Chainsaw Safety

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Jun 13, 2018

Over 30,000 chainsaw accidents happen throughout the United States in one year. Knowing the safety of how to use a chainsaw is extremely important. You need correct training, proper use, and correct PPE for the job.


BEFORE YOU USE THE CHAINSAW
-Tell someone where you are using the chainsaw
-Be sure your vehicle is near you
-Be sure to have your mobile phone on you


SAFE USE OF CHAINSAWS
-Before using a chainsaw you need to read the instruction manual
-Be sure you do not alter any guards or safety features
-Wear PPE while using a chainsaw
-Do not use a chainsaw while on a ladder
-Do not smoke while using a chainsaw
-Make sure to start the saw on the ground
-Start 10 feet from fueling area
-Do not fuel or run a hot saw
-Clear away debris from path
-Be sure to turn off the saw when walking on an uneven path
-Keep your hands on the handles at all times
-Do not wear loose clothing
-Avoid kickback
-Hold the saw close to your body
-Do not hold above your waist
-Do not cut while in a wet area


PPE
-Protective chaps
-Hardhat
-Face shield
-Gloves
-Ear plugs
-Protective toe boots


SAFETY FEATURES
There are several safety features you will commonly find on a homeowner-model saw. Some features below are available only on gas-powered saws (Reference - Lowe's)

Chain brake - designed to stop the chain if kickback occurs
Chain catcher - helps reduce the risk of a broken or derailed chain striking the operator
Low-kickback chain - includes links designed to reduce the risk of kickback
Low-kickback bar - has a small tip radius to reduce the risk of kickback
Bar tip guard - covers the bar tip to keep the tip of the saw from touching the wood, reducing the risk of kickback
Hand guard - protects your hands from kickback
Chain oiler - provides lubricant to the bar and chain to prevent overheating and binding
Anti-vibration features - reduces stress to your joints and provides comfort
Throttle lockout trigger - prevents accidental activation of the throttle control; allows the motor to idle without engaging the chain
Stop switch - allows the operator to shut off the saw without releasing the saw
Spark arrester - helps prevent sparks from being expelled by the exhaust and becoming a fire hazard
Bumper spikes - help maintain the saw's position against the wood

OSHA Chainsaw Safety

If you haven't read last week's post on Spotter Safety, read it here.

Resources: https://www.lowes.com/projects/gardening-and-outdoor/chainsaw-safety/project

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