National Tree Climbing Program

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ANSI Z133

ANSI Z133.1-2000 is available to purchase from the International Society of Arborculture (ISA), SKU P1208.

History of ANSI Z133

This standard was developed under the procedures of the American National Standards Institute by Accredited Standards Committee on Safety in Tree Trimming Operations, Z133. The secretariat of the Z133 Committee is held by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Accredited Standards Committee Z133 was organized on April 4, 1968, in response to the efforts by Mrs. Ethel M. Hugg of Johnstown, NY. Mrs. Hugg's son had died while trimming trees, and this tragic incident caused her to write to federal and state authorities, and to various safety organizations, in an attempt to have measures initiated that would make tree trimming safer.

The Z133 Committee was organized with the National Arborist Association as secretariat. Committee delegates included representatives of the industry, labor, the academic community, government, equipment manufacturers, insurance carriers, and other interested experts. The international Shade Tree Conference became the secretariat of the committee in November 1969. In 1975, the International Shade Tree Conference was renamed the International Society of Arboriculture.

Five subcommittees were formed to develop specific portions of the original standard. Each subcommittee prepared and edited material in its area of concern; the material was then combined and submitted to the full committee for review. One of the subcommittees also met with representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of labor.

An initial draft was submitted for committee ballot on March 2, 1971. A revised draft was unanimously adopted by the committee on July 14, 1971, and was approved as an American National Standard on December 20,1972

The Z133 Committee continued to monitor tree-trimming safety performance, providing interpretation and clarification of the intent of the requirements. Portions of the safety standard were adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the "Telecommunications" Safety and Health Standard 29 CFR Part 1910 - Federal Register, Volume 38, No. 166, August 28, 1973.

Based on the experience of users, minor amendments to the standard were approved on November 17, 1975. The need for additional revision became evident and the committee, after considerable effort, discussion, consideration, and balloting unanimously approved the first revision on June 19, 1978. On May 17, 1979, the first revision was approved and printed for distribution as an American National Standard.

To clarify and acknowledge additional changes to the standard, the committee initiated consideration of other revisions at three meetings held March 25, 1981, October 5, 1981, and March 24, 1982, at the U.S. Department of Labor Building, Washington, DC. After proper discussion and balloting, the committee approved the second revision on March 24, 1982. On August 23, 1982 the second revision was accepted as an American National Standard.

In July 1987, the committee voted to adopt several changes in the 1982 standard. These changes were made owing to increased technology and understanding of safe working practices related to tree care. The committee approved the final content and editorial changes on September 16, 1987. The standard was approved by the American National Standards Institute on November 23, 1987. A 2005 version has been submitted for public comment.

The 1994 revision incorporates changes based on increased technology and understanding of safe working practices related to tree care as well as the OSHA 1910.269 standard released in January 1994. The committee approved the final content and editorial changes on April 27, 1994. A 2005 revision has been submitted for public comment and should be available by November 2005.

The Z133 Committee will continue to be available for interpretation or clarification of the intent of the requirements in the standard and for any adjustments or revisions of the standard.

For more information, contact Rae Watson at rewatson@fs.fed.us or (541) 767-5717

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