Safe Work Procedures

Safe Work Procedures

Load Weights Bag

Maximum load weights have not been established for tree planters. It will be up to you to determine the maximum weight you can effectively carry. Productivity must be considered in conjunction with fatigue and potential injury from excessive loads. The recommended load range is 10 to 15 kg.



The practice of removing the "duff" layer is known as "screefing" or "scalping." Kicking the duff layer away can cause serious injury to the ankle, knees or back. The duff layer should only be removed using the planting tool. Varying your screefing technique will reduce fatigue to a single muscle group and help prevent injury.


The planting tools you use should be matched to the site and working conditions. Most planters have a variety of tools to choose from in order to make their job easier. This includes shovels with handles of varying lengths.

Using only "D"-handled shovels can place an unacceptable strain on the wrist. Straight-handled shovels reduce the probability of impact injuries, especially on rocky sites. The diameter of the planting shovel handle should be approximately 50 mm. Choose lighter, rather than heavier, tools.


All tools must be maintained in good condition.

Working Alone

Your employer must take steps to ensure the safety of personnel who are required to work alone. A system of checks is to be set up. The frequency of checks is determined by the degree of hazard. Personnel must be checked by verbal means via portable two-way radios or personal contact. (Listening for work noises is not adequate).

Buddy system

It is a good idea to set up a "buddy system" with a co-worker. You will be able to check on each other's well being during the day, and if you or your "buddy" requires assistance, it will be more readily available.

Check-in procedures

A system should be set up to ensure that everyone who goes to work each day, is accounted for before the return trip to camp.