Supervise utility arboriculture operations in proximity to above-ground utilities Legacy

Business Sectors (Suites): Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 28 Feb 2017


This standard is about supervising utility arboriculture operations in proximity to above-ground utilities, i.e. work associated with, or in close proximity to, services and utilities including overhead utilities.

The standard includes the supervision of planned management of trees and vegetation around the above-ground utility in order for it to continue to function safely and effectively. This will include the safe preparation and implementation of the required work with due consideration of the associated hazards. Those involved in this occupation must be aware of the hazards associated with utility work, particularly electrical hazards.

When working with machinery you need to be appropriately trained, and hold current certification where required, in line with relevant legislation.

Your work must conform to all relevant legislation and codes of practice when carrying out this work.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. undertake a hazard and risk assessment of the site prior to arboriculture operations in proximity to above-ground utilities
  2. implement the appropriate control measures to relevant legislative, industry and utility-specific standards ensuring correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools
  3. ensure that required signage and guarding controls are in place
  4. identify utility specific apparatus and safety zones, which have the potential to interfere with operations
  5. manage the use of specialist equipment suitable for the arboriculture operation in proximity to above-ground utilities and any utility structures
  6. manage the maintenance and operation of specialist equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's and the utility's specified parameters
  7. supervise the arboriculture operation to ensure a reduction of vegetation impact on above-ground utilities
  8. ensure the working methods are in accordance with the assessed risks
  9. supervise the work to ensure that work instructions are being followed
  10. put in place emergency contingency plans
  11. suspend, cease or review work, as appropriate, to maintain safety for yourself and others
  12. ensure the site is left in a condition which meets environmental requirements, in accordance with the specification
  13. maintain the health and safety of yourself and others at all times, in accordance with relevant legislation

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to prepare emergency plans and procedures relevant to the site and why these are required
  2. how to identify hazards and assess risks
  3. how to interpret risk assessments
  4. the selection, use and care of personal protective equipment )PPE)
  5. the level of risk posed by trees and vegetation from either their bio-mechanical condition and/or their proximity to the above-ground utility
  6. how to evaluate the tree for hazards and the implications of the hazards identified
  7. the likely impact of the proposed above-ground utility work on trees and vegetation
  8. the use of appropriate safety equipment specific to the utility in question and the tools for operation
  9. the legal requirements for checking equipment
  10. the potential hazards and risks associated with working in close proximity to the above-ground utility, including any associated structures and the safety distances and use of equipment
  11. the optimum aesthetic appearance of  trees or vegetation when undertaking works adjacent to utilities and utility structures
  12. the relevant legislative requirements and the purpose of utility-specific safety documents
  13. the implications on different tree species, their condition and the time of year when planning pruning operations and how these will affect the work
  14. the principles of tree biology and the implications of crown reduction and thinning intensity on different tree species
  15. how to resolve conflicts arising between retaining aesthetics and meeting the requirements of the utility owner or licence holder
  16. the importance of identifying, demarcating and maintaining safe work zones and the appropriate routing of plant, tools and equipment
  17. your responsibilities in supervising the work
  18. the importance of regularly reviewing the work and why it may need to be suspended or stopped
  19. the potential impact of the work on the environment and how this can be minimised
  20. your responsibilities under relevant environmental, health and safety legislation and codes of practice


Working in the following situations:

  • sites with trees adjacent to utilities
  • trees adjacent to utility structures

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2021





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations


SOC Code



utility; vegetation; supervise