Preparing a jobsite for construction often requires the removal of vegetation, trees, boulders, and rubbish that are located in the work area. It seems simple enough. All you need to do is get a bulldozer, skid-steer or front-end loader, push everything out of the way and you are ready to go, right? Wrong. The pros know that there is more to land clearing than that. They also know there are hazards and that safety is a major concern.

 

Grubbing is another part of a site clearing operation which requires the removal of roots and stumps. In some clearing operations it is also necessary to strip away the sod and topsoil. Clearing, grubbing, and stripping are accomplished with the help of heavy equipment. Hand and power tree-felling equipment are also routinely used. When preparing to clear a jobsite and determining what method(s) will be used, contractors must consider the acreage to be cleared, the density of the forest and vegetation, the effect of the terrain on equipment operation, the availability of equipment and trained personnel, and the time available to complete the job.

Contractors often subcontract large site clearing operations to site clearing excavation contractors who have trained workers and special equipment. Such equipment might include hydrobunchers equipped with tree shears and saws capable of cutting trees up to 30 inches in diameter, tree skidders that can bundle and transport logs and tree material, whole tree chippers that can gobble up and spit out trees up to 30 inches in diameter, and hydrastumpers that can grind stumps of all sizes into pulp.

 

 

Safety is a team effort that greatly depends on a strong working relationship between safety professionals (safety directors, coordinators, managers, etc.) and other managers in the company, ranging from the CEO to the supervisor in the field. There is no doubt that if a company is going to maintain an effective safety program, managers at all levels of the company need to partner with the safety professional. One of the most important partnerships a safety professional should strive to create is with the field supervisor. Although this is not a new concept, it is one that needs to be repeated –the field supervisor is critical to a successful safety program. If supervisors don’t buy in to the safety program, accidents are going to happen. Safety professionals should get to know the field supervisors because they are in the field daily, and research has shown they are closer to the workers. Supervisors know what is goin