Top Tips on Chainsaw Safety
Chainsaw safety is important to everyone using one; beginner or expert. Here at GardenLines we send out a huge number of chainsaws every year and we are serious about the safe use of the equipment. Here is a list of our top tips for chainsaw safety:
Read the chainsaw manualDo not even consider operating a chainsaw without doing this. Every chainsaw is different and even if you have used one before the one you have now may require a different technique in order to use it safely. This is especially true if you are a beginner as although you may be able to work things out through experience this could cause you serious injury.
At the absolute minimum chainsaw safety clothing should include a hard hat to protect your head from falling debris. Preferably, this hat would be fitted with a safety visor. You will also need a strong pair of gloves (made from anti-cut material), ear defenders to protect your ears from the continued level of noise that is often above the limit required by law and safety boots with metal toe caps to protect your feet. Other chainsaw safety equipment needed may include a saw horse to securely hold logs whilst cutting and safety jackets and chaps to protect your torso and legs from injury.
Fitness to use a chainsawChainsaws are heavy bits of equipment and you need to be in reasonably good shape to be able to control one effectively. This means having good vision, physical strength, manual dexterity and balance. This also includes not being under the influence of drink or drugs or being excessively tired or stressed.
KickbackThis happens when the chainsaw nose hits an object. The kickback is a sudden uncontrolled upward and backward motion of the chainsaw and is responsible for a significant proportion of chainsaw accidents. To help minimise this problem always keep the chainsaw below chest height, do not overreach, do not allow the nose to come into contact with obstructions and use the appropriate speed for the material being cut.
Make sure the power cord you have is long enough to reach the job site; if not get a cable extension and make sure it is suitable for outdoor work. In addition, always keep the cord behind you and away from the blade and do not use it while standing in a wet area. Unplug the cord when moving between sites.
Make sure the petrol cap is fitted correctly and the saw is fully fuelled. Always carry or store the chainsaw with the petrol cap positioned at the top to prevent possible leakage. In addition, ensure you are using the correct chainsaw fuel; usually this is a 2 stroke fuel.
Maintenance and servicingMake sure you keep your chainsaw in good condition according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes frequently checking the tension of the chain as they tend to stretch with use. A chain that is too loose is more likely to derail and whip about; a chain that is too tight will bind and wear too quickly. Other important items to check include the chain brake, the stop switch and the lubrication to the guide bar. Preferably these checks should be repeated at regular intervals throughout the session of use.
Use manufacturer parts onlyAs with any sort of complicated machinery it is vital that you only use manufacturer recommended parts to repair the chainsaw. In addition, do not modify the chainsaw in any way other than in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Any odd parts or changes could easily compromise the chainsaw safety and cause an accident.
Clear the areaWhen using a chainsaw make sure that area around you is clear of debris and people. Check you have a safe route away from the site where you are working in the event of an accident. Always look where you are cutting to check for nails, wires and other objects which may cause kickback.
For more articles about chainsaws why not have a look at:
The Best Chainsaws According to Us Here at GardenLines
Cordless Chainsaws - A Guide to the New Bosch AKE30Li Cordless Chainsaw
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