Lewis Tree Service Case Study


As the second largest provider of utility vegetation management services in North America, Lewis Tree Service is a leader in safety, responsiveness and innovation. Lewis personnel work in support of many electric co-op and municipal electric utilities. Thus, they provide a wide range of vegetation management services and expertise including transmission and distribution utility line clearing and outage response resources.


Suffering from exceptional high loss frequency in both auto liability (vehicular crashes) and worker’s compensation (on-the-job-injuries), including three fatalities in a single year, Lewis / Monroe Tree Service engaged Avatar to create an effective outcome-based approach to managing risk.


Avatar created custom-designed materials and assisted Lewis / Monroe Tree Services in the roll-out and implementation of the following:

Safety Leadership: This four hour interactive workshop provided front line leaders, managers and supervisors with an understanding of why people have accidents and injuries, what to look for and how to intervene before repetitive unsafe behaviors led to actual losses. As a result, managers and supervisors left with a new found understanding of risk management and tools they could use to bring about meaningful change.

New Employee Selection & Hiring: Avatar created and validated a multiple hurdle employee selection process, featuring pre-employment assessments to uncover the presence of vital characteristics needed for success on the job. In addition to more traditional data gathered through an application process, new stages/hurdles were created, including:

  • Psychometric assessments testing for consciousness, risk aversion and compliance.
  • Realistic job preview to allow applicants the opportunity to self-select out, based on the nature
    of the job.
  • Physical agility test to determine strength, stamina and endurance.
  • Structured behaviorally-anchored job interview.
  • Manager’s guide for effective selection and hiring processes.
  • Lastly, Direct one-on-one consultation and training on the system.

Safety Education & Training: Through job analysis, Avatar identified 16 key subjects. While numerous, each subjected was needed for success. Thus, Avatar created custom-designed, video based workshop materials covering the following subjects:

  • Understanding Safety & Risk
  • Pre-trip Inspections
  • Following Distance
  • Intersections
  • Backing
  • Lane Changing
  • On-Site Parking and Securement
  • Lifting
  • Pinch Points
  • Chain Saw Safety
  • Chipper Safety
  • Electrical Hazards


During the first full year after implementation, total loss cost was reduced by 15 percent (15%). As a result, Lewis Tree Service received an additional $2.97 million in EBITDA.