Whether you are driven to get your chainsaw out by the effects of autumn storms or because you have some specific jobs that need doing, it is paramount that you take all possible precautions so that you work safely with a chain saw.
In this post I’ll look at some of the key chain saw safety considerations, including approach, planning, execution, safety clothing and equipment.
Safe chainsaw working starts before you get your tools out, before you get your safety gear on, even before your get outside. It starts with your attitude and the approach that you take to the work.
In simple terms, you need to know what you are doing and you need to work with a safety first approach. Somebody with the right attitude will:
- ensure their equipment is in good condition at all times
- Make sure that the chainsaw’s engines is tuned and the chain is sharp
- Not consider working if the conditions are not safe to work in
- never rush a job
- be able to keep their concentration at all times.
Before you start up your saw, you need to have worked out exactly how you plan to do the job at hand.
If you are felling a tree, you should be able to assess it for any dangerous limbs or other defects, take account of its natural lean, be aware of any potential obstacles and take account of wind and other weather conditions that might affect the fall.
If you are cutting logs, you need to be aware of any risks presented by the area you are working in.
In short, just like an athlete visualises a race while still in the locker room, you should go through in your mind how you are going to complete the job even before you’ve set up your gear.
Don’t even dream about working with a chainsaw without the following:
- Hard hat
- Earmuffs / ear defenders
- Visor or safety glasses
- Leather or other safety gloves
- Steel toe-cap work boots with nonslip tread
- Close-fitting clothes
- Chaps or other leg protection
As far as ear defenders and goggles are concerned the one piece visor/ear defenders are probably the best options these days. Also, wrap around chaps like the ones featured below are good because there is less chance of them snagging on twigs or branches as you work.
Husqvarna 577764601 Pro Forest Helmet System
While we are on the subject of physical safety, it is always a good idea to make sure you have good first aid kit on hand, as well as the means to call for help (such as a cell phone) if you need it.
You should also make sure you have sufficient food and water with you. This is because dehydration and fluctuations in blood sugar levels can easily affect concentration and lead to accidents.
Execution – getting the job done
Once you are in the right frame of mind, have a plan of action and are properly kitted out, you need to press on and get the job done. Here are some important safety considerations to bear in mind as you work:
- Refuel safely, away from smokers or naked flames
- Don’t start the where you have refuelled
- When starting the saw on your own, place it on the ground and clear away any obstacles near the tip of the bar
- Always keep a firm hold of the saw
- Always be alive to the possibility of kickback
- Keep the chain away from rocks or dirt
- Always carry the saw with the chain brake applied or with the engine stopped
- Don’t work on your own or where you can’t raise help if needed
- Keep your hands away from the moving chain at all times.
Now, with all this safety advice in mind, check out the reviews of the outdoorpowerbuddy recommended chainsaws:
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Also, please add your safety tips and advice in the comments below.