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Five-Minute Meeting: What is the ANSI Z133 Safety Standard?

The ANSI Z133 2017, also known as the American National Standard for Arboricultural Operations – Safety Requirements, is a set of national safety standards that provides the most current and comprehensive safety guidance for arborists in the U.S.

This standard is developed for the arboriculture industry under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) by the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z133.

The secretariat of the Z133 Committee is held by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

On April 4, 1968, the Z133 Committee was organized in response to efforts by Ethel M. Hugg of Johnstown, N.Y., whose son died while trimming trees. This tragic event inspired Hugg to write federal and state authorities, as well as various other organizations, to have measures initiated that would make tree trimming safer.

One committee co-chair of note was ACRT Services founding member Dick Abbott.

Taking a closer look at the ANSI Z133

The first section of the ANSI Z133 2017 details the overall scope, purpose, and application of the document in whole. It notes, the standard includes safety requirements for pruning, repairing, maintaining, and removing trees; cutting brush; and for using equipment in such operations (1.1).

It can be easy for a person to develop their individual preferences when operating job-related equipment — but some of these methods can be risky. That’s why the Z133 standard is so important.

ACRT Arborist Training Instructor Matthew Knull writes about ANSI-related chain saw safety updates in Landscape Business.

Section 1.2 explains the intended purpose of the ANSI Z133 2017 is to provide safety standards for arborists and arboricultural operators, as well as to provide a guide for federal, state, and local authorities in drafting legislation and regulations relating to the field of arboriculture.

Kevin Myers, a contract training supervisor for ACRT Arborist Training, outlines other significant changes to the ANSI Z133 Safety Standard in his Landscape Business article titled, “Clearing Up Incidental Line Clearance.”

The ANSI Z133 2017 serves as a reference guide for working safely in the field. Most importantly, the standard reminds workers that each employee is responsible for their safety while at work. It’s imperative that personnel comply with the appropriate OSHA regulations applicable to their conduct on the job.

ACRT Arborist Training Staff

ACRT Arborist Training provides entry-level through advanced arborist classes and certifications for line clearance companies, government agencies, tree care companies, municipalities, and individuals around the nation.


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