Tree Surgery and Employing Young People


28th August 2019 | Info

How mature were you at 18? Throughout your first day on the job, did you get shouted at all day long?

Look, we were all there once. If you worked for a professional tree surgeon who cared about you and your safety (and if you were tough enough to take the constant screaming and shouting at you), then it probably made you the person you are today -and are probably still a tree surgeon! You were also lucky enough to have got through your career in one piece.

We are all complacent. Whether it’s driving to work or being at work, our minds wander, and we probably get away with a lot more than we should!

If you work in an office or a shop, then you are very unlikely to encounter extremely dangerous situations in your day to day activities… unlike when you’re a tree surgeon.

Let’s take a minute to think of all the dangerous situations we encounter day-to-day in the tree surgery industry:

  • Driving to work, towing machinery.
  • When you get out of your vehicle, adjacent to a busy road.
  • When you work next to a busy road.
  • Branches falling from tree surgery activities all day long.
  • Noise that prevents you from hearing these objects falling from a
  • Using a chainsaw and other high-hazard machinery.
  • Tree climbing and working at a height.

… and the list goes on.

From childhood, we are told off for doing all those things that our parents try to protect us from, and from getting hurt by! When we are told off, we get frustrated and quite often don’t understand it…even though it’s for our own safety.

Now think about that young person, fresh out of their tree surgery course, thinking that they are going to take over the world and that they know everything about tree surgery already. They have no idea how hazardous the tree industry is and probably won’t take kindly to being shouted at all day long.

So, let’s make it a little easier him/her.

If you run a professional tree surgery company, then this is probably already in hand.

However, if you are relatively new to tree work yourself and have little experience in employing people, then maybe start having a little think about the best way to approach this subject. It really could save a life and will probably help you establish a better relationship between you and your new arborist.

Here are a couple tips…

  • Explain the various aspects of the tree industry and all the things that they could’ve never learnt in college.
  • Tell them that you may shout at them from time to time, but that it is for their, and everyone else’s, safety.
  • Explain how the climber cannot always see the groundsman.
  • Explain how walking around in a daze is extremely dangerous.
  • Explain how important it is to make sure a climber knows if someone is walking under the tree that they’re up.
  • Try to keep them off their phone until break time.
  • Get them into a good working routine from the outset.

… and the list goes on again.

We’d highly recommend keeping this list going if only in your head, to make a better working relationship between yourself (the employer) and your employees. It’s not a question of them against us, but more of making our working environment a better and safer place for all. We all spend most of our time at work, so when people are unhappy it makes for an uncomfortable atmosphere, and people become less efficient.

Communication between staff and employers is key, and while it is important to be strict and have good routines, it is also important to be understanding as this will lead to a more productive and profitable business for everyone involved.

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