SafetyWatch: Chainsaw safety tips

September 1, 2017 -  By

Making a poor choice or a simple mistake when using a chainsaw can result in serious injury to you or bystanders and can cause significant property damage.

Never use a chainsaw if you’re unsure of your abilities or feel unsafe. Don’t work above your skill level, and never operate a chainsaw without proper training. Consult with your manager or supervisor prior to using a chainsaw. Chainsaw injuries can be life-threatening.

Chainsaws come for right-handed use only. Left-handed users will have to adapt. Always hold the top handle in your left hand and the rear handle in your right hand, regardless of your handedness.

Other safety considerations include:

  • Never work alone.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, sized and adjusted properly.
  • Ensure all equipment is up to standards, in good repair and in working order.
  • Establish a work plan and implement it.
  • Remember, communication and supervision are key.
  • Use ropes, pulleys and equipment to gain mechanical advantage when needed.
  • Use spotters to monitor site conditions.
  • Ensure all crew members are aware of the danger zone when felling is taking place.
  • Rest as needed. Fatigue can cause fatal mistakes.
  • Dead, hollow or decayed trees are hazardous.
  • If your hands bother you long after using the saw, consult a doctor. Constant use of a saw and the vibrations has been known to cause vibration white finger or Raynaud’s syndrome.
  • Never wrap ropes around your waist, hands or other body parts. You must be able to readily release a rope used to aid the falling direction of a tree.

Source: Greenius

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