Steve Fassbender of Lewis Tree Service delivered two riveting talks on Drop Zone Safety at the July 18 CTPA Summer Meeting. These talks are part of CTPA’s ongoing effort to promote safety in tree care. Steve’s message was particularly effective as so much of it came from his personal experience and his desire to help people avoid future accidents. It also presented attendees with an innovative approach towards preventing a particular type of accident – that which can occur when large pieces of wood are being dropped by someone aloft in the tree and a ground worker unwittingly enters into the drop zone beneath this worker aloft.
Tree workers being struck by cut limbs is the most common cause of fatalities in the tree care industry, responsible for 39% of all deaths. Over the past decade, Lewis Tree has taken the lead in establishing the first drop zone safety policy. Lewis’s work has set the standard for the industry and the company has contributed to the language that is now part of the ANSI Z133 Safety Standard. An article published in the CTPA Summer Newsletter, authored by Steve Fassbender and Doug Pistawka (of Eversource), outlines the history of the drop zone safety concept. Individuals wishing to know more about safe practices regarding the drop zone, including how to establish a drop zone on the job site, are encouraged to read this article.
It has also been reported that more and more vendors, including CTPA Allied Members, are now selling the distinctively colored drop zone safety cones that are recommended for use in designating the perimeter of the drop zone.