Although a chainsaw is useful for cutting trees and tearing apart lumber, they’re pretty dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. In fact, I know quite a few lumberjacks who have already gotten into a really bad chainsaw accident simply because they didn’t observe all the necessary safety precautions - and these guys aren’t experts on cutting down a tree! This goes to show that no matter how good you are at handling the chainsaw, you won’t be safe from any accidents if you don’t stay careful.
I’ve prepared a short tutorial on the safe handling of a chainsaw for beginners. That way, we can avoid all nasty accidents.
Dangers of the Chainsaw
What makes a chainsaw dangerous? While there are many possible chainsaw dangers that you may experience when using the machine, the most common cause is mishandling.
Did you know that the Consumer Product Safety Commission found out that there were over 32,000 chainsaw related injuries in 2004? The figures in these chainsaw accident statistics could be much higher because those who didn’t get treated in hospitals weren’t recorded. This goes to show that a chainsaw can be pretty dangerous if you don’t know how to handle one.
How to Safely Use the Chainsaw
Most of you are probably hesitant to even pick up a chainsaw after seeing the high number of annual chainsaw accidents. Well, I will tell you up front that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. If you know how to use a chainsaw and maybe go through some basic chainsaw safety training, you should be perfectly fine.
Here are some things you need to take into consideration before, during, and after using the chainsaw:
Wear The Right Equipment
The first thing that you should do before you take a job that involves using a chainsaw is to get the necessary safety equipment ready. Here is a list of the safety equipment you need:
Make sure that you have all of these chainsaw safety equipment so that you can prevent any injuries.
Carry The Saw Properly
When you learn how to cut down a tree, you have to learn how to carry the saw properly. The first thing you have to do is make sure that the chainsaw is off while you carry it to the working area. Also, be careful of steep landscapes, slippery grounds, and rocks. You don’t want to trip while holding a chainsaw. Always make sure that the guide bar of your saw is pointing to the back except when you’re going downhill. In which case, point the guide bar to your front.
When you’re in front of the tree, you have to assume the proper chainsaw stance, so you won’t be off balance. The best stance is an ergonomic stance wherein the legs are at shoulder width and the left foot is slightly forward. If you’re feeling balanced and comfortable, you’re doing it right.
Watch Out For Chainsaw Kickback Accidents
One of the most common accidents that may happen when beginners handle a chainsaw is kickback accident. For those who don’t know what a kickback is, it’s an upward motion of the guiding bar. This is usually unexpected and happens when you use the tip to touch the wood. This can cause a lot of freak accidents. Here are some pointers you must know how to prevent kickback chainsaw accidents:
Trim And Buck Properly
If you’re a beginner, you can do the trim and buck method to cut your trees. Start off by cutting the limbs of the tree at the bottom of the tree going up. If there are branches, remove the branches first then go to the trunk later. After you trim the tree, you can buck the trunk. You start by cutting one side somewhere at the bottom, then go all the way to the middle. After that, start cutting at the other side until the tree falls.
Those are some safety tips to observe to prevent any nasty chainsaw accidents. Other basic tips to help you prevent accidents involve maintenance such as cleaning the saw by wiping away liquids or oil, keeping the saw sharp, and lubricating the chain. You can find more some useful tips about maintaining your chainsaw on my blog.
Also, make sure that you have a retreat path for where the tree will fall. Look out for any bystanders in the area too and ask them to move away.
Finally, ALWAYS read your chainsaw manual before using.