Monday, July 18, 2011

ISA HK --- Tree news (2010 Shatin Tree Failure

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*** Our weekly Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at http://isahkchina.blogspot.com in English, although images are usually not attached due to size. ***


Dear Station Members,

Below are two sets of news on the 2010 Shatin Tree Failure, which very sadly had costed the life of an innocent cyclist when his head was hit by a fallen branch. The Coroner Court has since then given a verdict of an "Accidental Death".

The recommendations thereafter proposed by the juries also did not incur anything new. The focus appeared to be on improvement of the Tree Risk Assessment (TRA), better training for the frontline staff, & even requesting the cyclists to wear safety helmet during cycling.

There have been other reports on the media that the frontline staff had been given a deadline for TRA for thousands of trees, but no queries have been raised to challenge the feasibility or the practicality of the requirement. This might have induced pressure among frontline staff who might be over-worked for the many daily chores which have to be completed on top of the latest TRA assignment. The communication between the administration & those who are doing the work upfront would be vital for a win-win situation. Misunderstanding on either side may cost life. This appears to be a test for the political skills of the administrators.

In raising the TRA standard, ISA HK/China does not regard attending crash courses would do the job. We have repeatedly stressed that any detailed TRA requires a profound knowledge of Tree Biology &, Tree Biomechanics. Both can not be achieved by attending fast-food programs. Either will take years of hard studies to learn & practice out. ISA HK/China would recommend that any organization dealing with TRA should have at least one senior Arborist there attaining the knowledge level of the ISA Board Certified Master Arborist (www.isa-arbor.com) , or even better as Registered Consulting Arborist (www.asca-consultants.org) to overlook any TRA produced by the junior staff. The Certified Arborist credential should be common among the frontline staff. Only by elevating the general performance standard, that the quality of TRA can be improved in our territory.

HK is diving into the most sophisticated part of Arboriculture of TRA apparently out of political pressure. Three lives have been lost by Tree Failure since 2006 in Ngau Tau Kok, Stanley & Shatin. With the population density of HK ranking one of the highest in the world, TRA has become a necessary part of social investment. It has been forced to happen in a hurry to try to save lives. Yet the 30+ years of Tree Planting & Conservation in HK which would have contributed in part to the many Tree Failures, has hardly raised the alarm to the public.

Tree Planting today is still not fully in the hand of the Arborists. Arborists are rarely asked to help in the Selection & Installation of trees. It is true that Mother Nature makes the Rules for any Tree Planting. We wish HK good luck in her work.

best regards,


Sammy Au

President (Station Manager)
Registered Consulting Arborist no. RCA#497 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/12/isa-hkchina-first-rca-in-asia.html)
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist / Certified Tree Worker no. HK-0174BT (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2011/03/isa-hkchina-first-bcma-in-asia.html)
Independent Practicing Arborist no. IPA-010908 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/04/isa-hkchina-hk-tree-news-14410-report.html)

"Providing treatment without in-depth diagnosis & research support is professional misconduct. "


"Casual tree assessor delivers wanton tree assessment. Mother Nature makes the rules."


各位会员,

以下是两组有关2010年沙田树木倒塌事故的新闻,这个悲剧夺去一个无辜的单车手的生命,一枝树枝击中他的头部引致他的死亡。死因裁判法庭给予了”意外死亡”的判决。

其后由陪审团提出的建议也没有产生再新的结论。重点似乎只是在如何提升树木风险评估(TRA)的标准,为前线员工提供更好的培训,甚至要求骑单车的人仕配戴安全帽骑单车。

曾有其他报告对媒体表示前线工作人员被设定了限期为成千上万的树木作风险评估,但并没有人为这限期的可行性及现实情况作出任何疑问。 这可能为前线员工带来过量的工作, 或由于有许多要优先处理的日常琐事, 而把树木风险评估工作放在工作顺序中比较次要的位置。故此,行政人员及前线工作人员的沟通是至关重要的。 对树木管理以及风险评估的误解, 将以生命作为代价。 这将在未来测试出行政人员的政治技巧。

本会并不认为密集的课程可提升树木风险评估的标准。我们多次强调, 做详细的树木风险评估前, 需要先掌握渊博的树木生物学及树木生物力学的知识。 这些知识并不能从出席“快餐”般的课程中取到, 只有经过多年的艰苦研究及学习才能真正掌握。本会建议, 任何处理树木风险评估的组织应該至少由一名高级树艺师主管, 及指导初级人员, 而这高级树艺师需要拥有ISA “资深树艺师”(www.isa- arbor.com) , 甚至更高级的 “顾问树艺师”(WWW.ASCA- consultants.org)的知识水平才可。 前线员工則应普遍拥有 “注冊树艺师” 的资格。只有通过提高一般树木风险评估的标准,本地树木风险评估工作的水平才能得到提升。

出于政治上的压力,香港的树木风险评估工作在最近受到很多的注目。自2006年以来, 树木倒塌事故已经在牛头角、赤柱及沙田夺去三个生命。 香港是世界上人口密度最高的地区之一,树木风险评估已成为必要的社会支出。它是被迫出现去减少人命伤亡。然而,香港過去30年的树木种植及保护工作, 也间接影響著许多树木的倒塌事故。

树木种植在今天仍然没有完全由树艺师所主导。在选种及树木种植上, 树艺师仍然很少被要求帮助。 大自然的规则会决定树木种植的成败。也许我们可以保存这个讯息及在几年之后再作评定...

