Safety Notes

Warning: Shocking Pictures near Bottom of Page!

Safety is of the utmost importance; for the working around the forces employed by and around trees; are as massive as the tree's themselves.  Electrical risks are just one concern for arborists, chainsaw cuts, chippers, ropes, sheer mass, speed, leverage, reach, the list goes on and on, in the hazardous world; in the lands of these giants! 


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Originally posted by Tom Dunlap :
"A clean, dry rope is not conductive?".<-You'll never get a rope manufacturer to vouch for that!! Over the years of helping at EHAP training I've asked every journeyman lineman if he would ever use a rope or throwline to move a wire. They have all looked at me with "What-are-you-stupid?" eyes. None of them would ever do it so I won't either.  -Tom


Originally posted by Crofter :Something I found interesting at a safety course put on by Ontario Hydro was the fact that electrical lines can move up and down 5 or 10 feet over a short period of time due to load changes on the line. The difference in temperature due to load can change the tension that much. Where you had enough clearance in the morning could put you dangerously close later in the day. Over a certain voltage requires a continuous spotter. -Frank


Originally posted by netree :
That's why lines strung in the summer are deliberately left with some slack, so the line can contract in cold weather without breaking from too much tension. The electrical resistance of the line converts power into heat. This is why energizing a line is called "heating it up" in linemans' slang. How much the line will lengthen/shorten with varying load depends on a lot of factors, such as length of span, conductor material, conductor diameter, ambient temperature and the actual load applied.

Lines will tend to lengthen with: Higher ambient temps, Aluminum conductors, High electrical loads, Smaller diameter lines (which have a higher resistance)...and shorten when the reverse is true.

Ropes should NEVER be relied upon to insulate you from electricity. NEVER NEVER NEVER!!!...Dealing with power lines requires special tools, and specialized techniques and training to do it safely. It is a task best left to those qualified to do it. PERIOD.
>It only takes one hundredth of an ampere at less that 1 volt to stop your heart. Keeping that in mind, remember that materials such as wood and rope aren't necessarily INSULATORS, but more usually RESISTORS... cutting the flow of electricity down, but not eliminating it. I can't stress enough how important the right tools and training are required to work around power lines.
>I just think it's far safer to treat anything not specifically marked as being dialectic as a possible conductor......While I have it in mind, a lot of guys are under the impression that the black coating on some primary lines is insulation............-->It's not!!! It's only a weatherproofing, and is neither intended as an insulator, or to be relied upon as such. -Erik

Warning: Shocking Pictures near Bottom of Page!


Originally posted by the forum moderator- John Paul Sanborn :
Always tie in so you will swing away...To reinforce a point from John Ball's lecture on injuries and fatalities. Many that had electrical contact had a rescue of the initial victim, and recovery of the crew member who attempted rescue.-JP


Originally posted by topnotchtree :
I have witnessed an arching demonstration put on by the utility co and the union where the guy drew current through a kite string. He also stuck his hand in a rubber glove and rubbed it all over a conductor, then removed his hand and shoved a raw hot dog in a finger of the glove. Then he poked a hole in the glove finger with a sewing needle. Then touched the conductor with the glove. The hot dog was burnt to a crisp. The voltage was 4800. Line clearance guys do some crazy things, but most of us know what we can get away with safely. First of all we know how to ID the lines and get a pretty good idea of the voltage we are working with. I read somewhere in this thread where someone suggested using a handsaw to remove a hanger from a wire. Although the wood handle on the saw may not conduct, the screws on the handle that hold the blade in will get ya.....As a general rule, the bigger the insulators the more power.


Originally posted by MidwestTree : If you have any questions about powerlines it is useful to attend a class. The power companies give these all the time. A lot to local (volunteer) fire depts. They usually are good programs and you might learn just one thing that could save your life. Even guys that work around them all the time should step back and rethink what they are doing.




Originally posted by ORclimber :It is best to assume you will (get shocked/killed). There are many variables involved....Electricity follows the easiest path to ground. If going through the branch and climber is the easiest path to ground....zap! - Eric



Originally posted by Dobber


There are procedures in place to trimming near energized conductors, If you are not familiar with them then you should not be in the tree. ....
This a pic of an untrained worker after an accident. Look his name up if you like, there is lots to see if you feel like reading. his name was Lewis Wheelan, just started a summer job with a friend of his fathers who owns the contracted company. Took a hit from a fallen conductor, lost his right arm and part of both legs, due to all the scar tissue his body couldn't keep it self cool without air conditioning. When the 2003 black out happened he lost the air conditioning, causing him to slowly overheat until he passed out and never woke up.



Warning: Shocking Pictures near Bottom of Page!









                burnt arm.jpg   


promise roz.jpg                        

We Locals pitched in and helped close the job, so the family tree service wouldn't have to go back to that place, the homeowner was covered; the stillness in the thick air at ground zero seemed something like this:

That Early Mourning Job:

There is an echo of stillness where she last stood for a sec………..;
Now deafening silence roars
louder than the saws;
ears always perched for anyone to start their chipper,
and what would it sound like hear?

Like a vacuum created;
Perhaps by such a young, joyful life,
Disappearing so instantaneously leaving not even a trace here.
Somehow has cheated even time,
That hasn’t yet caught up in this place or these people,

Dangerously supplying sling shotting energy,
To journey far from the frail semblance of surviving,
To somewhere far below all too soonly.

Wee waded in and got started this mourn,
Few of us locals, closing ranks;
So Brian wouldn’t have to go back there,
To that space, and place.

The scene had just been released,
Including 3 of the vehicles.
All in all, I think ½ dozen tree services where by,
Before the sky’s own weeping,
kept building and layering,
Exceeding all others present.

Ya know if ya can’t nod at the climber 3 blocks away as you,
Go to your job, and end up aerially compromised;
Who Ya Gonna Call?

My buddy from another tree service

 was there in bucket.
There was no better, no less; just well wishes and
Harmonized effort by all able.
Without a word, everything coming into place.

The original ‘Help’ for the job are stunned to 'help-less',
Especially in this place there seems no aim;
Just their numbing pain as you watch them move nowhere.

Burn this helplessness of loss in well,
As life commands everyone go on forward,
Witness those trying helplessly to reach back;
And remember why this happened,
So that it wouldn’t to you,
Or the one next to you!

This price has been high enough;
let it be considered paid in full!



My beauty and the Beast cards i make on 4 to a page Inkjet postcards: