Annual Day of Safety Held Virtually
Queenstown, MD (September 30, 2020) - The Maryland Arborist Association (MAA) held its annual Day of Safety virtually. Arborists across the state tuned in and learned from industry speakers while earning continuing education credits. This event was made possible by MAA's sponsors: Altec Industries, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, Georgetown Insurance, Moran Insurance, Security Equipment Company, Vermeer Mid-Atlantic, and First National Bank. Overall, the virtual event was successful.
Ron Muir with First Energy kicked off the Day of Safety sharing the five common factors to workplace injuries: distractions (at home and at work), signs of complacency, housekeeping, preplanning, and taking shortcuts. To keep coworkers safe, Ron shared a handful of tips! Arborists can review everyday tasks, encourage observation, make safety topics interactive, mix up the daily activities, and debrief at the end of each day.
John Ball, Professor of Forestry at South Dakota State University, educated attendees about the safe use of rope ties and anchors. John mentioned that according to OSHA, there are 48 fatalities per 100,000 tree workers. The national average is four, showcasing that arborists are well above that average.
Next, Chris Sprague with Bartlett Tree Experts talked about training employees on safe felling techniques to protect employees and property. After a hazard visual inspection, Chris shared his 5-step felling program beginning with determining the height and hazards, the trees lean, a planned escape route, setting different notches, and different back cuts.
From Carroll Tree Service, MAA President, Steve Sprague provided viewers with information on the importance of having a sound safety policy in place. He said, "having a policy in place ensures every employee goes home safe every day." Steve shared scenarios that have occurred in the past and what could have been done to avoid them had a safety policy been in place.
Wrapping-up the Day of Safety, Tom Thorsen with Maryland Occupational Safety and Health talked about the required arboriculture standards, worksite requirements, PPE, and much more. Lastly, Tom talked about how COVID-19s has changed arborists' work and how to keep your team safe.
The Maryland Arborist Association is thankful to be able to provide these educational events virtually to arborists across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the association were able to attend for free. If you would like to view the recorded event click here.
The Maryland Arborist Association is a professional trade association dedicated to fostering best practices within the region's arboriculture industry, providing education forums for on-going training and safety, and promoting community service through volunteerism. For nearly 50 years, the MAA has brought professional arborists (and related trades) together for networking, professional growth, and advancement. In addition to these professional benefits, MAA members annually donate tens of thousands of dollars in man-hours in association-wide volunteer service projects. Like our page on Facebook to stay in touch with what our members are doing.