• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Proposed Rule
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Tree Care Operations
[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 113 (Monday, June 13, 2016)][Proposed Rules][Pages 38117-38119]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-13844]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. OSHA-2008-0012]
RIN 1218-AC40

Tree Care Operations

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 
Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of stakeholder meeting.


SUMMARY: OSHA invites interested parties to participate in an informal 
stakeholder meeting concerning tree care operations on July 13, 2016, 
in Washington, DC. This meeting is a continuation of OSHA's information 
collection on tree care operations. OSHA plans to use the information 
gathered at this meeting, together with other information in the 
record, to explore the possible development of a proposed standard to 
protect workers from hazards, fatalities, and injuries in tree care 

DATES: Stakeholder meeting: The stakeholder meeting will be from 9 a.m. 
to 5 p.m., Tuesday, July 13, 2016.
Deadline for registering to participate in or observe the 
stakeholder meeting: You must submit (postmark, send, transmit) your 
registration by Friday, July 1, 2016. If space remains after the 
deadline, OSHA may allow additional participants and observers. 
Individuals who submit their registration after July 1, 2016, may not 
receive confirmation from OSHA and should contact Ms. Amy Wangdahl (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to confirm space is available.

ADDRESSES: Stakeholder meeting: The stakeholder meeting will be held in 
Room C-5515-1A/1B, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Washington, DC 20210.
Registration to participate in or observe the stakeholders meeting: 
Submit your registration to participate in or observe the stakeholder 
meeting using one of the methods below:
Electronic: Register at: https://projects.erg.com/conferences/osha/register-osha-tree-meeting.htm. (Follow the instructions online.)
Facsimile: Fax your request to (202) 693-1663, labeled "Attention: 
Tree Care Operations Stakeholder Meeting Registration."
Regular mail, express delivery, hand (courier) delivery, and 
messenger service: Submit your registration to OSHA Tree Care 
Operations Stakeholder Meeting Registration, Attention: Ms. Amy 
Wangdahl, OSHA, Room N-3621, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, 
DC 20210. Due to security related procedures, receipt of registration 
by regular mail may experience significant delays.
For additional information about registering for the stakeholder 
meeting see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice are available at: 
http://www.regulations.gov. This notice, as well as news releases and 
other relevant information, also are available on the OSHA Web page at: 

    Press inquiries: Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of 
Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: 
    General and technical information: Ms. Amy Wangdahl, Director, 
Office of Maritime and Agriculture, OSHA Directorate of Standards and 
Guidance, Room N-3621, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2066, email: 


I. Background

    Tree care operations, such as tree trimming and removal, expose 
workers to a number of dangerous hazards. These dangers include falling 
from trees or aerial equipment; being hit by falling trees/branches, 
flying objects and vehicular traffic; being cut by high-speed chain 
saws and chippers; and coming into contact with energized power lines. 
The hazards present in tree care operations have resulted in many 
fatalities and serious injuries, such as falls, being struck by falling 
objects, and electrocutions. On December 8, 2008, OSHA issued an 
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking information on 
tree care operations (73 FR 54118 (9/18/2008), Docket No. OSHA-2008-
0012). The Agency requested data, information, and comment on the 
hazards present in tree care operations as well as the measures to 
control those hazards and reduce the high rate of incidents, injuries, 
and fatalities. OSHA received 69 comments in response to the ANPR.
    Based upon those responses, other information in the record and a 
review of data and scientific literature, OSHA is considering what 
action, if any, the Agency should take to control hazards related to 
tree care operations. One option the Agency is considering is 
developing a standard to eliminate or reduce workers' exposure to 
hazards when they perform tree care tasks such as trimming and removing 
branches and trees; using tree care equipment (e.g., chain saws, 
chippers, ladders) and vehicles (e.g., bucket trucks, aerial lifts); 
removing tree stumps; and disposing of branches, brush and trees.
    The Agency believes that an informal discussion with a diverse 
range of stakeholders (e.g., employers, tree care companies, workers, 
labor organization, tree care and arboriculture organizations, 
occupational safety and health professionals, equipment manufacturers, 
government, the public) would be beneficial in determining how to 
proceed in eliminating and reducing hazards in tree care operations.

