At Lewis Tree Service, safety is a way of life

Safety is one of our mission-critical values supported by a commitment from leadership at the highest levels of our organization.

At Lewis Tree Service, we are supersizing our culture of learning. Some of the highlights include breaking into groups to study Todd Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations, proactively seeking serious injury potential “close call” stories to gather and share critical lessons that can keep others from getting hurt, building in thoughtful pauses in our work days to actively notice/manage risks and hazards, and changing the language around our After Action Reviews to include asking ourselves what surprised us the most and uncover what we learned.


What’s more, we’re challenging old norms including our leadership response to failures. We are lifting blame and empowering others. We are recognizing that our team members are not the problem but rather the problem solvers. Through all of this, we are learning a new language of safety in order to ensure we continue to build a culture of trust, learning and accountability.

Human Performance in Utility Line Clearance

In accordance with our shared values/operating principles, we are respectfully holding people accountable by engaging them to look forward to what must be done to repair, heal and improve. We’re focusing on what we do well in order to replicate the positive while gaining a better understanding of failure (i.e., deviation from an expected outcome). We are compiling and studying weak signals, error-likely situations, variability, ambiguity, mental models, and trade-off decisions.

We are on a mission-critical journey to embrace a new view of safety—and that’s exciting. Importantly, we’re happy to share our learnings. When it comes to safety, we’re all in this together.

Click the book cover to read more! –>

No exceptions. No compromise.

The safety of all our employees, customers, their employees and the public is a critical core value. We work continually to eliminate risk and improve safety practices, striving to achieve zero-incident safety results each day.

Lewis Tree adheres to a comprehensive policy and procedure manual. Compliance is overseen by our corporate and field safety specialists along with all operations managers in the field.

We are proud of our innumerable safety processes, procedures, and tools including:

  • Pre-job hazard surveys (i.e., job briefings)
  • On-the-job hazard awareness review
  • Weekly safety review calls
  • Weekly tailgates (e.g., scope changes, injury prevention, handrails and ladders, defensive driving, hazardous conditions, first aid, emergency guidelines, and more)
  • ASAP hot sheets (e.g., truck rollovers, seat belts, flu season, stopping distances, ticks, storm conditions, and more)
  • Action plans
  • Distracted driving/PACE program

Want to know the latest on safety? Check out our blog for articles on safety and more!

Lewis Tree Service crew in the field with safety gear

Nine to Know

360 Degree Walk Around: Before moving any vehicle or piece of equipment the driver or their designee shall conduct a 360 degree walk around and spotter shall be in place before backing any vehicle or piece of equipment when another employee is in the vicinity of the vehicle.

Seat Belt Use Required: Employees shall wear seat belts at all times while operating or riding in a vehicle or piece of equipment so equipped.

Work Zone Protection (Traffic Control) Established: Employees shall always use the required barriers and safety equipment to define the work area and make it safe and secure.

Fall Protection Use: A full body harness and shock absorbing lanyard shall be in proper use 100% of the time while operating an aerial lift device, on or off road and proper fall protection shall be in proper use 100% of the time for climbing operations when ascending, descending and working aloft.

Minimum Approach Distance Maintained: Employees shall maintain MAD at all times. This includes working aloft in a tree, operating an aerial lift device, operating any off-road equipment, and using tools.

One-Handed Chainsaw Use Prohibited: Under no circumstance shall any employee operate a chainsaw with one hand either aloft or on the ground.

Drop Zone Safety Maintained: All employees shall establish and adhere to the Drop Zone as defined in the Drop Zone Policy for all aloft and felling operations.

Leg Protection While Cutting on the Ground: Chainsaw chaps or chainsaw pants shall be properly worn whenever a chainsaw is used on the ground.

Chipping with Harness On Prohibited: Employees shall not wear a full body harness or climbing gear while operating a chipper.

Lewis Tree crew member using safety equipment to perform vegetation management tasks