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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 3. General Plant Equipment and Special Operations
Article 12. Tree Work, Maintenance or Removal
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§3421. General.

(a) An Injury and Illness Prevention Program shall be implemented and maintained in accordance with Section 3203 of these Orders.

(b) Each work location where tree trimming, tree repairing or removal is to be done, shall be under the direction of a qualified tree worker.

(c) Employees shall be trained and instructed in areas that include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) The hazards involved in their job assignments.

(2) The proper and safe use of all equipment, including, but not limited to, safety equipment and personal protective equipment.

(3) The identification of, and preventive measures relating to, common poisonous plants and harmful animals.

(4) Operations that include pesticide and fertilizer applications for employers whose employees are exposed to, or engage in, such operations.

(5) The recognition and avoidance of electrical hazards applicable to employee job assignments including the instructions and training outlined in Section 3423 for tree work performed in proximity to energized power lines and conductors.

(d) Training shall be documented by the employer to certify that the employee has satisfactorily completed the training program prior to performing the job assignment without the oversight and observation of a qualified person.

(e) The employer shall provide refresher or additional training on applicable provisions of this standard for any employee who has:

(1) Been observed to violate the requirements of this Article;

(2) Been involved in an accident or near miss incident; or

(3) Receives a new job assignment that includes the use of equipment, machinery, tools or safety-related work practices that the employee is unfamiliar with.

(f) A job briefing shall be conducted by a qualified tree worker before each work assignment is begun. Such job briefing shall include the description of the hazards unique to the work assignment, the appropriate work procedures to be followed, the appropriate personal protective equipment needed, and any other items necessary to ensure that the work can be accomplished safely. Additional job briefings shall be held if significant changes which might affect the safety of the employees occur during the course of the work.

(g) All equipment shall be operated by qualified persons, and where required, qualified tree workers.

(h) Except for the inspections required by Sections 3422(j) and 3424(a)(2), all other equipment and safety devices shall be inspected prior to daily use by a qualified tree worker and any found to be defective shall be immediately repaired or removed from service.

(i) An adequate supply of potable water shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of Section 3363 of these Orders.

(j) Where vehicular or pedestrian traffic may endanger employees, traffic control shall be provided that conforms to the requirements of Sections 1598 and 1599 of the Construction Safety Orders.

(k) Internal combustion engine fuel tanks shall be refilled in accordance with Section 3319 of these Orders.

(l) The employer shall establish rescue procedures and provide training in emergency response. Training in aerial rescue procedures shall be provided for employees whose job assignments may require them to perform aerial rescues.

(m) The employer shall provide training in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). For field work involving two or more employees at a work location at least two trained persons in first aid and CPR shall be available. All new employees shall be trained in first aid and CPR within 90 days of their hiring dates. First aid and CPR training shall be performed by a certified instructor and shall be equal to that of the American Red Cross or the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

(n) When employees are required to work in areas in which the noise levels exceed the allowable standards for occupational noise, the employer shall provide hearing protection and training as required in Article 105 of these Orders.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 8-8-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 32).

2. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (h) filed 4-2-92 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 92, No. 14).

3. Amendment filed 9-25-2012; operative 10-25-2012 (Register 2012, No. 39).

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