The removal of trees, often necessary on construction sites and on other construction sites, can present several serious dangers :
As an employer, you have the following responsibilities :
Although the employer is ultimately responsible for all of the above provisions, the supervisor plays an essential role in terms of the safety of his team. As a supervisor, you must :
As an employee carrying out tree removal, the following responsibilities fall on you :
“Competent” (for the purposes of this topic) is defined as follows :
a) qualified by virtue of his knowledge, training and experience to carry out work supervision in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of persons, b) aware of the provisions of the Law and the regulations that apply to the work that is supervised, and c) aware of the potential or real dangers related to the work that is supervised, for health or safety.
Visualization of the CSA standards cited in the laws of New Brunswick
Some CSA standards can be viewed online or purchased from the CSA Group.
To access these standards, you must first create an account with “CSA Communities”. Once on the site, click on the “OHS / Live Standards” option. Click on “New Brunswick” to see the CSA standards cited in the laws of New Brunswick.
General Regulation – Occupational health and Safety Act Reg. from NB 91-191
Part V NOISE AND VIBRATION
32. The employer must provide appropriate hearing protection devices to employees if necessary, who must wear them so that the exposure of employees to noise is maintained within the limits prescribed in Article 30.
Part VII PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
39. The employee exposed to the danger of irritation or injury to the eyes, face, ears and the front of the neck must wear protective equipment that is suitable for the danger and that meets the CSA standard Z94.3-15, “Eye and face protectors”, or a standard that provides equivalent or superior protection.
[Reg. N. B. 2001-33, p. 16; 2020-35, p. 2; 2022-27, p. 20]
40. (1) On a construction site, an employee must wear a Class E, Type 1 helmet that meets CSA standard Z94.1-15, “Safety helmets for industry: service, selection, maintenance and use” or a standard offering equivalent or superior protection.
(2) At a place of employment, other than a construction site, when an employee is exposed to a danger of head injury, he must wear protective equipment appropriate to the danger that meets CSA standard Z94.1-15, “Safety helmets for industry: service, selection, maintenance and use” or a standard offering equivalent or superior protection.
[Reg. N. B. 2001-33, s. 17; 2020-35, s. 3]
42. The employee exposed to a danger of skin injuries, must use as needed
a) appropriate protective gloves,
b) appropriate safety shoes or clogs,
c) appropriate protective clothing,
d) appropriate eye protectors,
e) a protective cream or oil to prevent irritation of exposed parts of the body, or
(f) any other protective equipment sufficient to provide protection against this danger.
86. (1) An employee who uses a chain saw, a brush saw or a clearing saw other than in a logging operation, a forestry operation or an arboriculture operation, must satisfy the conditions required by articles 347, 349, 350 and 352.
(1.1) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a firefighter who engages in the fight against a building fire or performs a rescue is exempt from the conditions required by section 347 and paragraphs 349(a), (e), (h) and (i).
(2) When an employee uses a chain saw, a brush saw or a clearing saw other than in a logging operation, a forestry operation or an arboriculture operation, the employer must satisfy the conditions required by articles 346 and 351.
(2.1) Notwithstanding subsection (2), when a firefighter is engaged in fighting a building fire or performing a rescue, the employer is exempt from the conditions required by section 346.
(3) The owner of a chain saw used other than in a logging operation, a forestry operation or an arboriculture operation must meet the requirements of section 348.
[Reg. N. B. 97-121, p. 17]
Part XIX ELECTRICAL SAFETY
289. (1) The employer must ensure that an employee who is not a qualified person does not perform any work, and no similar employee must perform any work, which could bring any person or object closer to a live utility power line or live utility power line equipment than the distances indicated in the following table:
|Rated voltage between phases of a utility live power line or utility live power line equipment||Distance|
|Up to 750 v||900 mm|
|750 v – 100,000 v||3.6 m|
|100,001 v – 250,000 v||5.2 m|
|250,001 v – 345,000 v||6.1 m|
(2) When an employee who is not a qualified person is about to start work that may bring any person or object closer to a live utility power line or live utility power line equipment than the distance referred to in subsection (1), the employer must contact the company that owns or operates the utility live power line or the utility live power line equipment and must ensure that the utility line or the utility line equipment
a) is de-electrified, or
(b) is adequately isolated or protected
before allowing the employee to start work.
[Reg. N. B. 2001-33, p. 100]
Part XXI LOGGING AND FORESTRY OPERATIONS
348. (1) The owner of a chain saw must ensure that the chain saw meets the applicable requirements of CSA standard Z 62.1-11, “Chain saws” or a standard that offers equivalent or superior protection and CSA standard Z62.3-11 (confirmed in 2021), “Recoil of chain saws” or a standard that offers equivalent or superior protection
(2) The owner of a chain saw must ensure that the chain saw
a) is only used with a safety chain sharpened in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications,
b) is equipped with a suitable chain brake, and
c) is equipped only with the constituent parts specified by the manufacturer.
[Reg. N. B. 2001-33, p. 115; 2020-35, p. 41; 2022-27, p. 53]
349. The employee who uses a chain saw must
a) stop the engine before transporting the saw from one place to another,
b) Stop the engine before adjusting the chain,
c) adjust the saw according to the manufacturer’s specifications so that the chain is stopped while the engine is at rest,
d) immediately take a defective saw out of service until it is repaired,
e) start the saw engine when it is cold by holding it against a solid object below the belt level,
f) avoid starting the saw engine by pulling on the rope while the other hand is on the throttle control,
g) hold the saw with both hands, while he is using it,
h) avoid using the saw above shoulder height,
i) stand on a solid base, when using the saw, and
j) avoid climbing on a felled tree or working under this tree.
