1 day course
A brief history on two-rope working
The HSE has made it clear that they expect full compliance from the arboriculture industry when it comes to Working at Height Requirements. While this does not actually represent a change in the guidance, it does indicate a shift in the expected compliance.
The HSE has acknowledged that their current work at height guidelines can’t be easily applied to working in trees. This is because trees are organic three-dimensional structures. Working at Height (WAH) guidelines focus on buildings and work sites, so don’t apply well to trees. With this in mind, the HSE has worked with the Arboricultural Association to revise the industry code of practice.
The expected timeline for the completion of this is Spring 2020. The Arboricultural Association will also be running information sessions and workshops once it is practical to do so.
The current HSE guidance on tree climbing state that “where possible the personal fall protection system should be attached to two load-bearing anchor points”. The guidance acknowledges that there are situations where using a second line is not practical. In these instances, a risk assessment must be carried out, and there should be appropriate alternate safety systems in place.
The reasoning behind all the changes is a little convoluted. It stems from something that we can all get behind, a desire to reduce the number of accidents. The HSE has stated that the number of accidents in our sector is unacceptable. It is the highest rate per capita of any industry in the UK.
The two rope requirements have been in place since 2005. Since, at the time, the prevailing technique in use was the doubled rope technique (MRS), it was argued that the two rope requirements didn’t apply. As the profession has moved towards more stationary rope techniques (SRT), it is no longer justifiable, in the eyes of the HSE, to be exempt from the requirements any longer.
The preferred option is having two personal fall protection systems. These will be installed over two independent load-bearing anchors. Where that is not possible, both systems should be installed over a single anchor point. However, if as a result of a risk assessment, it is shown to be a higher risk to set up the system as outlined, then a single fall protection system can be used.
The decision to use a single fall protection system should only be taken when the risk of not doing so is vastly greater. It should not be a standard working practice.
Who is the course for?
This course is for all individual tree surgeons and for companies who employ climbing arborists. We advise attending this one day update to familiarise yourself with the new techniques available to stay in line with recent requirements.
price and booking
Course cost: £150+VAT per person.
Booking: If you would like to book, please review the requirements below and follow the link to our contact form.
Dates: Please click the link below to view our online calendar for all course dates.
Please ensure all climbing equipment is EN compliant and has appropriate LOLER certificates and PPE is in good condition. Equipment is available for hire if candidates do not yet have their own. Please contact the office for cost.