Chainsaw Safety on the Job

Chainsaw Safety Free Tailgate Safety Meeting Topic

Chainsaw safety practices are vital for tree care and landscaping workers. Chainsaws can be extremely dangerous when mishandled. Injuries from chainsaw accidents are usually severe, and can even be fatal. It is critical that chainsaw users understand how to use them safely. Today, we will discuss some important safety rules for using chainsaws.

Chainsaw Safety Best Practices

  • Inspect chainsaws before use. Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure they are functioning properly. Ensure the chain is sharp and that the oil tank is full.
  • Start the saw on the ground. Drop starting is never allowed. The saw should be started at least 10 feet away from fueling areas, and the chain brake should be engaged.
  • While cutting, hold the saw firmly with BOTH hands. Your thumbs and fingers should be wrapped around the handles. It is critical that the thumb of your left hand is held firmly under the front handle to reduce the force of kickbacks.
  • Hold the saw close to your body for better balance. The saw will also feel less heavy the closer it is to your body.
  • Balance is key. Stand with your feet apart, with your left foot slightly ahead of your right. This will provide the best possible balance.
  • Protect your back. Keep your back straight and bend your knees to get lower when working in low positions.
  • The chain must be stopped when you are carrying the saw to another spot. When moving several steps, either engage the chain brake or turn off the engine. The guide bar guard should be in place when transporting the saw over long distances.
  • When using the chainsaw, ensure that nobody is within 15- 25 feet of you. When felling trees, much greater clearances are required. Communication with other employees is critical.
  • Proper PPE must be worn when using chainsaws, including hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing, and head protection.
  • Never wear loose-fitting clothing around chainsaws.
  • Try to ensure that tree trunks or limbs will not bind against the saw.
  • Beware of branches under tension. They may release with immense energy when cut.
  • To avoid kickback, never use the tip of the chainsaw. Keep the tip guard in place.
  • Chainsaw safety rules should be reviewed with all employees as part of pre-work safety briefings.

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