Health and Safety Executive & Self Employed Workers

hse-logoBack in 2011 the Government accepted a recommendation  given by the Löfstedt report stating that “those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law”.

For health and safety law purposes, ‘self-employed’ means that you work only for yourself and do NOT  work under a contract of employment.

If you are specifically mentioned in the regulations  and your work  poses  potential risk….  etc then the health and safety law still applies to you. However from the 1st October 2015 if your work is not in the regulations AND no risk is posed you’re no longer governed by the health and safety laws.

Health and Safety Executive estimate that 1.7 Million self employed people will no longer apply to their line of work.

Recall on DMM Carabiner

Last month DMM issued a recall on some of their locking carabiners.

The decision on the product recall was due to the small spring that sits against the body of the carabiner, the section that forms the push gate. It was felt that the fault may potentially prevent the gate from closing or prevent the gate from locking.

DMM have produced a Product recall list  so that you can find the carabiners affected and how to inspect if you find that you have one of the recalled ranges.

DMM have apologised for the inconvenience caused and are looking to replace any faulty carabiners in the shortest time possible.

How to return your Faulty carabiners to DMM – DMM Carabiner Recall Returns Procedure

350,000 Trees to be planted this week

A MASS reforestation effort involving 35,000 Ecuadoreans
A MASS reforestation effort involving 35,000 Ecuadoreans

Ecuador named such for the equator, which runs through the country, is attempting a ‘tree-planting ‘world recorded this week.

A MASS reforestation effort involving 35,000 Ecuadoreans will take place on the 16th May 2015 where each will plant 10 seeds creating a massive 350,000 trees in an unprecedented effort says Carlos Martinez, director of the Latin-American branch of World Guinness Records. They are attempting the Latin American record, not a world record.

Ecuador’s Environment Minister, Lorena Tapia said “Ecuador is sending a historic message. It is showing the world that Ecuador is committed to the protection of the environment. It is also an invitation for citizens to act positively towards protecting the environment”.

Tapia goes on to explain that this is part of a long term governmental reforestation policy to recover 50,000 acres by 2017 and states that the country are only just beginning and have already been working towards a “zero deforestation plan”.


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Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off – Part Two

Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off
Increased mortality rate

It is estimated that in the 1990’s the Amazon absorbed up to two billion tons of CO2 each year but since then, according to the study now absorbs less than half of that.

The study was limited to primary and undisturbed forests, which makes up about 80% of the Amazon. So it doesn’t account for carbon changes, regrowth or deforestation so more research will have to be done in order to provide a more rounded result set but Lars Hedin, a professor of ecology at Princeton University suggests that the research done thus far will form an excellent springboard for a future research and understanding.

He writes: “The CO2 component of climate change may become substantially more difficult to manage and abate in the future if the findings from the Amazon basin apply more generally to the land carbon sink.”

Ian Morgan Arb is committed to Forestry conservation and growth promotion and correctly managing the trees that we have.

Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off – Part One

Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off
Less Carbon Dioxide Absorbed by Amazon as Trees Die Off

A 30 year study has revealed that the Amazon long absorbed more carbon than it releases and it suggests that the trees and leaves are losing ability to effectively suck up the excess carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere by human activities.

The study shows that Increased mortality rate is the main reason for this with an increase by more than a third since the mid-1980s.

Carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis to take place … the rather cool way that plants convert light into energy.

Oliver Phillips, professor of tropical ecology at the University of Leeds in England and a co-author of the study says that “because they take up a significant amount of our carbon-dioxide emissions. This is a first indication that the process is saturating”.

The Amazon is roughly 15 times the size of California and accounts for at least half the Global tropical Forrest area and with over 300 hundred billion trees store one fifth of all carbon in the earth’s biomass.

Each year, we humans contribute 35 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and while a quarter is thought to be absorbed by the water masses (the oceans), a quarter is absorbed by the forests and trees the remaining half is thought to be the main forces of the man-made climate change.

While the increase in our planets emissions of carbon-dioxide fuelled and surged the growth of the rain forests tress, sadly it has also decreased their life time and increased the trees’ death rate.

