Chainsaw Safety Toolbox Talk

Learn about the imperative safety precautions of using a chainsaw on the jobsite.

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Chainsaw Safety Talk

Using a chainsaw should be done with extreme caution at all times. Every year there are more than 30,000 injuries reported related to chainsaws in the United States. Many people who work with them for a living know how to use caution and be particularly safe with them. The majority of the accidents that happen are from untrained individuals using them at home. But, that doesn’t make trained professionals incapable of being injured as well.

It is very important to obtain the correct training and qualifications if you work a job that you are operating a chainsaw regularly. There is a specific PPE that needs to be worn to prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring. Chainsaws are dangerous tools to use, that is why employees should take the correct safety precautions to work safely.

Statistics Of Chainsaw Injuries

There are some more common than other reasons that people are injured from a chainsaw. Anytime you are using a power tool, especially one used to put things in half, there is a risk of harm. That is why knowing the safety protocols to make sure you are being as responsible as possible is important. Some statistics to be known about chainsaws are:

  • OSHA recorded that in 2012, there were 243 workers who suffered fatalities due to tree trimming.
  • The most common area of the body to endure an injury from a chainsaw is the legs or the knees. In fact, it is measured in at about 36% of injuries that happen to these areas of your body.
  • When you are using a chainsaw, you should always try and be as cautious as possible. Always be ready for anything that can happen. Most injuries that are endured by a chainsaw happen when the blade gets hung up, called a kickback. The blade will “kickback” in the direction of the operator.
  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission did a study on the injuries that were endured from chainsaws. On average, everyone who needed stitches due to a laceration from the blade needed 110 stitches.
  • Safely Using A Chainsaw

    When you are using a chainsaw, it is important to make sure that you are knowledgeable and informed about it. You never want to figure it out as you go, that just leaves room for errors to occur. The proper training and knowledge are needed to ensure you are being as safe as you can be. Some practices to keep in mind in the workplace are:

  • When you are on a ladder, suspended above, or on unstable surfaces, you should never operate a chainsaw for any reason. It is taking a risk of your life and the other people who are around below you. You take the chance of losing your balance and falling or accidentally cutting yourself.
  • You should always use the blades as they are intended to be used. Altering the functioning in any way poses a hazard to yourself. The safety features that are on the chainsaw are there for a reason and should always be in working order.
  • Always read the instructions and manuals that are provided to you with the chainsaw. This will teach you exactly what all the features are of it and how to use them. This way you will know how to safely use the tool and what not to do with it.
  • Wear PPE

    Wearing PPE at all times when operating a chainsaw can help protect you. This is going to keep you safe and help prevent unnecessary injuries that can be prevented with PPE. The items that should be worn are:

  • Hard Hat
  • Gloves
  • Earplugs
  • Protective chaps
  • Face Shield
  • Protective Toe Boots
  • Chainsaw Safety Features

    One of the reasons that reading the manual that comes along with your chainsaw is so important is so you understand all the features of it. Otherwise, while utilizing it, if something goes wrong you are at greater risk of injury. Always protect yourself with PPE and information. The safety features on a chainsaw are:

  • Felling Sight
  • Anti-Vibration Mounts
  • Chain Brakes
  • Safety Trigger Locks
  • Low Kick-Back Chains
  • Spark Arrester
  • Sprocket-Nose Bar
  • Chain Catch Pin
  • Hand Guards
  • When you are the operator of a chainsaw, you should have full knowledge of what to do in case of an emergency. Knowing where a first aid kit is or how to get someone to help you if needed.

    What Not To Wear and Do When Operating A Chainsaw

    There are specific things that you should wear when operating a chainsaw, such as the PPE that is provided to you by the workplace. But, there are also certain items that you should not wear. Loose clothing can pose a major hazard to you while using a chainsaw. It is just as important as using the correct safety wear.

    When you are operating a chainsaw, you should always make full contact with the blade to the area that you are cutting. Don’t start a connection with the tip of it, that is when the blade will try and kick back on people. It is also ideal that you never reach above you to cut something, always try and keep the level of the chainsaw below shoulder height.

    Safety Comes First

    Whenever you are operating any type of power tool or mechanical device, you should take the utmost precaution that you can. Being negligent to the surroundings that you have can result in unneeded injuries occurring. These types of tools always need to be treated respectfully and responsibly.

    Safety regulations and protocols are put into place to try and keep everyone at the workplace as safe as possible. Injuries can happen even when the right precautions are being followed, that is why it is so important to prevent as much as you can. Some things to pay attention to are:

  • Your Surroundings
  • Don’t Get Fatigued
  • Take Breaks As Needed
  • Never Walk When It's Running
  • Always Hold Firmly
  • Never Operate Alone Without Training
  • Always Stand To The Side, Never Straddle What You Are Cutting
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