sox & Freeman Tree Expert Company. On very short notice, they kindly agreed to submit letters to their members of Congress seeking withdrawal of the directive. TCIA is indebted to them for their immediate response and willingness to help the entire industry throw off the onerous chains of this directive.

Despite clear evidence that this directive is illegal and actually increases risk, to date, OSHA has refused to withdraw it. It is the position of TCIA that inappropriate application of standards designed for another industry poses unacceptable safety hazards to commercial and utility arborists. Stay tuned, since we may ask for more member help soon in contacting Congress. TCIA will not rest until this directive is rescinded.

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© 2008 Tree Care Industry Association. All Rights Reserved.
same story up here. trying to seperate the arborist trade from pure logging, its an ongoing issue.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Welll now according to the new OSHA "rules" if you cut trees in pieces longer than 6 feet YOU are a logger. If you nibble away at the tree you can be an arborist
how is the alberta WCB rating you for stuff? worksafebc is coming down on arborists from what I hear, lumping their work with logging. That 6' or taller length = logging ticket (fallers ticket) has been rumoured to be floated here...
My first thought was that OSHA could blow me. This is really stupid. It sounds like I should join TCIA and help them out.
The events leading up to that TCIA article were hashed over at TreeBuzz, and prolly here.

Farking amazing what these stuffed shirt desk jockeys can come up with. Must have small penis syndrome.

Many thanks are in order for the congressmen and TCIA rep's (Peter and Tim, among others) hard work both before and after this largest piece of idiotic crap I've ever seen.

Surely, clear and logical minds will prevail....otherwise, the idiots will have an impossible nightmare to enforce.
Here we are trying to create an apprentice program to help WCB (aka WorksafeBC here) quantify the arborist trade and profession.
how is the alberta WCB rating you for stuff? worksafebc is coming down on arborists from what I hear, lumping their work with logging. That 6' or taller length = logging ticket (fallers ticket) has been rumoured to be floated here...
A few years back there was a major shake up and rewriting of the alberta WCB regs across the board. Through the ISA Prarie Chapter arborists lobbied hard and won a shit load of concessions. There are a large number of rules in alberta wcb regs with exceptions for arborists. That is thanks to a lot of work on some key peoples parts though.
they forgot to mention you have to nyell "TIMBER" for all the longer pieces of wood.
It's your insurance companies lobbying power at work. And mindless government bureaucracy's attempt to control and police.

It's a bad combination and our cup runs overfull with it,, already.
Surely you jest!:roll:

Well, I was hoping. It did sound like progress was being made, and that the congressmen that were involved were supportive of the TCIA reps' efforts to improve the regulations.

If OSHA refuses to back down, they'll soon find out how utterly impossible enforcement of this ludicrous directive will be.