Safety Training Day

December 16, 2011

The Stewardship Department had our annual safety training this week.  Several years ago, Natural Lands Trust set out to protect its most important resource:  the employees.  It set up a safety committee that reviews incidents, and sets up safety policies.  As part of that process, equipment, buildings, and trees at Mariton all get separate safety audits at least once a year, with follow ups as necessary.

Another part of the safety strategy is that the Stewardship Staff have safety training days.  When you consider that we participate in two of the top five most dangerous work enviornments:  logging (we use chainsaws regularly) and agriculture (tractors are our work horses), our staff has an amazing safety record. 

The first workshop of the day was “Working Alone”.  We all work alone a fair amount, and safety is critical when no one is around to watch your back.  While several things were presented to consider, the staff added their personal tips and procedures when working alone. 

Ladder safety was another topic.  Besides the standard do’s and don’t’s, the staff again contributed their personal experience. 

Knot tying was another topic.  We have two climbers on staff for the off-the-ground tree work.  When they are working in a tree, there is someone assigned to be their ground person.  That person has the responsibility of sending up equipment like saws, swinging down limbs, and maintaining the climber’s line.  So, we reivewed the knots the climbers prefer for sending up saws, ropes, etc.  There was time afterwards to practice.  Here Tom Kershner, NLT’s arborist, is working with Stroud Preserve Manager, Fred Gender, on a bowline knot. 

After lunch we did a review on tire safety and maintenance.  That was followed by a review on towing trailers. Since there are new trucks and trailers in the NLT system, it is a good time to review these items.

The safety workshops are a great tool for us.  Plus, they come just as we get ready to prepare next year’s budgets.  It is a good time to think about purchasing safety items, and replacing equipment.