At Caldwell Tree Care, we put safety first. We were recently recognized in the Tree Care Industry magazine. Check us out on page 40!
Caldwell Tree Aims to Bolster a Legacy of Safety Awareness
By: Tamsin Venn
Back when Kevin Caldwell served on TCIA’s Board of Directors, the Board agreed that one of its goals was to impact safety. “It is one of the largest problems that we encounter on a daily basis, or potential problem. It’s the biggest swing of the pendulum that impacts our families – all the people who work with us on a daily basis,” says Caldwell, president and owner of Caldwell Tree Care in Roswell, Georgia, an accredited 21-year TCIA member company. He is a past chair of the TCIA Board, and a CTSP, and has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 1992.
Caldwell Tree has very generously pledged $10,000 to TCIA’s Arborist Safety Training Institute (ASTI), a program whose mission is to provide affordable safety training to tree care workers nationwide.
Greater Atlanta, where Roswell is located, is one of the densest marketplaces for tree care in the country, and years ago, scant training for the many small companies was available, with very little awareness of safety, notes Caldwell. “The reality is that there are a lot of unsafe behaviors and practices going on. When you see that the basic use of PPE is not being acknowledged, then there is a high probability that these companies don’t have any safety protocols or acknowledgement of such. Clearly, the bulk of companies that are not members of professional trade groups like TCIA are the ones that don’t have any awareness of safety protocols. It’s a big, big, big task to penetrate into all these groups. The concept of ASTI making safety training almost free to the participants makes it difficult for these companies to not at least acknowledge it. I think that is the first step to working on this. The marketing and awareness has to occur.” He also notes that timing is relevant. “Putting on an ASTI seminar in high season might not have as effective a reach as it would in the off times … if there is such a thing. The predictability in light of climate moderation is becoming more difficult,” says Caldwell.
Caldwell feels TCIA is the right entity to get the message out. “TCIA connects with tree care-related businesses more than any other entity. Members or nonmembers connect through its trade publication and its marketing to potential members. It’s pretty hard for anyone to duplicate that,” he notes. “When that ASTI invoice comes every quarter, it’s a reminder of what I am doing to impact the safety of my company and that of other companies around me. Safety is a hard topic to keep relevant. In part, ASTI is an impetus to take it beyond the tailgate meeting. Just the concept of it provokes us into a different state of action. It’s about having experienced tragedy and seen others do the same, and helping to perpetuate an endowment, hopefully forever, and the satisfaction that myself and my company would have left a bit of a footprint on that legacy,” he says of Caldwell Tree’s contribution.