At Citywide, we take an holistic approach to arboriculture that ensures all our staff take care of themselves and their teammates.
Whether it involves climbing and rigging, using one of our specialised elevated work platforms (EWPs) or constantly feeding wood chippers with heavy, cumbersome logs, the importance of maintaining good health and fitness through proper nutrition and staying well hydrated is paramount.
Observe a climber who is hungry or thirsty and wants to get out of the tree. The timber he or she cuts grows bigger and more unwieldly. They won’t climb as high and they refuse to limb walk. Decision-making gets worse, frustration builds and an incident occurs.
As Arborists and Ground Crew, we work long hours often in extreme temperatures, doing heavy manual labour and often in awkward positions. We climb out on long branches and contort ourselves into weird positions, wielding heavy chainsaws at weird angles, always striving to get a perfect cut.
We spur-climb with a heavy chainsaw hanging from our harness. We flex every abdominal muscle while holding the tools of our trade to ‘block down’ large timbers. And we drag heavy branches through narrow areas, to a chipper truck that always seems to move further away each time.
Indeed, the life and work of an arborist is akin to being a high performance athlete. A ‘work athlete’.
So, just as hydration and nutrition are key elements to an athlete’s wellbeing and ultimately helping keep them on track, so too do we ensure our people are in the best possible physical and mental shape.
It’s a duty of care that’s in our DNA and central to our mission and purpose of safely shaping liveable cities.