Code of Maryland Regulations
Title 09 - MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Subtitle 12 - DIVISION OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Chapter 09.12.28 - Tree Care and Removal
09.12.28.06 - Work Practices
09.12.28.06. Work Practices
A. The following work practices shall be implemented:
(1) Communication between employees aloft and on the ground shall be established before cutting and dropping limbs;
(2) Scabbards or sheaths shall be used to carry handsaws when not in use;
(3) Folding saws, when not in use, shall be closed and hooked to the arborist saddle;
(4) A separate workline shall be attached to limbs that cannot be dropped safely or controlled by hand;
(5) Arborist climbing lines and worklines may not be secured to the same crotch; and
(6) Cut branches shall be removed from the canopy of the tree upon completion of work.
(1) Employees on the ground may not enter under the drop zone of a tree when a cabling system is being installed, unless the employee aloft has established it is safe to do so.
(2) Tools used for cabling, bark tracing, and cavity work shall be carried in a bag, on a belt designed to hold such tools, or attached to a tool lanyard.
(3) Employees installing cabling systems in trees shall be positioned off to one side in order to avoid injury in case of cable system failure that could occur when a block and tackle or a hand winch is released.
C. Tree Removal.
(1) Before beginning any tree removal operation, the employer shall carefully consider all relevant factors pertaining to the tree and site and shall take appropriate actions to assure a safe removal operation, including the following factors:
(a) The area surrounding the tree to be removed, including nearby trees;
(b) Species and shape of the tree;
(c) Lean of the tree;
(d) Loose limbs, chunks, or other overhead material;
(e) Wind force and direction;
(f) Decayed or weak spots throughout the tree, including awareness of additional hazards if these conditions exist in the hinge area;
(g) Location and means to protect other persons, property, and electrical conductors;
(h) Size and terrain characteristics or limitations of the work area; and
(i) Evidence of bees or wildlife habitation in the tree.
(2) Employees not directly involved in the removal operation shall be beyond the area where the tree could fall and at a minimum distance of twice the tree's height as practicable.
(3) An escape route free from debris and other obstructions for employees shall be established before cutting any standing tree or trunk.
(4) The following shall be implemented:
(a) Notches shall be used on all trees and trunks greater than 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) in diameter;
(b) Notches and back cuts shall be made at a height that enables the chain saw operator to safely begin the cut, control the tree or trunk, and allows for escape;
(c) Notches shall be 45 degrees or greater and large enough to guide the fall of the tree or trunk to prevent splitting;
(d) Notch depth may not exceed 1/3 the diameter of the tree;
(e) The back cut may not penetrate into the predetermined hinge area;
(f) Any back cut shall be 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) above the apex of the notch to provide an adequate platform to prevent kickback of the tree or trunk;
(g) An open-face notch greater than 70 degrees shall have a back cut at the same level as the apex of the notch;
(h) The two cuts that form the notch may not cross at the point where they meet;
(i) In accordance with the job briefing requirements of Regulation .05I of this chapter, the designated employee shall give a command such as "stand clear" before the back cut is made; and
(j) When the back cut has been completed, the employee operating the chain saw shall immediately move a safe distance away from the tree or trunk using the planned escape route.
D. Brush Removal and Chipping.
(1) Loose clothing, climbing equipment, body belts, harnesses, lanyards, or gauntlet-type gloves may not be worn while operating chippers.
(2) Brush and logs shall be fed into chippers, butt or cut end first, from the side of the feed table center line, and the employee shall immediately turn away from the feed table when brush is taken into the rotor or feed rollers.
(3) Chippers shall be fed from the curbside whenever practical.
(4) Foreign material, such as stones, nails, sweepings, and rakings, may not be fed into chippers.
(5) Small branches shall be fed into chippers with longer branches or by being pushed with a long stick.
(6) Hands or other parts of the body may not be placed into the infeed hopper.
(7) Leaning into or pushing material into the infeed hopper with feet is prohibited;
(8) The winch cable used in chipper operations shall be properly stored before initiating chipper operations.
E. The following pesticide measures shall be followed during the pesticide application:
(1) Pesticides shall be used and applied in strict accordance with the Pesticide Applicator's Law, Agriculture Article, §§ 5-201 -5-211, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 15.05.01.01B-15.05.01.20B;
(2) An adequate potable water source shall be provided at the work site for emergency personal decontamination; and
(3) Water for decontamination and drinking shall be kept in separate containers.