Having read last month’s joint release by FISA and the AA (although I can’t seem to find any record of it on the Arb Association website), I thought pen should be put to paper and someone should raise their concerns over the guidance in this document, specifically the section regarding chain shot and grapple saws that haven’t been submitted for testing to BS11837-2011 by the manufacturer.

Surely if a grapple saw hasn’t been submitted for testing by the manufacturer, then it isn’t compliant with CE approval and shouldn’t be sold within the UK – or Europe, for that matter. If this is so, how can a safety body that’s supposed to represent the industry give out the (admittedly paraphrased) advice to keep going and just put it in your risk assessment?

READ MORE: FISA and Arb Association to issue shear and grapple advice

Surely a non-compliant machine would invalidate insurance if something was to go wrong, incurring the wrath of the HSE and possible criminal convictions if someone was to get hurt or killed?

If we as an industry wish to be taken seriously, then we’ve got to get our house in order, and by the same token if FISA wishes to be taken seriously as an industry safety accord, then they should be raising concerns over the use of equipment that may or may not be compliant and not taking the “keep calm and carry on” approach that seems to be recommended.

Yours faithfully,

Johnathan Harpham

Director, Ethical Arboriculture

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