ArborTimes Winter 2023

6 Tips for Building a First Aid Kit By Daniel Terrill

When a job involves cutting trees with a chainsaw and dodging falling branches, it goes without saying that there’s an inherent risk to the work. While every precaution can be taken, accidents still happen, so it’s essential to be prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit. The chal- lenge in the tree care industry, though, is that there is no industry-specific list of medical supplies to have on hand. Ac- cording to OSHA, the tree care industry has a fatality rate 30 times higher than the national average and suffers approx- imately 1,100 injuries annually. This article offers tips on how to build a first aid kit that complies with the law and actually supplies the crew with what is needed in the field. For this article, we looked at regula- tions published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and industry standards issued by the American National Standards Institute; we also talked to experts like John Ball, Ph.D., BCMA, CTSP, who is a known expert in arboricultural operations and teaches forestry at South Dakota State University, and Dave Stice, who has nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, is certified in SPRAT level 1, ISA Certified Arborist, Wilderness First Responder, Rope Rescue Technician level, and owns Wes Spur, an arborist safety gear and equipment supplier, to learn how to build a first aid kit for ar- boricultural operations. Tree care companies should build their own first aid kits in order to have better familiarity with the contents.

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