Rope access-trained arborists should carry out vegetation clearance at height

Rope access-trained arborists should carry out vegetation clearance at height

Rope access-trained arborists are vital to carry out vegetation clearance at height, which is crucial to maintaining infrastructure, particularly for rail and utility companies. It is essential to ensure that trees and other vegetation do not interfere with power lines, drainage, sight lines, and other critical infrastructure elements.

Managing Vegetation Clearance at Height

There are several ways to safely cut vegetation at height, some of which are carried out using aerial lifts or Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs). However, these methods have significant limitations and risks. MEWPs can be unstable and prone to tipping over, especially in windy or uneven terrain. They also require a large footprint, which can be problematic in confined or crowded areas.

It is now widely recognised that only rope-access trained arborists should be entrusted with this important and sometimes difficult task. One of the main reasons for this is safety. Rope access techniques are specifically designed to allow arborists to work at height in a controlled and safe manner. These techniques involve using specialised equipment such as harnesses, specialised climbing lines, carabiners, and descenders, rigorous training and adherence to strict safety protocols and the continually updated Industry Code of Practice (ICOP).

Rope Access is Safe and Efficient

Another advantage of using rope access-trained arborists is efficiency. Rope access techniques allow arborists to move quickly and nimbly between locations, reducing the time and resources required to complete the job. This is particularly important when working on large infrastructure projects with tight deadlines.

Finally, rope access-trained arborists are also better equipped to minimise environmental impact. They are trained to use techniques that minimise damage to trees and other vegetation and can take steps to protect sensitive ecological areas.

Rope Access-trained Arborists

For several reasons, ensuring that all arborists entrusted with vegetation clearance at height are IRATA-trained, NPTC, or LANTRA tree climbers is important.

First and foremost, these qualifications ensure that the arborists have received comprehensive training and are competent in their field. The IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) is the leading global association for rope access. Its training and certification program is widely recognised as the gold standard in the industry. Similarly, the NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council) and LANTRA (Land-based and Environmental Training) are leading UK organisations that provide training and certification in various aspects of arboriculture, including tree climbing.

Trained in Rope Access Techniques

Having these qualifications demonstrates that an arborist has received extensive training in rope access techniques, tree biology and behaviour, and safety protocols and is able to work to the highest standards. This is particularly important when working on infrastructure projects, as the consequences of mistakes or accidents can be severe.

In addition to ensuring safety, hiring qualified and experienced arborists also helps to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Arborists with these qualifications have the knowledge and skills to complete vegetation clearance at height efficiently and effectively, which can save time and resources on a project.

Finally, hiring IRATA-trained, NPTC and LANTRA tree climbers helps to ensure that the work is carried out in an environmentally responsible manner. These arborists are trained to minimise damage to trees and other vegetation and to protect sensitive ecological areas.


In short, it is essential to ensure that all arborists entrusted with vegetation clearance at height are IRATA trained, NPTC and LANTRA tree climbers to ensure the worker’s safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. This is particularly important for infrastructure managers responsible for maintaining their infrastructure’s safety and reliability. Speak to our Vegetation Management team to discuss your next project.

About Us

RSS Infrastructure provides multi-disciplinary infrastructure services for the rail, civil and utilities sectors. With offices in Birmingham, Cwmbran, and Doncaster, RSSI works with several clients, including Network Rail, WMCA, Midland Metro Alliance, HS2 as well as Tier 1 & 2 contractors. Services offered include; Arboriculture, Construction & Civils, Magnetic Track Safety, Possession Management, Rail Operations, Safety-Critical Resource, Signalling, Track Warning Services, and Welding.

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