Background With the change in climate, storms are increasing in many parts of the world. One of the most challenging tasks in terms on occupational safety in these situations is removing storm fallen trees that have tensions. This work has more risks than usual and is also rather difficult to train. At the same time, it is often done by rescue workers or power company employees using a chain saw.
Methods We surveyed the types of situations in which chain saw work leads to injuries and how often these situations are affected by the trees been damaged or having abnormal tensions. Very often such conditions are met by Fire & Rescue crews clearing roads and other areas from trees that a storm has fallen. A number of workshops were arranged to collect the knowledge from a group of experienced experts.
Results Based on the workshops a two part training program was developed. To make the training effective, two simulators were designed. The other one is based on a commercial product, while the other one was designed and drawn by engineers in close cooperation with the research team. In the first simulator, cutting trees under tension is trained in a safe environment. The other simulator is used in further training and can be used to train removing trees fallen on power lines, houses, cars and other similar places.
Conclusions Fire and Rescue services, as well as others can improve their level of occupational safety in removing difficult trees. Using a chain saw to remove a tree with abnormal tensions requires both knowledge and adequate practice. This can be achieved through training and the simulators make training both safe and productive.
- Tree removal methods
- Chain saw
- occupational safety
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