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Chainsaw safety tips

Posted by Shannon Heindl on

Chainsaw safety tips

Working with chainsaws can be dangerous if not used properly. In order to avoid accidents and unnecessary strain, make sure you’re using correct working techniques, the best possible safety equipment and a modern chainsaw with functioning safety features.


Before you start

There are a several things you need to do before you start working with a chainsaw. If you are working alone, make sure to keep these rules in mind:

    1. Tell someone where you’ll be working
    2. Park your vehicle so that you can make a quick exit
    3. Always carry a mobile phone

    1. Chainsaw safety equipment

    Before you start working with a chainsaw

    Ensure you are properly dressed and equipped for the job. All chainsaws come with some mandatory safety features (see fact box). All Husqvarna chainsaws include an inertia activated chain brake. If a kickback occurs and the tip of the bar is forced upwards, the inertia of the front guard should activate the chain brake instantly to stop the chain.

    The most common chainsaw injury is a laceration, an injury that breaks the skin. Wearing the right protective apparel minimizes the risk of laceration and other injuries. All of Husqvarna’s chainsaw protective clothing is tested and approved in accordance with relevant European and International standards where required. Your personal protective equipment should always include the following:

    *Call Steve's Lawnmower today to find out about purchasing these items.

    2. Plan for “on site-safety”

    When you arrive at the working site, it’s time to plan for the felling. First of all, ensure that nobody is within a distance of at least twice the tree height from the tree you intend to fell. Study the tree to see if it has been damaged by decay or cracks. Is the tree leaning? In which direction should the tree be felled, bearing in mind your future work?
    Safety equipment when felling trees

    3. Felling direction

    Most trees have a natural direction of fall. This is affected by the tree’s lean, the shape of the branches and crown snow-load or snow-covered branches. If you are unsure of the tree lean, move away a little and check with a plumb line.

    To some extent, you can force a tree to fall against its natural falling direction, but this requires knowledge, experience and the right felling support tools. Trees with weak timber, such as dead or decayed trees, should always be felled in the easiest direction.

    4. Saw handling

    Finally, here are tips for handling the chainsaw. Using proper techniques will minimize the risk of injury or strain.

    1. The thumb grip Wrap thumbs and fingers completely around the handles and hold your left-hand thumb under the front handle to reduce the force of a kickback.
    2. Close contact Don’t be afraid of the saw. Hold it close to your body to achieve balance and accuracy.
    3. Position The optimal working position is with your left foot in front of your right and with your knees – not your back – bent.
    4. Chain off The chain must never be rotating when you move to another spot.
    5. Safety distance Make sure no one is within 10 feet (3 meters) when you’re working with a chainsaw. 
    Felling direction

    Chainsaw safety features – and what they mean

    • The kickback guard and chain brake ensure the chain stops if the saw isn’t handled correctly or in case of a kickback
    • The throttle lock is designed so that the saw only functions when you keep pressing a certain button
    • The chain catcher stops the chain from flying off in case of chain break or derail
    • The right-hand guard protects your right hand in case of chain break or derail
    • The easily accessible stop control allows you to stop the chain instantly

    Two quick safety tips

    • Take a course! Nobody is an experienced chainsaw user from day one and as a beginner, practicing on your own may cause you to learn the wrong technique.
    • Have your equipment checked! Your chainsaw is equipped with safety features. Make sure these are inspected on a regular basis.

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