Any type of saw can be dangerous if the person is not using it carefully. A chainsaw is particularly quite risky because of its sharpness. If you want to prevent any kind of unwanted situations then you need to follow the mentioned chainsaw safety measures.
How to Safely Use a Chainsaw?
Why is it risky to use a chainsaw?
A chainsaw can be extremely risky but the chances and severity of the risk depend on how you are using the tool. Here are some of the ways through which a chainsaw can cause unwanted accidents.
Kickbacks: Chainsaws usually have a kickback zone. The guide bar’s upper side is the kickback zone. If you saw using this particular part, you’ll end up causing an accident. Typically, chainsaws tend to go upward and backward with tremendous force. A lot of people find it difficult to maintain a stable position due to this force which further causes an accident.
If you don’t handle the saw carefully, there are higher chances that kickbacks will happen. This the primary reason for which you’ll need to take all the safety measures.
Risks of kickbacks while pruning: When you’re trying to prune using a chainsaw, there is a chance that it’ll cause kickback. Due to the heavy force, it can cause jerking and lead to a bad accident.
Risks of kickbacks while crosscutting: This is one of the most common risks of a chainsaw. If you’re using a chainsaw carelessly, you will end up harming yourself. For example, if the kickback zone’s guide bar is straight in front of the trunk and then if a kickback occurs, you’ll hurt yourself very badly. Another common way of causing an accident is by placing the guide bar’s nose straight with the wood.
Risks of kickbacks while limping: If you are close to the guide bar and a kickback occurs, it’ll hurt you with a great force. So be aware when it’s limping.
Risks of flying sawdust: Another common way of an accident is caused by sawdust. When you use a tool like a chainsaw, it cuts the material with extreme force. As a result, projectile of the material like woodchips and sawdust can come at you with force and end up hurting you. Sawdust can cut your skin and hurt your eyes badly.
Related Reading: Radial Arm Saw Safety | Miter saw Safety
Safety tools to use while working with a chainsaw safely
Using a chainsaw means you are associating yourself with great risk and in this case, different safety tools will help you to prevent or decrease the seriousness of any injury. Before you choose the safety tools, make sure they are in an acceptable condition and they’re good enough to protect you from the risks. Here are some of the safety tools that are perfect to protect you from the risks of a chainsaw:
- Hand protectors such as hand gloves or work gloves protect your hands from cutting and giving you a good grip.
- Ear protector or earmuffs to protect your ears from heavy noise.
- Eye and face protector. You can either wear eye goggles/ glasses or a face shield to protect your face.
- Eye goggles will protect your eyes from the sawdust and on the other hand, a shield will protect your entire face.
- Wear protective footwear to protect your feet from cutting.
- Use leg protection to protect your legs.
Precaution – What to do before starting
Before you start cutting with a chainsaw, here are some things that you need to take care of:
Check the different parts: Make sure that the chain, control and bolts are working properly. Look at the instruction manual and adjust different parts accordingly.
Check the saw’s chain: Ensure that the chain of the saw is not blunt and the reservoir containing the lubricant is filled.
Keep it away from inflammable things: If your saw is powered by gasoline then keep in mind that it’s away from anything that’ll cause inflammation. Make sure that the fuel has both oil and gas in it. The proportion should be according to the manual.
Check the fuel container: The container for fuel needs to be made out of plastic or metal and the capacity has to be under 5 gallons. The most important part is, it needs to have the approval of the NRTL (nationally recognized testing laboratory).
Safety while working
Maintain a good grip: You need to have a firm grip on the handle of the chainsaw. Your fingers and thumbs need to properly wrap the handle. In order to maintain the grip and prevent kickbacks, place your left thumb beneath the upper part of the handle.
Hold at the right position: When you are holding a chainsaw, trying to hold it as close to yourself as possible. It will give you balance and take away the weight of the saw.
Maintain balance: In order to maintain posture and balance while using a chainsaw, you can simply forward your left foot ahead of your right foot.
Ensure a good posture: If you are working at a lower position then make sure that your spine is straight and your knees are a bit bent.
Turn off the power during the movement: When you are taking the saw from one place to another, turn off the power first and then move to your spot. Never change your position when the chain is rotating. If the distance is longer, use a guard instead.
Clean the workspace: Ensure that the area is empty when you’re working with a chainsaw. No one should be in the 16 feet premises of the chainsaw.
Look out for power lines: If you are cutting a tree using a chainsaw then make sure that there’s no power line surrounding the tree. There should be a 32 feet empty space around the work area.
Take permission from the network distributors: Make sure that the network distributors know when the power needs to be off.
Safety after finishing the work
You need to take care of some aspects even after finishing the work. These are:
Check the engine: Turn off the engine before you proceed. Make sure that the power is off and then look if the cut is perfect or not.
Clean the chainsaw: The chainsaw needs a thorough cleanup after every usage. Clean the sprocket cover, cooling inlets, chain brakes, etc. after you’re done working. Cleanse the oil hole and the guide bar.
Check the guide bar: After you’re done, make sure that the guide bar is straight and the burring is on point.
Check the sprocket and other parts: Look at the chain and sprocket. A lot of the time chains get cracked after work. check if there is any crack. Look at the bolt, nut, screw and so on.
Safety tips and tricks
- Here are some safety tips and tricks that’ll help you to further ensure the safety of your surroundings.
- Make sure that the height is right when you’re working with a chainsaw. The appropriate height is between the shoulder and the level of the ground.
- Ensure that someone is near you when you’re working so that if you can call them in need, they can be there with the help.
- Make sure that you are at sound mind when you’re working with a tool like a chainsaw.
- Maintain a stable position when you are using a chainsaw. Ensure that you have a good grip and you are steady with the saw.
- Chainsaws are meant for cutting wood. Don’t use it for any other purpose other than that.
- Make sure that the size of the tree or wood matches the blade of the saw.
Chainsaws can be risky but if you follow the above measures carefully, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe and sound. Follow the safety tips and tricks for extra protection.