II. Stakeholder Meeting

    The stakeholder meeting will be interactive group discussions on 
participants' views, concerns, and issues on tree care hazards and how 
best to control them. To encourage as much group interaction as 
possible, formal presentations by stakeholders will not be permitted.
    The stakeholder meeting discussions will center on a variety of 
tree care topics, including fall, struck-by (e.g., falling branches/
trees, vehicular traffic) and electrical hazards; climbing and working 
in trees; tree trimming and removal; rigging; personal protection 
equipment (PPE); safe use of tools, equipment, machines and vehicles; 
effective engineering and work practice controls; and medical service 
and first aid. The stakeholder meeting also will include in-depth 
discussions on specific issues, such as the following:
     Fatalities and injuries: As mentioned, fatalities in tree 
care operations primarily result from falls, being struck by falling 
objects or vehicles, and electrocutions. What are the primary causes, 
circumstances and factors that have led to those and other types of 
fatalities and injuries in your company and in the tree care industry? 
What actions does your company take when an accident, fatality or 
injury occurs (e.g., accident review, job hazard analysis, safety 
meetings, training)?
     New technology in the tree care industry: What new 
technology, equipment, machines, vehicles and work practices are 
currently being used in the tree care industry? What new technology has 
your company found to be effective in controlling hazards and 
preventing tree care workers from being killed or injured?
     National consensus and State Plan State standards: ANSI 
standards applicable to tree care operations include ANSI Z133 Safety 
Requirements for Arboricultural Operations and the ANSI A300 Standards 
for tree care operations. In addition, five states have issued 
standards on tree care operations: California, Maryland, Michigan, 
Oregon, and Virginia. What provisions and requirements in these state 
standards has your company found to be particularly effective in 
controlling and preventing hazards in tree care operations, and which 
provisions/requirements should OSHA consider?
     Vehicles and mobile equipment: To what extent and 
frequency does your company and the tree care industry now use vehicles 
and mobile equipment (e.g., bucket trucks, aerial lifts, cranes) to 
perform tree care operations? What are the best practices for, as well 
as concerns with, using vehicles and mobile equipment in tree care 
operations? What controls (e.g., engineering controls, PPE) and safety 
practices has your company implemented to protect workers operating and 
working on and near vehicles and mobile equipment?
     Information and training. What occupational safety and 
health information and training does your company or the tree care 
industry provide to workers? What topics does the training cover? What 
does your company do to ensure workers understand the information and 
training? For example, how do you communicate information so temporary 
workers, non-English speaking workers, and workers with limited 
literacy understand it?

III. Public Participation

    The stakeholder meeting will accommodate approximately 30 
participants. In addition, as space permits, interested persons may 
observe, rather than participate in, the meeting. To participate in or 
observe the stakeholder meeting you must register electronically, by 
facsimile, or by hard copy. To receive confirmation to participate in 
or observe the meeting, register as soon as possible and by July 1, 
2016. If space is still available after that date, registration for 
participating in or observing the meeting will remain open. However, 
late registrants may not receive confirmation and should contact Ms. 
Wangdahl to confirm that space is available. As space permits, OSHA 
will accommodate observers who do not register for the meeting.
    To register electronically, follow the instructions provided on the 
Web site. To register by hard copy or facsimile, please provide the 
following information:
     Professional Title;
     Organization for which you work or represent;
     Email address;
     The interest you represent (e.g., tree care employer/
company; worker; labor organization; trade or professional association/
organization; insurance company; manufacturer; government; public).
     The type of participation: Participant at the main table 
("I will actively discuss topics that come up"); observer making 
comments ("I may have limited comments on one or more key areas"); 
observer only ("I will not be speaking"); Press.
     If necessary, OSHA may select participants in order to 
ensure the meeting includes a fair representation of interests and 
diverse viewpoints. OSHA staff will participate in discussions with the 
stakeholder participants and Eastern Research Group (ERG), Inc., will 
facilitate the meeting. In addition, ERG will compile notes summarizing 
the stakeholder discussions, but the notes will not identify 
participants by name. ERG also will make an audio recording solely for 
the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of the summary notes. The 
recording will not be transcribed or put in the public docket. The 
summary notes will be posted in the Tree Care Operations docket (Docket 
No. OSHA-2008-0012) and will be available at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as news 
releases and other relevant documents, are available on the OSHA Web 
page at: http://www.osha.gov.

Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of David Michaels, 
Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health, and under authority granted by 29 U.S.C. 651, 653, and 655; 
Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912); and 29 CFR part 

    Signed at Washington, DC, on June 6, 2016.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2016-13844 Filed 6-10-16; 8:45 am]