350. The employee who uses a brush saw or a clearing saw must
a) use and maintain the saw in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications,
b) make sure that the saw is equipped with a suitable protector,
c) keep a minimum distance of 10 m from any other person, when using the saw,
d) regularly inspect the blade and sharpen it when necessary,
e) replace the blade at the first sign of cracks or fractures,
f) only fit blades and component parts specified by the manufacturer to the saw,
g) use a harness that can be used with the saw,
h) ensure that the harness is properly supported and adjusted and that the emergency release on the harness is working properly,
i) stop the engine before any manual adjustment, cleaning, clearing of debris or other work on the blade or protector is undertaken, and
j) avoid starting the saw motor while it is attached to the harness.
351. (1) The employer shall ensure that an employee who uses a chain saw, a brush saw or a clearing saw knows the emergency communication protocol as well as the transport protocol provided for in New Brunswick Regulation 2004-130 made under the Act and is accompanied by a person who holds a valid first aid certificate in the workplace provided for by these regulations.
(2) The employer must ensure that an employee who uses a chain saw, a brush saw or a chain saw has
a) a fire extinguisher or a round-tipped shovel that is readily available,
(b) readily available first aid equipment, and
c) a pressure bandage.
[Reg. N. B. 2022-27, p. 55]
352. The employee who uses a chain saw, a brush saw or a clearing saw must
a) avoid working alone,
b) avoid annealing the trees,
c) avoid refueling the saw with gasoline when the engine is running,
d) move the saw at least 3 m from the place where the gas was filled before starting the engine,
e) fill up with gasoline only from a container that is not made of glass with a discharge pipe or a funnel,
f) avoid refueling the saw with gasoline near an ignition source, and
g) wear or have at hand the pressure bandage provided by the employer.
353. (1) Before starting to cut down a tree, the employee must make sure
a) that all snags and all other potential hazards are removed from the work area,
b) that there is a free path that allows a retreat to safety, and
c) that all other persons have moved at least 40 m from the slaughter area.
(2) By way of derogation from paragraph (1)(c), during a trail cutting operation, the employee ensures that any person who helps him moves at a distance of at least 3 m from the tree as soon as it begins to fall, at an angle of 45° with respect to the opposite direction of the intended axis of his fall.
[Reg. N. B. 2022-27, p. 56]
354. (1) In this article
“housed tree” refers to a tree that, after having been moved from its natural position, has not fallen either to the ground or on a bed;
“bent pole” refers to a part of a tree or a shrub which, due to its position relative to other materials, is under compression.
(1.1) When felling a tree, the employee builds a hinge to direct it to the ground in a safe manner according to the following guidelines :
a) make a cut at an open angle of at least 70 ° where the saw lines meet clearly and clearly without divergence and make a back cut at the level, no more than 2.5 cm above the intersection of the two saw lines;
b) construct a uniform hinge having a thickness of approximately 10% of the diameter of the shaft and a width of approximately 80% of the diameter of the latter;
(c) follow the guidelines set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) as illustrated below :
(1.2) When felling a tree less than 10 cm in diameter, the employee builds a hinge either according to the guidelines set out in subsection (1.1), or according to the following :
a) practice a directional cut of at least 70°;
b) make a back cut at the level no more than 2.5 cm above the directional cut;
c) leave a hinge having a thickness of approximately 10% of the diameter of the shaft and a width of approximately 80% of the diameter of the latter;
d) follow the guidelines set out in paragraphs (a) to (c) as illustrated below :
(2) When felling a tree, the employee must
(a) Repealed. [Reg. N. B. 2022-27, p. 58]
b) use a felling lever or a wedge as required;
(c) complete the culling once it has been started; and
(d) subject to subsection (2.1), move at a distance of at least 3 m from the tree as soon as it begins to fall, at an angle of 45° with respect to the opposite direction of the intended axis of its fall.
(2.1) When felling a tree on a slope of more than 30%, the employee may use an emergency lane that is perpendicular to the slope and that is not in the same direction as his axis of fall.
(3) When an employee fells a tree and the tree is housed, the employee must
a) remain in the area until the housed tree is removed or, if it is necessary to leave it in order to obtain assistance to remove it, clearly indicate that the area representing a radius of at least twice the length of the tree from its trunk presents a danger
b) ensure that the housed tree is removed by means of mobile motor equipment as soon as circumstances permit without anyone climbing on it, without another tree falling on it and without the tree that supports it being cut, and
(c) ensure that he does not work in the area presenting a danger referred to in paragraph (a), except to remove the tree housed there.
(4) The employee may not cut a bent pole in a way that endangers a person.
[Reg. N. B. 2001-33, p. 116; 2022-27, p. 58]
Part XXII ARBOREAL OPERATIONS
367. The employer who provides tree removal or maintenance services must ensure that an employee who removes a tree or provides tree maintenance services is competent and has suitable equipment for the work that is being performed.
369. When the removal or maintenance of trees requires an employee or an object to come closer to a live utility power line or the equipment of a live utility power line than the distances prescribed in subsection 289(1), an employee may not undertake the removal or maintenance of trees unless he has attended and successfully completed a course in electrical safety in arboriculture offered by the NB Safety Council Inc. or a course offered by another organization whose content is equivalent.
[Reg. N. B. 2005-20, s. 1]
374. An employer must ensure that an employee who works more than 3 m above the nearest safe level, uses a fall arrest system or
a) wears a seat belt, a saddle-shaped belt for pruning trees or a saddle consisting of a double chair knot on a buckle, and
(b) use as a safety rope, a rope designed to be used for tree maintenance operations that is
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