Health & Safety training
HAVS Awareness and Innovation Day

HAVS Awareness Day

Practicality Brown hosted a ‘HAVS Awareness and Investigation’ day. This initiative was driven by Fusion JV to look at whether the risk of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) can be reduced within the land and vegetation clearance industry.

What is HAVS

Workers whose hands are regularly exposed to high levels of vibration may suffer from a variety of work-related injuries to the hands and arms, including impaired blood flow and nerve damage. Collectively the injuries and the symptoms they cause are known as HAVS, also known as “White Finger”.

Reducing HAVS risk

Whilst much of the risk of HAVS has been removed by mechanising vegetation works, we still have the need to use chainsaws within the industry. Practicality Brown use Dymax Tree shears; 10” on 8-tonne excavators, 14” on 14 tonne and a 16” on 21 tonne, which are optimum for vegetation clearance, however, the diameter of the cut is limited. Chainsaws still need to be used to; cut large diameter material, in locations inaccessible for plant and where mobilisation of large equipment is uneconomical.
If large sections of timber are felled by chainsaw then further cutting can be kept to a minimum as excavators with tree shears, selector grabs or wood crackers, forestry forwarders and whole tree chippers can be used to process the timber. We would not expect any Practicality Brown chainsaw operator to get close to HAVS exposure limits during our clearance operations.

Awareness Day

This event aimed to highlight, increase awareness and investigate how tool manufacturers are helping to further reduce the risk of HAVS with the release of new equipment.

Practicality Brown was joined by Fusion JV, HS2 Ltd, Stihl, Husqvarna and VP plc who provide a HAVi monitoring system.

After presentations from Practicality Brown and Fusion, Stihl and Husqvarna exhibited and discussed new models of chainsaw including new petrol injected and battery-powered models. The different saws were used in a live demonstration whilst being monitored for their HAVS outputs. This revealed some interesting results which we will report on in the near future..

Here at Practicality Brown, health and safety and occupational health are our number one priority and want to provide the best possible working conditions for our employees. Awareness days like this will hopefully help to drive and improve industry standards for HAVS.

Tree Surgeons
Expanding our Land Clearance Expertise

Practicality Brown Limited have recently acquired the commercial business of Midland Tree Surgeons Ltd, which reinforces its position as a leader in the land clearance industry.

Midlands Tree Surgeons (MTS) founded and managed for over 40 years by Robert Kennedy, until his recent retirement, has a strong reputation for professionalism and reliability in the development site clearance business, which we have every intention of continuing. We look forward to expanding our Midlands tree and vegetation clearance activities, with locally based expertise and resources.

Skilled tree surgeon

Extending our expertise

Managing Director Alastair Beddall announcing the purchase of MTS said

“It was a perfect fit, there are many similarities in the way we manage our business and in our high customer satisfaction ratings. We have worked closely together on several large tree clearance contracts in the Midlands area and the purchase of Robert’s company made commercial sense”.


Whilst the existing MTS telephone, website and email addresses are being maintained, all new enquiries are welcome at

Midland Office: 01295 690011 Iver | Head Office: 01753 652022


We operate our own compliant fleet of specialist mechanised resources including:

5  Dymax Tree Shears up to 16”

8 Mulchers up to 400hp

2 whole tree chippers both 550hp

stump grinders

excavator mounted winch

forestry forwarder

heavy duty flail mower

remote control tractor mulcher

2 tree spades and more.

PBL’s chainsaw teams are based regionally and wood chip produced is processed at our own wood fuel hub into premium grade biomass fuel.


Stoke Common Restoration

Stoke Common Restoration

Practicality Brown prides itself on unrivalled customer satisfaction and long working relationships with a number of clients; one of which is the City of London Corporation. This organisation owns and manages some 5,400 Ha of open spaces in and around London. We have been working with them Read more

Luton Dunstable Busway
Luton Dunstable Busway – Vegetation Clearance

Luton Dunstable Busway – Vegetation Clearance

Practicality Brown carried out a vegetation clearance programme on the Luton Dunstable busway for main contractor, Bam Nuttall on behalf of Luton Borough Council. The site was a 12km section of disused railway comprising of both trees and scrub, running adjacent to live roads and railway from the centre of Dunstable to the opposite side of Luton. Traffic and Pedestrian Management was necessary in order to clear vegetation from the nine rail over bridges along the route, all of which intersect with busy live roads. The scheme provides a state of the art guided bus connection between Luton and Dunstable.

The contract had various constraints, including a condensed programme. As well as mechanised vegetation clearance, we provided ecology advice and sensitive management with Badgers, Bats, Slow Worms, Nesting Birds and important Flora.

Major road clearance
Major Tree Clearance A46 Nottingham and Newark

Major Tree Clearance A46 Nottingham and Newark

Practicality Brown were asked site clearance works on the A46 near Nottingham by Balfour Beatty plc.  It was no ordinary road scheme as there were tight deadlines with a short notice period and involved a team of 6 excavator mounted Tree Shears, whole tree chippers, timber forwarders, 3 crews of experienced tree climbers and chainsaw operators, and full time supervision. A letter Read more