Basic Chain Saw Safety

A chain saw is a powerful motorized tool that is used in cutting wood and logs. Chainsaws operate at very high speeds and can cause fatal injuries when operated carelessly.

Only operate a chainsaw if you have received appropriate training for its use. Read the instruction manual thoroughly before you turn on a chainsaw for the first time. Following some basic safety guidelines will keep you protect you and others from injury.

Dress Appropriately

  • You must dress in snug-fitting, comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement. Wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants to prevent cuts and scrapes from nearby plants or bushes.
  • Wear sturdy, slip-resistant footwear.
  • Avoid loose clothes or jewelry that could become entangled in surrounding bushes or on the chainsaw.
  • The vibrations and pressure caused by the operation of a chainsaw can cause conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or whitefinger disease. You can prevent this by wearing thick gloves and keeping your hands warm.
  • Wear an approved hardhat to protect your head. Wear ear mufflers to protect your hearing. Protective goggles and a face screen offer additional protection.

Keep Bystanders Away

  • Never operate a chainsaw around children or animals.
  • If somebody enters your work area, turn off the chainsaw immediately. Never try to operate the chainsaw and engage in conversation at the same time.
  • Never operate a chainsaw if you are alone in a secluded location. In case of an accident, there must be someone close by who can come to your aid.

Use Caution When You Refuel

  • When refueling a gas chainsaw, make sure the device is not warm. Wait till it has cooled down, and refuel in an airy outdoor location.
  • Wipe off any excess fuel after refueling. Replace and tighten the cap.
  • Move a safe distance from the fueling spot before turn the chainsaw on again.
  • Never smoke when you are refueling the chainsaw.

Operate Carefully

  • Never use the chainsaw if you are feeling ill or fatigued or when you are under medication.
  • Avoid standing directly behind the chainsaw.
  • Never stand on a ladder or any unsteady surface when you are operating a chainsaw. You may use a pole chainsaw while standing on the ground. These models are attached to the end of a pole, and provide greater reach.
  • Always use both hands to hold the saw securely while you are operating it.
  • Many dangerous accidents can occur when a chainsaw jerks back. This is called 'kickback,' and it happens when the rotating chain is blocked after making contact with a surface. This causes the chainsaw to swing back in an arc towards the operator, and it can cause fatal injuries. To avoid kickback situations, be very careful to avoid the bar tip from making contact with any object during sawing. Do not use techniques that you are unfamiliar with. Avoid trying to cut multiple logs at a time.
  • Never operate a chainsaw indoors, as the machine emits dangerous fumes that may cause cancer.
  • Always start the chainsaw when it is on the ground with the chain brake engaged. This will stop the machine should kickback occur.
  • Avoid using the chainsaw in extreme weather, as when the ground is snowy or slippery.
  • Always have a first aid kit handy.