One of the most important things anyone needs to know about chainsaw use is safe and proper operation. The operator’s main priority is to keep themselves and those around them safe while operating a chainsaw. While manufacturers strive to produce safer chainsaws by developing new features, the user still holds the final responsibility regarding personal and workplace safety. Chainsaw operators should educate themselves about safe and proper usage and follow the proper procedure when performing a project. Operators should also always wear their personal protective gear before even picking up the chainsaw as well as to inspect every component of the chainsaw before use.
I’m sure that most people know that chainsaws are a dangerous tool, but many people still fail to understand or appreciate the risks involved when using one. A chainsaw isn’t just an ordinary power tool that you can buy and use without any experience. There are ways to minimise the risks but it requires effort and learning on part of the operator to develop a good understanding of safe and proper chainsaw operation.
Many people assume that they are invincible, that an accident won’t happen to them. These people would like to think that injuries will never happen to them because they are different. There’s practically a chainsaw for sale everywhere, and maybe they just used the wrong type. Some people are even arrogant enough to think that they don’t need to learn about safe and proper chainsaw operation. I mean, how hard could it be? That kind of thinking is the sort that sends people to the emergency room, or to an early grave. Chainsaw safety should always be your first priority.
Here are some tips that you should always remember. The pointers here might just save you.
1. Read the manual
One of the simples things you can do is to read the user manual and familiarise its contents. Not all chainsaws are built the same so you need to be familiar with your specific model.
2. Know yourself
Knowing yourself means understanding your limits. There’s no shame in calling a professional if you feel you can’t safely and properly do a certain project. Safety should override your ego.
3. Wear safety gear
Always wear your personal protective gear before doing chainsaw work. Here are some of the safety gear you should wear:
– Hard hat
– Hearing protection
– Eye protection
– Work gloves
– Steel-toed boots
4. Start simple
Don’t do projects that are beyond your capabilities. If you’re just starting, then start with simple projects. A great place to start is to practice cutting small logs or branches for firewood. Do not attempt felling a tree by yourself. Practice whenever you can and you will get better.
5. Work in pairs
Never attempt to cut wood alone. Always work in pairs. The other person should be near enough that you can see them but not too close that they could be injured as well.
6. Prepare an emergency plan
You should always be prepared for the worst. Prepare an emergency plan before starting a project. Locate the nearest clinic or hospital and always have a well-stocked first aid kit with you.
7. Use a platform
Use a platform or block when cutting wood. Do not cut wood that is being held by another person.
8. Engage the chain brake
Always engage the chain break before starting the chainsaw. The chainsaw brakes keep the cutting chain from moving before you are ready to cut.
9. Use both hands
Always use both hands when holding a chainsaw, even if it is turned off. Never use one hand for using a running chainsaw. If you have to use your hand for something always turn the chainsaw off first.
10. Don’t climb trees
Do not attempt to climb a tree with a chainsaw, even if it’s not operational. If you need to cut branches that are too high up, use a pole saw instead.
Don’t rush through the project. Remain calm as you do your work. It pays to plan before starting a project but if you are unsure what to do next, shut your chainsaw off and come up with a good plan first.
12. Check your chainsaw
Always inspect every part of the chainsaw before use. Make sure that all safety guards and features are operational. Do not use the chainsaw if you find any faults or damage.