Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor and Employment
Agency 25. Safety and Health Codes Board
Chapter 73. Regulation Applicable to Tree Trimming Operations
1/29/2020

16VAC25-73-80. Hand Tools and Ladders.

A. General.

1. Correct hand tools and equipment shall be selected for the job.

2. Hand tools and equipment that have been made unsafe by damage or defect, including tools with loose or cracked heads or cracked, splintered, or weakened handles, shall be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.

3. Workers shall maintain a safe working distance from other workers when using hand tools and equipment.

4. When climbing into a tree, arborists shall not carry hand tools and equipment in their hands unless the tools are used to assist them in climbing. Tools other than ropes or throwlines shall not be thrown into a tree or between workers aloft.

5. Arborist climbing lines or handlines shall be used for raising and lowering hand tools and equipment. Arborists shall raise or lower hand tools and equipment in a manner such that the cutting edge will not contact the arborist climbing line or handline.

6. Hand tools and equipment shall be properly stored or placed in plain sight out of the immediate work area when not in use.

B. Cant hooks, cant dogs, peaveys, and tongs.

1. The items contained in subsection A of this section shall always be included in the review of this section. Damaged cant hooks, cant dogs, peaveys and tongs shall be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.

2. Cant hooks shall be firmly set before applying force.

3. Points of hooks shall be at least two inches (5 cm) long and kept sharp.

4. Arborists and other workers shall always stand uphill from rolling logs, and all workers shall be warned and in the clear before logs are moved.

C. Wedges, chisels, and gouges.

1. The items contained in subsection A of this section shall always be included in the review of this section.

2. Wedges, chisels, and gouges shall be inspected for cracks and flaws before use. Tools with damaged heads shall be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.

3. Wedges and chisels shall be properly pointed and tempered.

4. Eye protection shall be used during impact operations.

5. Only wood, plastic, or soft-metal wedges shall be used while operating chain saws.

6. Wood-handled chisels shall be protected with a ferrule on the striking end.

7. Wood, rubber, or high-impact plastic mauls, sledges, or hammers shall be used when striking wood-handled chisels or gouges.

D. Chopping tools.

1. The items contained in subsection A of this section shall always be included in the review of this section. Damaged chopping tools shall be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.

2. Chopping tools shall not be used while working aloft.

3. Chopping tools shall not be used as wedges or used to drive metal wedges.

4. Chopping tools shall be swung away from the feet, legs, and body, using the minimum force practical for function and control.

5. When swinging tools such as grub hoes, mattocks, and axes, a secure grip, firm footing, and clearance of workers and overhead hazards shall be maintained.

E. Ladders.

1. The items contained in subsection A of this section shall always be included in the review of this section.

2. Ladders made of metal or other conductive material shall not be used where electrical hazards exist. Only wooden ladders or nonconductive ladders made of synthetic material equal to or exceeding the strength of wooden ladders shall be used. Portable wooden ladders shall be used in accordance with 16VAC25-90-1910.25.

3. Metal ladders used where no electrical hazard exists shall be used in accordance with 16VAC25-90-1910.26.

4. All ladders shall be inspected before use and removed from service if found defective, and tagged until repaired or discarded.

5. Cleats, metal points, skid-resistant feet, lashing, or other effective means of securing the ladder shall be used.

6. Ladders shall not be used as bridges or inclined planes to load or handle logs or other material.

7. Ladders shall be supported while in storage to prevent sagging. Except when on mobile equipment, ladders shall be stored under suitable cover, protected from the weather, and kept in a dry location away from excessive heat.

8. The third, or hinged, leg of a tripod/orchard ladder shall be braced or fastened when on hard or slick surfaces.

9. All ladders shall be used in accordance to the manufacturers' specifications and limitations and shall not be altered in a way that contradicts those specifications and limitations.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 27, Issue 15, eff. April 27, 2011.

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