此致

国际树木学会 中国地区分会 会长

欧永森
顾问树艺师号 RCA#497 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/12/isa-hkchina-first-rca-in-asia.html)
资深树艺师 / 注册攀树师号 HK-0174BT (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2011/03/isa-hkchina-first-bcma-in-asia.html)
独立执业树艺师号 IPA-010908 (http://isahkchina.blogspot.com/2010/04/isa-hkchina-tree-news-14410-report.html)


“没有深入诊断及探究支持去作出治疗,是专业失误。”


"速成出来的树木评估员,只会作出胡乱的树木评估。大自然会决定成败。”


(以上由莊俊榮 注册树艺师 /市政树艺师号 HK-0009AM 翻绎。一切内容以英文版本为准。)

康文署管樹一團糟 陪審團提多項建議

【本報訊】死因庭陪審團針對發展局及康文署現行樹木風險評估制度及工作細則,上至政策上的樹木級別劃分,下至前線人員培訓,甚至在全民教育的範疇,都作出了全面的改善建議。

在政策方面,陪審團建議樹木辦重新劃分樹木風險級別,並定出極高風險樹木類別並制訂相關的巡查及管理方法,如加強在風雨季時巡查密度。另外,他們 認為要全面檢討現行樹木風險評估的方法,制訂清晰完善的指引,以確保前線員工能有系統執行。

針對培訓不足問題,陪審團建議強制前線員工參加驗樹課程,並要通過考核才可執行相關工作。至於課程內容亦應因應香港環境去制訂,並要提升訓練人員的專業資格。

加強公眾關注樹木安全

最後陪審團認為要加強公眾對樹木安全的認識及關注,亦要提高市民在使用單車時的安全意識,鼓勵佩戴頭盔等安全裝備。

發展局及康文署昨發表聲明,表示已經實行多項樹木風險管理安排,但會慎重考慮死因庭的建議,繼續改進及加快落實各項有關樹木安全的改善措施。

樹木辦發言人指本港樹木數量眾多,樹木健康和結構會不斷變化,呼籲市民留意身邊樹木的狀況,並透過熱線電話及手機程式作出舉報。
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塌樹殺人 裁定意外 死者妻擬向康文署索償

 中年項目經理蔡傑強(49歲)在去年6月14日,踏單車買掃墓水果時,於沙田圓洲角公園外不幸遭1800磅大樹塌下壓死。死因庭昨日裁定死者蔡傑強死於意外,陪審團建議康文署,檢討現有的樹木風險評估機制,並要求康文署員工必須受過考核方可進行樹木評估。死者妻子黃美玉在裁決後,認為康文署需要在事件中負責,考慮向當局索償。

昨日死因裁判官在早上引導陪審團時,稱死者無可置疑是被倒下的樹木擊中頭部而死,死因結論只有是「死於意外」,陪審團可以分析事件成因,及就預防同類事件再發生提出建議。陪審團在下午退庭商議近三小時,一致裁定死者死於意外,陪審團就事件提出多項建議。

檢討樹木風險評估

 陪審團指署方現行樹木風險評估方法有漏洞,建議評估加入地理因素,因應樹木位置,訂立極高風險地區,使巡查更有效率。又指,在目前樹木檢測法下,仍不時出現塌樹殺人事件,認為署方要檢討現有樹木檢測方法,找出檢測法是否出現問題。

 另外,署方需要要加強前線員工培訓,員工必須修讀樹木風險評估的課程,通過考核方可執行職務。最後,希望政府加強市民對樹木安全知識,教育市 民了解樹木風險,同時應鼓勵市民戴頭盔踩單車,提高安全意識。

特別表揚捐贈器官

死因裁判官表示,會將有關建議轉交政府,同時又慰問死者家屬,希望他們能盡早走出傷痛陰霾,開始新生活。裁判官又特別指出死者捐出器官,遺愛人間,代受惠人士向死者及家屬致謝。而死者妻子黃美玉在庭外表示,認為康文署人員,當日未有按指示工作,對員工亦監管不足,認為署方需要在事件中負責,考慮向當局索償。

康文署昨日回應死因庭,在09年已進行全面檢討,署方已提升樹木管理工作的水平,包括重組樹木管理架構,專責樹木管理員由124人增至221 人,又改善樹木檢查指示,並加強社區宣傳及教育,透過舉辦講座和活動,鼓勵市民協助舉報有問題的樹木。

案件編號:CCDI-524/10

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