Tree Climbing & Aerial Rescue

On a recent & rather cold aerial treework course (Basic tree climbing & aerial rescue) I made a video on the risk assessment process and its application to tree climbing scenarios but the principles can be applied to any arboricultural or forestry operation.

Most City & Guilds NPTC assessments have a questions either directly related to risk assessment and emergency planning or indirectly about various control measures, and a good understanding of these is essential, and really helps to get assessments off to a good, confident start.

Below is an outline of the process or 5 steps and the key emergency planning information.Obviously there is more to be said and this detail is included in all my courses.

The risk assessment process is a careful examination of what in your work or job could cause harm to people, andmaycontainthefollowingfive steps:

1. identify the hazards– anything with the potential to cause harm, consideration should be given to hazards that arise from the site, task, machine & operator.

2. decide who might be harmed and how– those at risk either employees or members of the public together with the mechanism for harm.

3. evaluate the risks and decide on precautions– or control measures, that when implemented either remove the potential hazard or reduce the risk level down to a low or acceptable level.

4. record the findings and implement them– and communicate the findings to all relevant personnel

5. review and update the assessment as necessary– things change, people, equipment, techniques and best practice – all of this needs to be reviewed on a regular basis – also in response to an accident or incident.


Emergency procedures relevant to a work site may include:

·   location name– the postal address, including postcode.

·   grid reference– six figure with two letter prefix, e.g. TQ 673, 378.

·   designated meeting place– if different from above, advantageous if the exact location is complex or requires local knowledge to find. Essential if emergency services would be unable to access the site due to ground conditions.

·   site location name– same as above surely?

·   nearest access point– likely to fit into the above options. Consider a pre-written and checked description of the route into the site from a well known position – again you can just read it out or let someone else do so even if they have little local knowledge.

·   street name/district– fits into above, -

·   type of access(publicroad/lightvehicles,four-wheel drive)

·   suitable helicopter landing area

·   phone number of nearest doctor– very handy for colleagues that might be taken ill when it is not serious enough to call 999.

·   location of nearest accident and emergency hospital and phonenumber

·   works manager contact details

·   your own contact number/mobile number– obviously phone battery, signal & ease of use need to be checked before designated as emergency phone.

All of our training team are Lantra approved arborist instructors. Get in touch to get yourself booked on to one of our many courses including chainsaw trainingtree cutting courses and LOLER inspection courses.