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Achieving a Culture of Safety

Click to view the UAA safety metric spreadsheet as seen in the May/June Newsline



2019 Indiana Safety Summit Best Practices

Click to download the PowerPoint Presentation

2019 MT Safety Summit Best Practices

Click to download the PowerPoint Presentation

2019 Toronto Safety Summit

Click to download the PowerPoint Presentation


Wright Tree Service Launches Fourth Safety Training Video

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Des Moines, Iowa – August 15, 2017 – Wright Tree Service launched a new safety training video, “Fall Hazard Awareness.” This video is the fourth in a series of safety training videos released by Wright Tree Service to encourage safe work practices and emphasize the importance of safety in the utility vegetation management industry.

“Fall Hazard Awareness” discusses several steps to follow to avoid falling while working on a jobsite. The video highlights a pre-job survey to identify potential hazards, proper tie in at all times, proper footing, three points of contact when entering or exiting a piece of equipment or vehicle, and emphasizes the Wright Tree Service Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper motto.

The video is targeted to new employees at Wright Tree Service but is also intended to be useful for all employees as well as others in the utility vegetation management industry and the general public.

“Wright Tree Service is proud to release our fourth safety training video, said Will Nutter, president and chief operating officer. “Our entire safety video series is intended to provide consistent training to employees on subjects that directly relate to the hazards they could encounter when on a jobsite. We are excited to release it to our employees and continue putting a strong emphasis on our company’s number one value of safety. Our goal is to continue educating employees so they can go home safe.”

”Fall Hazard Awareness”, along with the entire Wright Tree Service safety training video series, is available in both English and Spanish at www.wrighttree.com/safetyvideos. A fifth safety training video is set to release in 2018.

About Wright Tree Service

Wright Tree Service is an employee-owned company offering the entire package of vegetation management services, including integrated vegetation management, storm restoration, and work planning services to utility companies and their communities across the country. Our operations are guided by a set of values: safety, integrity, quality, teamwork, innovation, and family. Since our founding in 1933, our commitment to safety has always been our highest value.

For more information please contact Sara Harpenau at 515-271-1135 orsharpenau@wrightservicecorp.com.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published their Interim Final Rule (IFR) regarding the “Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level Driver Training” rule. The IFR extends the compliance date for the rule from February 7, 2020, to February 7, 2022

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The two-year extension applies to all requirements, as opposed to the partial delay that was proposed last July, established by the ELDT final rule, including: 

  1. The date by which training providers must begin uploading driver-specific training certification information into the TPR, an electronic database that will contain ELDT information; 
  2. The date by which SDLAs must confirm that applicants for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have complied with ELDT requirements prior to taking a specified knowledge or skills test;
  3. The date by which training providers wishing to provide ELDT must be listed on the TPR; and
  4. The date by which drivers seeking a CDL or endorsement must complete the required training, as set forth in the ELDT final rule.



“Thinking Safety Isn’t Good Enough”

By Mark Kimbrough

I saw this picture the other day and it made me think... [read more]

I saw this picture the other day and it made me think about what the phrase really means. I realized is that thinking safety is not good enough. How many times have you been on a crew and pointed out a safety violation that is happening or happened and the employee says, “Yea, I thought about that but didn’t want to say anything because he is my boss, or he is my friend, or I didn’t want to embarrass him/her, etc.?”  These are the key moments in a safety culture that we need to identify as a safety team and try to change. THINK SAFETY and TELL ME. These two safety mottos go more hand in hand than I thought before I saw that ironic picture.

A safety group cannot make people be safe. We can write them up, we can take awards away, we can even take money away by mandating time off, but that doesn’t always necessarily change a person’s attitude or culture towards safety. We need to be examples, leaders, mentors, coaches and even cheerleaders of safety. Our focus can become contagious if we go about it the right way. We need to explain the process of “thinking safety” beyond giving them a shirt and a pat on the back and telling them to hold on to their hat so it doesn’t blow away when they are doing 60 mph in the back of a Mazda.

We talk a lot about focusing on the task at hand, or to remain focused on being safe. When I was working on this safety message I googled  “don’t just think safety” and found an article that exemplified exactly what I thought when I saw Johnny Safety in the back of that truck. It was written by D.L. Brewer III, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy Commander, Military Sealift Command at http://www.msc.navy.mil/sealift/2002/November/comments.htm. Here is a great quote from the article that breaks down the thought process about focusing on the task at hand. He calls it “formalized common sense.”

“For a simple example, let’s lift a heavy box. First, we’ll look at the hazards associated with the task. The primary one that comes to mind is personal injury. We could get hurt. So we assess the risks of lifting the box and determine that the task could result in anything from a simple muscle strain to a ruptured disk, or worse. The hazards are very real. Now it’s time to decide whether the benefits of lifting the box outweigh the risks. The task has to be done. Do we know the correct way to lift the box so we won’t hurt ourselves? If so, then let’s get on with it. We can use a back brace harness; we can lift the box with our legs instead of our back; we can ask for help if the box is just too heavy. Those are the controls. All that remains is to lift the box, making sure we’re doing it correctly.”

Admiral Brewer talks about the process in 5 steps:

  1. Identify the hazard
  2. Assess the risks
  3. Weigh the risks
  4. Control the risks
  5. Supervise the action

Now, let’s spread the culture of safety.

Mark Kimbrough



Safety First: A Documentary of Safety in the Vegetation Industry

A core value of the Utility Arborist Association is producing a culture of safety. We are dedicated to the safety of those affected by the vegetation industry – employees at a utility company, the contractors that support the utilities, private tree companies, friends and family of employees, and the general public who depend on reliable electrical power every day. This video shares the stories of three men whose lives were affected by working in the vegetation industry. Please share with your families, both at work and at home, and remember to stay safe.

Also, please take a moment to watch the UAA’s own safety video created in July 2017 with the help of our sponsors: United PowerUnitilACRTECIWright TreeAsplundhArborMetricsIntegrity TreePG&Eand Duke Energy!

Why are you Hard to Hurt?

What is your reason to get home at night! Is it a friend, a spouse/partner, a parent or a pet!?!

Thank you to our friends at Duke Energy and Townsend for sharing this wonderful video!


Take a moment to watch the video here, that simulates what to do in a situation with downed power lines.

Feel free to share this as it could save a life!

Thank you to Davey Tree Expert and Puget Sound Energy for sharing this with the UAA.


The course is available on the main page of Vivid Learning and will go through the “what to do’s” of being involved in an active shooter situation

Click to watch:


Vegetation growing in the wrong place can create public and worker safety hazards, initiate devastating fires, and much more. Overgrown vegetation can prevent utility workers from seeing dangers, such as damaged facilities and gas leaks. Vegetation that isn’t properly maintained can also prevent workers from accessing facilities to make necessary repairs.

Overgrown vegetation growing in and around electric facilities can also create risks to uniformed or unaware property owners and improperly trained tree workers. The stories of homeowners and local tree care workers injured or killed by coming in contact with power lines are all too common.

For more information on the risk posed by working near power lines, watch a great video produced by Xcel Energy.

Climbers rope fed into a chipper (simulation only) 

A safety video shared by CalLine Equipment in Livermore, CA on what happens when a climbers rope becomes tangled and fed into a chipper (simulation)