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How to Observe Chainsaw Safety

Updated on August 2, 2011
Chainsaw Safety
Chainsaw Safety | Source

Chainsaw safety is serious business. A chainsaw is probably the most dangerous power tool there is. Chainsaws have caused hundreds of thousands of injuries in the U.S. over the years, including many fatalities. Thousands of serious injuries still occur each year despite advances in design and multiple safety features. Here are a few crucial guidelines to help insure chainsaw safety.

Never Fell a Tree with a Chainsaw

Felling trees requires serious training in chainsaw safety and operation. Hire a professional service if you have a tree that needs to be felled, unless you do it for a living.

Read the Manufacturer's Instructions

Before chainsaw safety is possible a user must read and understand both the manufacturer's instructions and, especially, the operator's safety manual. If you or any potential user is unwilling to read or follow the safety instructions do not use a chainsaw; hire a professional instead.

Use All the Safety Equipment Recommended

This includes hard hat, face mask and eye protection, leg chaps, steel toed shoes, and safety gloves. The cost of all this chainsaw safety equipment is a lot less than the cost of using a hospital emergency room.

Be Sure to Protect Others

Teenagers and children should not be allowed to be present when a chainsaw is being used. Chainsaw safety also requires that any other adult observers be at least 10 meters (33 feet) away from a chainsaw when it is in use, or they might be hurt by kickback or flying debris.

Observe the Two-Person Rule

No one should be allowed to use a chainsaw alone. At least one other adult should be observing chainsaw use in case of an accident and injury. This basic rule of chainsaw safety is often violated. The adult observer should have up-to-date certifications in CPR and First Aid as well as a fully charged cell phone and a first aid kit.

Final Safety Consideartions

If you are planning to buy a chainsaw purchase the best possible brand and model. Don't forget to figure in the cost of recommended safety equipment.

If you use a chainsaw in your job make sure you familiarize yourself with OSHA safety requirements.

There are many other requirements for complete chainsaw safety. This article can only touch the basics; read the safety manual thoroughly. Never be in a hurry to use a chainsaw.


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