At TFT we are busy with a full cohort of students some who are graduating as trade and Diploma level arborists and some who are just beginning their journey.Any tree particularly if it is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist will be a very happy tree indeed. Hopefully after last month’s edition you will have had a chance to consider your workplace chipper operations and safety practices and that you continue to realise that you are part of a profession which is a bit like a family, made up from some of the most wonderful individuals involved in the arboricultural industry the world over, that generally have one thing in common – regardless of any conflicting values and opinions which often result in the experts not always agreeing with each other – the common factor is that they all care about trees.
Stump Grinder Training And CertificationThe Subject that I would like to share with you for this issue involves the requirements for Stump Grinder training and certification.AHCARB206 Operate and Maintain Stump Grinding Machines is a nationally recognised industry endorsed unit of competency that covers use of these machines.Operators that are trained and certificated will have a greater understanding in the operation and maintenance of these machines and the end result will be seen in the standard of maintenance and operation.There have been several serious accidents that have occurred over the past few years with these machines and training is often minimal or just not completed by operators, considering the high risk nature of these machines we feel comprehensive training and assessment for operators is essential.I have included a few points for consideration regarding stump grinder maintenance and operation, however this is not intended to be used as a substitute for training and assessment.“It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated.”Before attempting maintenance and operation of any machine ensure that you carry out a risk assessment and implement any relevant control measures.Make sure to read and understand the operator’s manual.
OperationThere should be a plan of operation agreed upon and most importantly communicated to all personnel on site.Take note of any work site issues, emergency procedures, the surroundings, exclusion zones, public access roads and any other issues that may be raised during the on site assessment.
- Check for the proximity of buildings and obstructions and set out an exclusion zone around the work area
- Flying debris can travel in excess of 15m and ricochet off solid objects such as boundary walls and fences so you need to plan for the unexpected suitable screens should be used to contain flying debris
- Check to see if there are any underground services present, ask the client or check out the local phone book for the dial before you dig number if you are unsure
- Inspect the stumps to be removed for any stones or metal that may be embedded in them and remove it prior to grinding if possible
- When loading and unloading the machine from a truck or trailer ensure that ramps of the correct load bearing capacity and of a sufficient length to produce an acceptable angle for loading / unloading that are securely attached to the truck or trailer are used
- Make sure that the machine can be operated on level ground that is firm enough to support its weight
- Ensure to operate at the correct engine or PTO speed
- If the stump is on a slope check out the machine specification and capabilities. (the machine manual will advise on maximum angles of operation)
- Ensure correct fitment or deployment of stabilisers or extra width axles for the machine.
Q.Do Stump Grinder Operators Need A Ticket?A: WHS states that persons must be adequately trained a nationally recognised statement of attainment AHCARB206 Operate and maintain stump grinding machines would ensure to demonstrate that approved training and assessment has been carried out.It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated. It is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.One of the best ways to maintain currency is to undertake a refresher update for the relevant unit of competency and receive an update certificate.Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time.Regular refresher and update training and assessment programs to suit relevant skills as required are offered by us at Training For Trees.The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things.Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.
AHC30816 Certificate III in ArboricultureTo be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry the general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship training or RPL process to achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.Tree keepers are becoming better educated and are demanding quality work to be carried out to at least the requirements of Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of qualifications including their currency and the subject list of units undertaken as well as proof of adequate insurance prior to engaging a contractor. a requirement that all workers are trained in their roles and deemed competent and current in their required skills.The pathway to achieve the Certificate in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.
Take the next step and follow the pathway to the Diploma of ArboricultureOnce you have achieved the Certificate in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.To achieve the Diploma you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge, you will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma thatWithin the current OHS legislation there is a general obligation for persons in the workplace to act with due diligence, which is a pretty open ended term, placing obligations on everyone while they are at work, including employers, the self-employed and employees, with the general requirement to carry out their duties as responsible operators. It is also have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a Business owner, lead arborist, tree officer arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.We are also so very proud that through high quality education and training and working within the national training package that we are seeing extremely high standards of arboricultural prognosis and tree care.At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:“We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.The government have realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.Penalties for non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act can be quite severe so you must maintain compliance and currency.Can you demonstrate evidence of recent staff training or updating within your company?Do you have a safety policy that includes safe work method statements, risk assessment and machinery checklists?Have staff members attended recent courses workshops or verification of competency (VOC) sessions?Are your qualifications and licences up to date?One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time. When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that apprenticeship supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible. Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as your apprentice makes progress through the training process, they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving. If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in-house trainer assessors, we supply all the required up to date tools equipment, local worksites and resources.We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions and issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace. We work with apprentices, the self-employed, persons looking for a career change and employers to ensure students are able to progress efficiently and meet the volume of learning and performance requirements of the relevant qualifications.Training For Trees is a registered training organisation (RTO).We are completely independent and are not auspiced attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company.This means we are personally able look after our students and employers at every step of their journey and beyond.It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions.
If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:
- AHC30816 Certificate III in arboriculture Or
- AHC50516 Diploma of arboriculture