OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 39 Tree Care Operations

Section 794 Fall protection and work positioning

In instances where a worker must climb into a tree to perform work, it may not be reasonably practicable to comply with the fall protection requirements of section 139. If this is the case, the employer must ensure that a worker uses a work positioning system. Work positioning systems support a worker so that the worker’s hands are free when he or she reaches the work position. Fall protection systems either “catch” a worker in mid-air, preventing the worker from contacting a lower surface (fall arrest system), or prevent a worker from reaching an edge from which he or she could fall (travel restraint system).

Work in trees is a strenuous, dynamic activity that involves the worker seamlessly and constantly switching from work positioning to fall protection to work positioning. Most often the worker is using his or her equipment as a work positioning system, with ropes, lanyards and lifelines in tension, limiting fall distances to a minimum.