Researchers Create Supersized Trees

Just as Ian Morgan Arb storms into another busy few months with a wide range of Arboricultural Training Courses running weekly, Experts at Manchester University think that they have found a way to make the demand for good Arborists even higher.

By Altering two genes to accelerate growth in some trees, experts feel that this finding could help crop production and renewable energy.

A researcher at the University said “This needs to be tested but offers a potential way forward for one of the most pressing challenges of the day.”

PXY and CLE are the genes associated with the growth of cells within the tree trunk. Research found that when overstimulated the trees grew twice as fast, with thicker and wider trunk and more leaves.

With accelerated growth of trees and a boost in biomass energy this research could start to make some headway on the effects of Client Change.


Police inspector retires from force to become tree surgeon

Here at Ian Morgan Arb, we see a wide range of backgrounds represented among our recipients of arborist training in Staffordshire, and one national story has highlighted, once more, how someone from almost any past job can end up entering the field.

The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald reported on how Inspector Dave Willets, of Eden policing, is retiring after some three decades in the police force to become a tree surgeon. The decision to switch career evidently wasn’t one taken lightly by Insp. Willets – he had, after all, dreamed of a career as a police officer since watching Starsky and Hutch on television as a child.

As Insp. Willets himself put it, “When I realised I didn’t have enough brains to be a vet and not enough land to be a farmer, I wanted to be a police officer.”

He went on to enjoy a 14-year stint at the Met in London, after applying to 11 forces around the country while still in his teens. His time in London led to his promotion to sergeant at Chelsea and Kensington, with his specialism being public order offences.

It was during his London career that he was known as police constable three, this being abbreviated to PS3. When it was discovered by colleagues that Insp. Willets was indulging his other passion through evening studies in ecology and conservation at Birkbeck College, University of London, he was nicknamed ‘PS Tree’ – which later became his new business name.

Insp. Willets ‘ journey in arb training can be traced back to 2009, when he completed his initial qualification in tree surgery at Myerscough College, Lancashire. He has lived up north since 1999, when a broken leg sustained in London prompted he and his wife to write down a list of the places where they wanted to live – agreeing on Cumbria.

Although he has spent the last four years based in Penrith, which he has called “fantastic”, on his first move from the capital, he lived in the “stunning” area near Ennerdale Water, commenting: “I had some people asking how I managed with the 20-minute commute, although it was nothing compared to what I used to travel.”

We can only welcome Insp. Willets the very best in his future career here at Ian Morgan Arb. In much the same way, we continually welcome new ambitious enrolees on our own arboricultural training in Staffordshire, the first step into what is a hugely rewarding new professional life for many people of the complete range of backgrounds.

Tree surgeons called upon as winds sweep southern England

As if any further demonstration was needed of the value of arborist training, not just in Staffordshire but across England, it was surely in the headlines that accompanied the winds to hit various parts of the south of the country on Monday.

One such story concerned an ash tree that was torn away from the ground as a result of potent gusts in the South Gloucestershire town of Yate. The tree in Kingsgate park, which had an estimated age of between 30 and 50 years old, was discovered by staff and visitors on the opening of the park on the morning of 30th March.

Yate Town Council’s estates officer Tony Moore confirmed that the tree concerned was a medium-sized, mature tree near the boundary of the park. He added that “arrangements are being made for its removal and timber and chippings will be retained for user where possible.

“We believe it fell during the strong winds. The tree will be cut up and removed and branches will be chipped and the chips will be used for mulching shrub beds and surfacing paths. Larger limbs will be used to form path edgings around the park.”

In a signifier of the continuing relevance of arboricultural training in areas of the UK like Yate, Moore said that a tree surgeon would inspect the ash tree for evidence of ‘ash dieback’ disease. In the event of its detection, he said, the debris would be disposed of in accordance with Defra guidance.

Fallen trees were also reported in London and the south-east, which experienced winds of up to 50mph. Monday was therefore a busy day for recipients of arb training based across this area of the UK, incidents including one in Lambourne Road, Chigwell that left one house with considerable structural damage.

