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ANSI Z133 Safety Standard for the Tree Care Industry

The ANSI Z133 Safety Requirements for Arboricultural Operations, often referred to as the Z133 Safety Standard, are the accepted safety standards for the tree care industry. They provide the current criteria for arborists and other workers engaged in tree care practices.

History of the Z133 Safety Standard

The ANSI Z133 standard was developed in 1971 by the Accredited Standards Committee on Safety in Tree Trimming Operations, Z133. The Z133 Committee was organized in response to the efforts of Ethel M. Hugg of Johnston, NY, who sought to improve conditions for those working in the tree care industry after her son suffered a fatal accident pruning trees.

The Z133 Committee assembled on April 4th, 1968 under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), with the National Arborist Association serving as secretariat. The International Shade Tree Conference would become the secretariat of the committee in November 1969. In 1975, the International Shade Tree Conference changed its name to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

The Z133 Committee included representatives of the tree care industry, labor officials, technical experts, members of the academic community, local and federal governments, equipment manufacturers, insurance carriers, and other interested specialists. From this group, five subcommittees were formed. Each subcommittee focused on developing a specific portion of the original standard. Upon completion, the material from each subcommittee was then combined and submitted to the full committee for review.

An initial draft was submitted for the committee ballot on March 2nd, 1971. A revised draft was unanimously adopted by the committee on July 14th, 1971. It was approved by the American National Standard on December 20th, 1972. Portions of the safety standard were adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the “Telecommunications” Safety and Health Standard 29 CFR Part 1910 – Federal Register, Volume 38, No. 166, August 28th, 1973.

Over the years, minor amendments to the standard have been approved. This has enabled the standard to remain relevant amidst the increased use of technology within the industry.

Contents of the Z133 Safety Standard

The Z133 Safety Standard addresses the following items:

  • General Safety

         – Traffic Control

         – Emergency Procedures and Readiness

         – Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

         – Fire Protection

  • Electrical Hazards

         – Working in Proximity to Electrical Hazards

         – Storm Work and Emergency Conditions

         – Line Clearance

  • Safe Use of Vehicles and Mobile Equipment

         – Aerial Devices

         – Brush Chippers

         – Sprayers and Related Equipment

         – Stump Cutters

         – Vehicles

         – Cranes and Knucklebooms

         – Specialized Units

         – Equipment-Mounted Winches

  • Portable Power Hand Tools

         – Portable Electric Power Tools

         – Chain Saws

         – Powered Pole Tools and Backpack Power Units

  • Hand Tools and Ladders

         – Cant Hooks, Cant Dogs, Peaveys, and Tongs

         – Wedges, Chisels, and Gouges

         – Chopping Tools

         – Ladders

  • General Work Procedures

         – Ropes and Arborist Climbing Equipment

         – Pruning and Trimming

         – Cabling

         – Rigging

         – Tree Removal

         – Brush Removal and Chipping

         – Limbing and Bucking

         – Pesticide Application

         – Mixing Pesticides

         – High-Pressure Air-Excavation Equipment

         – Fertilization & Soil Management

To purchase a copy of the ANSI Z133 Standard, visit: http://www.isa-arbor.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=122.

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