This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations
from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the
convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information
is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at https://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.
Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 3. General Plant Equipment and Special Operations
Article 12. Tree Work, Maintenance or Removal
(a) Tree workers' saddles shall be approved for their intended use as defined in Section 3206 of these orders. All load bearing components of a climbing system shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds.
EXCEPTION: Equipment such as a mechanical ascending device, provided that it is used with a secondary device that meets the minimum tensile strength requirements of this subsection.
(b) Tree worker saddles, work positioning lanyards and climbing lines shall be designed by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing. This climbing equipment shall not be altered in a manner that would compromise the integrity of the equipment.
(c) Climbing lines shall be designed by the manufacturer to support the climber while aloft in a tree. Climbing lines shall be constructed from a synthetic fiber with a minimum rated tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.24 kilonewtons [kN]) and shall have a minimum diameter of 1/2 inch (12.7 mm). Maximum working elongation shall not exceed seven percent at a load of 500 pounds (2.22 kN).
EXCEPTION: Climbing line not less than 7/16 inch (11 mm) in diameter may be used when all of the following conditions are met: 1) the strength and elongation requirements meet that of 1/2 inch diameter climbing line; 2) the climbing line is identified by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing and is used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and; 3) the employee has been trained in its use.
(d) Prusik loops, split tails, and work-positioning lanyards used in a tree climbing system shall meet the minimum strength requirements for tree climbing lines.
(e) Equipment used to secure the tree worker in the tree or aerial lift shall not be used for anything other than its intended purpose.
EXCEPTION: The climbing line may be used to raise and lower tools.
(f) If a climbing line is used for any purpose other than to support the worker aloft or for use as permitted in subsection (e), it shall not be used again to serve as a tree worker's climbing line.
(g) Climbing lines shall never be left in trees unattended when there is no qualified tree worker at the job site location.
(h) Rope ends shall be finished in a manner to prevent raveling.
(i) Rope and climbing equipment shall be stored and transported in a manner that prevents damage by contact with sharp tools and cutting edges, gas, oil and chemicals.
(1) When stored, rope shall be coiled and piled, or shall be suspended, so that air can circulate through the coils.
(j) Ropes, climbing equipment, tackle blocks and pulleys shall be inspected for damage, cuts, abrasions and/or deterioration before each use that involves re-rigging or moving the climbing system. Defective equipment and components shall be immediately removed from service.
(k) Climbing lines shall not be spliced to effect repair.
(l) Climbing spurs shall be of the tree-climbing type and shall have gaffs of the type and length suitable for the tree being climbed.