A large tree also fell in nearby New Wanstead, at the junction with Hollybush Hill, forcing traffic to a standstill. Thankfully, neither incident resulted in injuries.



Your options for dealing with a Chalara infection

Beneficiaries of our Staffordshire arb training contemplating how to address a Chalara-affected area have several options, depending on the exact location and nature of the infection.

The preferred option is generally burning on site, either on the ground or in mobile incinerators brought to site, the latter likely to be chosen due to their practicality for dealing with a large volume of leaves. Those considering this option are urged to check the relevant legislation on smoke control areas, in addition to taking into account the possible smoke nuisance risk.

Alternatively, one may bury infected leaves in the grounds of their premises. Although ground burial can be done by both private individuals and local authorities, in the latter case, it would constitute a landfill operation requiring an environmental permit, in accordance with the Landfill Directive.

Other possible approaches are less proven in their efficacy. This could certainly be said of composting on site, the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness meaning that any arborist training recipients contemplating it are advised to spread any resulting compost on or near the infected source wherever possible. This is as opposed to passing the compost onto third parties who may transport it elsewhere and thereby risk the spread of infection.

Another less preferred option is off-site incineration or landfill. We would always advise against the movement of infected ash leaves for purposes other than destruction. Even if leaves from affected areas cannot be dealt with on-site, secure containment of the transported waste – whether by placing it in enclosed containers or bagging – is necessary. Any transportation of leaves for incineration should also be for the shortest possible distance.

Nor would we recommend off-site composting and other biological treatment, given the uncertainty surrounding the right conditions for destroying the Chalara fraxinea fungus. Any potential residual risk can, however, be minimised if the resultant compost is only used locally.

If an area is not infected at all – and the distribution of Chalara’s spread is by no means even throughout the country – there is no need to remove the leaves, they instead able to be left where they fall.

Talk to Ian Morgan Arb today about arb training in Staffordshire that will educate you on the full range of means for addressing any Chalara infection of your vegetation.

Chainsaw-wounded man loses drink-driving court appeal

Chainsaw-wounded man loses drink-driving court appealAttracting our amazement – if not our moral admiration – as providers of arboricultural training in Staffordshire was a recent news story from Australia. It involves a man who stitched up his own chainsaw hand wound failing to overturn a drink-driving charge resulting from driving himself to hospital after drinking a lot of gin to relieve his pain.

Timothy Withrow, a learner driver from Port Willunga, south of Adelaide, sustained the gaping hand wound at his home in February last year. Withrow gave evidence – accepted by the magistrate – that he had called two emergency departments, only to be told that they were extremely busy and it would not be possible to treat his wound for more than 10 hours.

Fearing the possibility of infection, Withrow stitched up the wound with a large sewing needle and some fishing line, washing the wound with gin in the absence of an antiseptic. He also drunk some of the gin to relieve his extreme pain. With an ambulance being unaffordable and his wife unable to be contacted, he opted to drive to hospital for more professional treatment.

However, Withrow was caught drink-driving en route, which left him facing a 12-month mandatory licence disqualification unless he could prove such an offence to be “trifling”. But the magistrate ruled against him, stating that while he admired Withrow’s courage and tolerance to pain, he did not think the same of his judgement to drive.

Despite admitting to driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.175 – more than triple the legal limit – and other traffic offences, Withrow took the matter to the supreme court. However, Justice Kevin Nicholson agreed with the magistrate, stating that Withrow’s options other than driving included calling an ambulance or taxi, as well as approaching a workman or neighbour for help.

The judge added that a clear danger was posed to himself and other road users by his very high blood alcohol content. It means that the case will now return to the magistrates court for the sentencing of Withrow, who also claimed to have previously held a full driving licence in California for a decade.

Needless to say, such a story only further demonstrates the need for arborists to keep themselves well-versed in the safe and effective use of a chainsaw, as is covered by our own Staffordshire arboricultural training here at Ian Morgan Arb.

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