Line-clearance Tree Trimming
(1)Electrical hazards. This paragraph does not apply to qualified employees.
(a)Before an employee climbs, enters, or works around any tree, a determination must be made of the nominal voltage of electric power lines posing a hazard to employees. However, a determination of the maximum nominal voltage to which an employee will be exposed may be made instead, if all lines are considered as energized at this maximum voltage.
(b)There must be a second line-clearance tree trimmer within normal, unassisted voice communication under any of the following conditions:
(A)If a line-clearance tree trimmer is to approach more closely than 3.05 meters (10 feet) to any conductor or electric apparatus energized at more than 600 volts or
(B)If branches or limbs being removed are closer to lines energized at more than 600 volts than the distances listed in Table RR-4, Table RR-5, Table RR-6, and Table RR-7 or
(C)If roping is necessary to remove branches or limbs from such conductors or apparatus.
(c)Line-clearance tree trimmers must maintain the minimum approach distances from energized conductors given in Table RR-4, Table RR-5, Table RR-6, and Table RR-7.
(d)Branches that are contacting exposed energized conductors or equipment, or that are within the distances specified in Table RR-4 Table RR-5, Table RR-6, and Table RR-7 may be removed only through the use of insulating equipment.
(e)Ladders, platforms, and aerial devices may not be brought closer to an energized part than the distances listed in Table RR-4, Table RR-5, Table RR-6, and Table RR-7.
(f)Line-clearance tree trimming may not be performed when adverse weather conditions make the work hazardous in spite of the work practices required by this rule. Each employee performing line-clearance tree trimming in the aftermath of a storm or under similar emergency conditions must be trained in the special hazards related to this type of work.
(a)Brush chippers must be equipped with a locking device in the ignition system.
(b)Access panels for maintenance and adjustment of the chipper blades and associated drive train must be in place and secure during operation of the equipment.
(c)Brush chippers not equipped with a mechanical infeed system must be equipped with an infeed hopper of length sufficient to prevent employees from contacting the blades or knives of the machine during operation.
(d)Trailer chippers detached from trucks must be chocked or otherwise secured.
(e)Each employee in the immediate area of an operating chipper feed table must wear personal protective equipment as required Division 2/I.
(3)Sprayers and related equipment.
(a)Walking and working surfaces of sprayers and related equipment must be covered with slip-resistant material. If slipping hazards cannot be eliminated, slip-resistant footwear or handrails and stair rails meeting the requirements of Division 2/D may be used instead of slip-resistant material.
(b)Equipment on which employees stand to spray while the vehicle is in motion must be equipped with guardrails around the working area. The guardrail must be constructed in accordance with Division 2/D.
(a)Stump cutters must be equipped with enclosures or guards to protect employees.
(b)Each employee in the immediate area of stump grinding operations including the stump cutter operator) must wear personal protective equipment as required by Division 2/I.
(5)Gas powered saws. Gas powered saw operations must meet the requirements of 437-007-0405 (Chain Saws) Chain Saws, Division 7; and the following:
(a)Each power saw weighing more than 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds, service weight) that is used in trees must be supported by a separate line, except when work is performed from an aerial lift and except during topping or removing operations where no supporting limb will be available.
(b)Each power saw must be equipped with a control that will return the saw to idling speed when released.
(c)Each power saw must be equipped with a clutch and must be so adjusted that the clutch will not engage the chain drive at idling speed.
(d)A power saw must be started on the ground or where it is otherwise firmly supported. Drop starting of saws over 6.8 kilograms (15 pounds), other than chain saws, is permitted outside of the bucket of an aerial lift only if the area below the lift is clear of personnel. Drop starting chain saws is prohibited.
(e)A power saw engine may be started and operated only when all employees other than the operator are clear of the saw.
(f)A power saw may not be running when the saw is being carried up into a tree by an employee.
(g)Power saw engines must be stopped for all cleaning, refueling, adjustments, and repairs to the saw or motor, except as the manufacturer’s servicing procedures require otherwise.
(6)Backpack power units for use in pruning and clearing.
(a)While a backpack power unit is running, no one other than the operator may be within 3.05 meters (10 feet) of the cutting head of a brush saw.
(b)A backpack power unit must be equipped with a quick shutoff switch readily accessible to the operator.
(c)Backpack power unit engines must be stopped for all cleaning, refueling, adjustments, and repairs to the saw or motor, except as the manufacturer’s servicing procedures require otherwise.
(a)Climbing ropes must be used by employees working aloft in trees. These ropes must have a minimum diameter of 12 millimeters (0.5 inch) with a minimum breaking strength of 10.2 kilonewtons (2,300 pounds). Synthetic rope must have elasticity of not more than 7 percent.
(b)Rope must be inspected before each use and, if unsafe (for example, because of damage or defect), may not be used.
(c)Rope must be stored away from cutting edges and sharp tools. Rope contact with corrosive chemicals, gas, and oil must be avoided.
(d)When stored, rope must be coiled and piled, or must be suspended, so that air can circulate through the coils.
(e)Rope ends must be secured to prevent their unraveling.
(f)Climbing rope may not be repaired by splicing.
(g)A rope that is wet, that is contaminated to the extent that its insulating capacity is impaired, or that is otherwise not considered to be insulated for the voltage involved may not be used near exposed energized lines.
(8)Fall protection. Each employee must be tied in with a climbing rope and safety saddle when the employee is working above the ground in a tree, except when ascending into or descending from the tree.
Rule 437-002-2317 — Line-clearance Tree Trimming,