UAA Safety Committee Update 2013

September 29, 2013

By Will Nutter, Safety Committee Chair

This article was published in the September/October 2013 Utility Arborist Newsline.

In 2012 a survey was sent asking what you felt was important as UAA members. Many of you responded that you were interested in improving and learning more about safety in our industry, and public safety.

As a result, our UAA Executive Committee agreed unanimously to include industry and public safety in the 2012/2013 Strategic Plan through the formation of a Safety Committee.

Having served on the Education Committee for the past six years and the Executive Committee for the past four years, I was in a great position to volunteer to chair the committee.

At our UAA Luncheon in Portland, anyone interested in joining a committee could volunteer, and the committee chair would contact them to confirm it was a good fit. More than 20 members showed an interest in joining the Safety Committee, and I reached out to everyone who showed an interest. On November 30 we had our first call.

The committee is represented by three utilities, five contractors, three consultants, one equipment manufacturer, and members of the UAA staff and Executive Committee. Committee members represent all of North America, including Canada and the Pacific Rim. In the same spirit of the Safety Summits, all committee members approach the meetings by leaving the company they represent “at the door” and working as a team to improve safety and educate our members.

The members quickly went to work on shaping the content and how it would be communicated to the membership. The consensus was to create a section of the UAA website for safety related topics, including:

• Monthly public photo of a safety infraction, asking what is wrong

• Quiz on a safety article for CEUs

• “Ask the expert” section where safety experts respond to questions

• Safety tailboards/tailgates – monthly, seasonal and transitional information

• UVM incidents and near misses – root cause analysis review

• Storm/weather safety – first responder training

• Industry training materials – BMPs

• OSHA awareness information

• Safety Summit results and articles, and a schedule of upcoming summits

• Safety related links

Some content has already been posted to the website ( We are meeting by conference call every 4-6 weeks, and as material is approved, information will continue to grow.

The goal is to have good content that is useful to the membership. Feedback is very important to us, so if you see something you like or notice something that is missing, let us know. Even though company names are checked at the door, the box above contains a list of members for you to reach out to.

We look forward to contributing to the improvement of a safer industry, but we need your help. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Take this information and get it where it needs to go: our field workers.