- Home Improvement
Chain Saw Chaps - Leg Protection
For portable protection, many loggers and handymen rely on chain saw chaps. Any type of motorized tool can be dangerous and chain saws are among the most deadly. OSHA annually reports thousands and thousands of injuries stemming from kickbacks or slips with a saw. Emergency rooms across the country see the results of chain saw accidents daily. Leg protection is crucial and many people prefer the use of chain saw chaps to full pants. These chaps are easily stored behind a truck seat and slip on in minutes. Safety gear should always be used when operating a power tool.
Kevlar, not surprisingly, is one of the most common and best materials for protecting the body from cuts. Kevlar fabric is very light in weight yet stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. When pulled into a saw chain during an accident, Kevlar fibers can wrap around the links, which clogs the chain and reduces the chance for injury. OSHA expects proper leg protectors to be able to withstand up to 2750 feet per minute chain saw speeds. Kevlar can offer protection at speeds over 3000 fpm. This makes them a smart choice and a better option than polyester or ballistic nylon chaps that do not contain Kevlar.
There are many styles of chain saw chaps on the market. Some only cover the front of the leg, but the best models wrap around to fully cover the calf muscles as well. The come in a wide variety of colors with green and bright orange being very common. They fasten at the waist and around the legs with buckles or Velcro straps and slip on in minutes. It is not a case of one-size-fits-all and there are different sizes available to ensure a proper fit and maximize protection.
It is important to remember that chain saw chaps or chain saw pants should not be the only protective gear worn by a person cutting lumber. A chain saw helmet, vest and sturdy pair of boots are without question absolute necessities in order to reduce the chance for injury. No leg protection will stop a running chain saw and this must not be forgotten. Chain saw chaps can increase the time to react and this can lead to a less serious injury or even no injury at all from a glancing blow. It only takes a split second for a saw to cut through jeans and into a leg – far too quick for the user to stop it. Chaps can give the user the time needed to possibly stop a life threatening cut. They can be found at most home improvement centers or at online retailers. Invest in a pair because it is an investment in your safety!