Every year, approximately 36,000 people in the United States end up in the hospital from chainsaw accidents.
What do all of these people have in common? None of them thought they would be there.
Chainsaw safety is about a lot more than just wearing safety gears.
It’s also about knowing how, when, and where to use a chainsaw. If you don’t take the time to educate yourself on how to use one, you can end up in a serious or fatal accident.
Below are some of the most important chainsaw safety tips that everyone should know before handling a chainsaw.
Chainsaw Safety Tips That Will Keep You Safe
Chainsaw safety should start before you even pick up a chainsaw.
Here are 10 crucial safety rules to keep you safe before, during, and after using a chainsaw.
1. Educate Yourself
Read every single word of the instruction manual that comes with your chainsaw.
There are lots of different types of chainsaws for different purposes and you should never assume one operates the same way as another.
Even if you’ve used chainsaws before, you should still go over the instructions manual for the new chainsaw you’re using.
If you don’t understand what you read, ask someone with experience in using chainsaws or watch videos online for further clarification.
Set your ego aside. You do not want to end up on the news for a chainsaw accident.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Proper chainsaw safety gear includes:
- hard hat
- safety glasses
- hearing protection
- heavy work gloves
- chainsaw chaps (cut-resistant legwear)
- boots which cover the ankle
Do NOT attempt to operate a chainsaw without any of these gears.
3. Clear the Surroundings
Before doing any cutting, make sure you clear your surrounding of debris.
This means any wires, nails, leaves, rocks, twigs, or anything that you can trip, slip, or get tangled in.
Don’t forget to look above too to make sure nothing can fall on you when you’re cutting.
Another thing we would highly recommend when you use a chainsaw is to make sure someone or at least a phone is nearby in case anything happens and have a safety kit nearby.
4. Inspect the Chainsaw
Before you begin to cut, inspect the chainsaw and make sure all safety features are working.
Check to see that the chain is sharp, oiled well, and tight on the guide bar.
Make sure the air filter is clean otherwise it’ll overheat fast.
A common problem with old chainsaws is that they won’t start. If this happens you can run a coil ignition test.
Before you start your chainsaw project, practice cutting on some simple logs first.
Do not attempt to cut anything too big or complicated on your first try.
This is a chance to help you get used to the feel of the chainsaw and also to test that the chainsaw is functioning properly.
6. Cut With Confidence
When using a chainsaw, stand firmly and slightly next to the chainsaw.
Never stand directly behind it in case your chainsaw pulls backward and never stand in an awkward position that compromises your balance.
The last thing you want is to do is lose balance with a chainsaw in your hands.
Always hold the chainsaw with both hands and push firmly through the object. If you sense the chainsaw is getting pinched or stuck, stop immediately, and see if you can remove the chainsaw first and start over.
Do not rush!
One crucial thing to know about using chainsaws is to NEVER cut with the tip of the chainsaw because if a sawtooth gets caught or pinched on a piece of wood, it can violently jerk the whole chainsaw backward.
This is known as a kickback and it can cause the operator fatal injuries.
To avoid this, you must be hyperaware of where the tip of the chainsaw is at all times and make sure there are no other pieces of wood around that the tip can get stuck on accidentally.
And remember to always position yourself slightly to the side of the chainsaw, use both hands, and cut all the way through.
8. Know When to Call A Professional
If you need to chainsaw something that is beyond your capabilities such as a gnarly tree, do NOT attempt to do it yourself unless you’re a professional.
Cutting bent and twisted branches can be dangerous if you don’t know how to angle the chainsaw or have the correct chainsaw for the job.
Professionals are trained to do these jobs and have different size chainsaw for this purpose.
Do not let your ego or desire to save money get in the way of calling a professional to do a job that is hazardous to yourself.
9. Never Climb With A Chainsaw
If you need to cut something that is high up, call a professional.
Holding a chainsaw on a ladder is a dangerous task. If you lose your balance, you can drop the chainsaw and fall onto it.
This is a scenario we do not even want to imagine. There is simply no need to make an already risky task even more dangerous. It is simply not worth it.
10. Maintenance and Storage
After using your chainsaw, empty the fuel tank and clean out the air filter.
This will help prevent residue buildup. Remove the chain and guide bar, clean them, and apply oil onto them to prevent rust.
Cover up the chainsaw with a scabbard to prevent injuries and to protect the chain from outside elements. And always keep a chainsaw out of reach from children.
Cut With Confidence
The more prepared you are to use a chainsaw, the less likely you are to injure yourself.
Remember to start small when you’re new to using chainsaws and take the time to review all of this information.
Educating yourself on chainsaw safety will only take you a few minutes but an injury can last a lifetime.