TCIA Announces Federal Grant For Electrical Hazards Training

The Tree Care Industry Association (formerly the National Arborist Association) announces receipt of a federal grant in the amount of $197,566 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The grant was awarded to TCIA through the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, which provides funding for nonprofit organizations to conduct training and education programs or to develop training materials for employers and workers on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces.

"This grant is an important component toward achieving our industry's goal of reducing injuries and fatalities with respect to electrical hazards in tree care work," says Cynthia Mills, TCIA president. "With the help of this grant, we can work toward keeping workers safe and electric lines clear of vegetation."

Specifically, the funds will be used to develop free workshops to train employers and employees of tree care companies in safe ways to handle electrical hazards associated with trees. "Workshops will be offered in English and Spanish, with accompanying materials and literature printed in both languages as well," says Lee Gilman, products & services developer for TCIA.

"When trees encroach on electrical conductors, the safety of tree trimmers and the reliability of our electrical delivery systems both suffer," notes Peter Gerstenberger, senior advisor for safety, standards and compliance for TCIA. "The award of this training grant will go a long way in reducing fatalities due to electrical hazards, even as calls for vegetation management activities increase in response to the Northeast's Aug. 14, 2003 blackout."

In announcing the grant, U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) noted that "approximately 34 percent of fatalities of tree care workers are directly related to electrical hazards. These workshops will enhance tree care safety standards and training, ultimately reducing the number of fatalities and injuries in this industry. I am pleased to lend my support to a project that will help to save lives."

Companies, organizations, groups, or municipalities that are interested in hosting an EHAP workshop in their area should contact Lee Gilman at TCIA's headquarters by calling 1-800-733-2622 OR email him at .

Arborists interested in attending a workshop should contact Amy Waterstrat at 1-800-733-2622 or email her at .

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