CHAINSAW SAFETY BASICS
Working with a chainsaw involves many different work situations with both simple and more complicated steps. The chainsaw is a very effective tool, but it can also be dangerous if used improperly. In order to avoid accidents and unnecessary strain, you should use the correct working techniques, the best possible safety equipment and a modern chainsaw with functioning safety features.
Take a chainsaw course for safety’s sake!
There are several companies and organizations that offer courses in chainsaw use and safety. Find out what rules apply in your country.
Basic rules for working with a chainsaw
THE THUMB GRIP Keep a steady grip on both handles on the saw. Thumbs and fingers must be completely wrapped around the handles. It is very important to hold the thumb of your left hand under the front handle in order to reduce the force of a possible kickback.
CLOSE CONTACT Do not be afraid of the saw. Hold it close to your body for better balance and to make the saw feel less heavy.BALANCE Stand with your feet apart. To achieve the best possible balance, put your left foot slightly in front of your right.
BEND YOUR KNEES Spare your back. Do not work with a curved spine, bend your knees instead when working in low positions.
MOVING / TRANSPORT The chain must not be rotating when you are moving to another spot. When moving in several steps, you should activate the chain brake or turn off the engine. When you move a longer distance or when transporting, you should fit the guide bar guard.
SAFETY DISTANCE Make sure that no one is closer to you than 3 – 5 metres when working with a chainsaw. During tree felling, a greater safety distance is required.
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine