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Human Performance


Human Behavior Steps - Ensuring a Safe Work Environment

West Tree Service is committed to providing a safe work environment for our employees, customers and general public. West Tree Service has made the commitment to implement Human Behavior and Performance training and observations to strengthen our awareness and overall safety culture.

We have adopted several policies to address the human side of our business and ensure a safety culture that will not permit shortcuts or the failure to follow established safety rules and procedures.

This includes teaching three core aspects when using Tools and Traps in the field and four key Tools and Traps to train employees to be engaged in their tasks, be aware of the Traps and know and use their Tools. We have issued STAY SAFE cards and stickers in the field that display the four Tools and Traps along with questions to ask on each jobsite.

Three Core Aspects when Using Tools and Traps:

  • Follow Expectations. Minimize risks by following policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Support Change. Add value by adopting improvement initiatives and engaging in coaching.
  • Communicate Concerns. Identify and share LOWs, stop when unsure, and report near misses.

Four Key Tools and Traps to Train Employees

Emphasize Empowerment of All Employees to Stop Unsafe Work Practices.

We have a zero exception stop-work policy. All employees are trained and understand that htey are obligated to stop work if they observe any unsafe condition or if something is just not right. This policy is repeatedly communicated to all employees by our management, regional general foremen, general foremen, and safety specialists.


We are committed to observations as a method to improve and emphasize safety. Observations provide an opportunity for the leaders to involve the crew foreman and emphasize his/her responsibilities. Observations are automatically forwarded via email to the responsible general foreman, who is directed to coach, retrain, and/or discipline the employee or foreman. The observations are available to review on the portal as well. In addition, management, regional general foremen and general foremen are required to conduct observations. This increases the opportunity to identify at-risk behavior as well as bring new sets of eyes to the process. We observe work practices, condition of equipment, behavior, attitudes, and overall safety culture demonstrated by the crews. The observation (including shortfalls and positive behavior) will be documented on tablets and uploaded into the portal. We document accountability and coach, train, discipline or commend as appropriate. We make sure any shortfalls are addressed and resolved.

We have GPS on every vehicle and piece of equipment.

This system establishes accountability with real-time fleet visibility. The GPS helps ensure safe driving as well as emergency location information. It is often of assistance in safety investigations. It also serves as the “eye in the sky” to all employees which ultimately increases their focus and awareness during the work day and improves our safety culture.

Peer-to-Peer Review.

West Tree Service conducts a peer-to-peer review system. The intent is to create a system that allows a review of peers by peers to objectively look at each other to identify strengths and weaknesses. Issues identified are reviewed and analyzed by management and the safety department, with appropriate follow-up to correct the problem at all levels. Weaknesses and strengths will be identified within our leadership. This promote accountability for actions and attitudes and provide an opportunity for coaching, training and discipline when needed.

Near-Miss or Close-Call Reporting.

We require near miss and close call reporting. Each of these will be reviewed as a teaching tool. The information is reviewed and discussed on safety conference calls for transparency and training purposes. We look for trends or repeated poor behavior in an effort to correct the situation before there is a problem.