Chainsaw Injuries and Safety
Chainsaw operators must be careful about how they use their tools for work to avoid various chainsaw injuries. With the right skills and knowledge, cutting down on injuries associated with chainsaw operation is possible. Manufacturers and dealers should take their time to inform buyers of the potential dangers of not following instructions carefully. Also, they should provide users with manuals to guide on how to operate chainsaws properly.
In this article, there are several insights on proper chainsaw use from what you should wear to how to operate a chainsaw. If you read through carefully, you also get to understand the steps of starting and stopping a chainsaw safely. Other than that, you can also find out what are some of the causes of chainsaw injuries and specific ways to prevent them. Read on to find out ways in which you can stay safe, especially when cutting down trees.
Chainsaw Injury Prevention Methods
A chainsaw is an essential and critical power tool in every homestead or workshop.It is vital for simplifying the cutting down of trees. Although it makes works easier, it may also be considered as one of the most dangerous power tools if not handled with care.
There are over 30000 reported chainsaw injury cases annually. A statistic that you should be careful not to be part of. There are various ways you can reduce or even prevent such injuries. Here are a few of them.
Avoid Chainsaw Kickback
Kickback in chainsaws is a situation where the chain gets stuck in the wood before finishing a cut. That can be dangerous because the power of the chainsaw can remove the stuck chain, and it gets out with immense force which may cause injuries. In case the chain gets stuck in wood, the best thing to do is switch off the chainsaw and try removing it by inserting a wood wedge.
Start and Stop Carefully
Before you start the chainsaw, make sure you hold it towards the ground. If you’re not sure of what to do, it is good to read through the manufacturers’ guide before you start it. Also, make sure the chain is still when the chainsaw is not in use. If the chain is moving, you should visit a professional to help you out.
Secure The Wood
Many people make the mistake of standing on the log they’re cutting. That is a disaster in waiting. Always, clear the area around which you are working and make sure you stand firmly on the ground. Also, it’s common to see someone hold the log for another to cut with a chainsaw. Such dangerous acts may cause injuries or deaths. Therefo0re, you should support the wood using a sawhorse.
Wear Protective Gear
When going out to work using a chainsaw, you need to avoid exposing your body by wearing protective clothing. Steel-toed shoes should be the first thing to have; they’ll help keep your toes safe. Also, wear eye and ear safety gear and heavy-duty protective gloves before you start working. The protective equipment you need may seem too much, but it does not compare to over 100 stitches averagely on every chainsaw injury.
Always concentrate on cutting a log at a time. Besides, do not try to cut the wood from below. Working from the opposite direction may make it hard to control the chainsaw and thus become dangerous. When cutting, be careful not to be injured by small pieces of wood that may fly to you. Also, there may be branches that are bent or even under pressure, always be on the lookout they may be dangerous than they may seem.
Most Common Causes Of Chainsaw Injuries
Chainsaw injuries mostly occur at the hands and limbs. However, there have been reported cases of neck and head injuries which are the most fatal that can occur. Improper preparation by not wearing safety gear and inappropriate use of the chainsaw can be among the leading causes of such injuries. Also, in some cases, the manufacturer does not provide the buyer with user manuals which may also lead to injuries. Here we look at the three primary causes of injuries
A foreign object in the wood you are cutting may cause the chain saw to get stuck. If the chainsaw is still on, the chain may get out of the point it stuck and push back towards you, causing injuries.
Sometimes the chain may get pinched in a small space or even come in contact with a solid object when cutting. It may make it propel back to the operator.
Also, a foreign object or a pinch of the chain in a tight space may cause it to get stuck. Thus, the chain may pull the saw forward and make you lose control facing a possible injury risk.
How To Handle A Chainsaw
The Thumb Grip
You need to have a firm grip on the chainsaw. You can do this by holding firmly with both thumbs and all fingers to ensure the chances of a kickback can reduce.
The perfect position for using a chainsaw is working in front of your right foot. Also, it’s only your knees that should bend and not your back.
Maintain A Safe Distance
Always ask third parties to maintain a safety distance of at least 10 meters from your working point. That will reduce the risk of any accidents.
Although the chainsaw can be a dangerous tool, do not fear to hold it tightly. By working with it closely held, you reduce the chances of losing control of it.
Always make sure the chain only rotates when you’re cutting. If you need to move from a point to another, always ensure it is off.
These ways of handling chainsaws also double up as safety tips. Such injuries may be fatal, and it is essential to prevent them rather than waiting to treat them. Following the above directions to the latter will help you to ensure you do not have a sad day at work. Grip the tool well and stamp your feet on the ground firmly to ensure your safety.
How To Cut Down A Tree Using A Chainsaw Safely
Felling a tree is not a simple task as it may look. It is a skill that you have to master before you practice it anywhere. The process requires a lot of carefulness to ensure the safety of everyone that is involved. Other than following the guidelines for chainsaw operation, you need to follow other general instructions that will keep you safe as you cut down a tree.
Before you start cutting a tree, make sure you have the right props. Starting from clothing to the correct machinery, all this should be ready and well inspected. For example, you should check your chainsaw condition, check the oil levels, and how sharp the chainsaw is. If not well sharpened, you should first sharpen it before you start working.
To ensure your safety, dress well covering your whole body with the safety gear. After that, you should check the area you’ll be working at. Sometimes, there may be powerlines, houses or vegetation that may be affected by the falling tree. If there is, you need to make safety plans before you start cutting the tree.
Also, check the tree you’re felling in advance. Find out whether any branches may fall off while you’re working and fix that before you start working. There may be rotten parts of the tree that may become weak and make the tree to fall before you are ready. Ensure you check for that too to be sure. Branches stretching to other trees may also pose a threat because they may pull debris that could fall on you.
Next, you should assess the probable direction the tree is likely to fall towards. Several factors may determine the way a tree falls. Some trees lean to one side, and that suggests that they’ll fall towards it. Others are big, and they are most likely going to fall to the lower side according to the terrain. Understanding that will help you know where to position yourself.
Lastly, you must plan a call to action to cut a tree. Create a clear path that you’ll take to avoid any accident when the tree falls. Also, plan on where the people you’ll work with will stand and even their roles. These guidelines will help you prevent any accidents when using a chainsaw.
How To Select The Right Chainsaw That Fits Your Needs
For many decades, chainsaws had become popular only among workers. However, nowadays they are a must-have in many homesteads. People use them for cutting logs and firewood in their homes. After looking into the various safety requirements in using chainsaws, you must know how to select the best chainsaw. It also contributes immensely to your safety.
The first thing you should look into is how big or small a chainsaw is. However, there are other factors that could influence the size of the chainsaw you’ll select. Here are two essential factors to consider.
Your Experience Level
If you have prior experience with chainsaw use, you can buy the bigger types of chainsaws. However, for starters, small chainsaws are ideal, and therefore, you should consider buying one before scaling to bigger ones.
The Type and Size Of Wood Involved
Big trees and logs require that you use bigger chainsaws. However, when cutting small sizes of wood, you can use a smaller chainsaw.
Find The Right Guide Bar Size
Before choosing a guide bar, you should consider how experienced you are. Also, you can use the tree size to determine the size of the guide bar you should go for. However, with the time you may need to have different guide bar sizes. You’ll then choose to use according to the size of the tree you need to cut. Small guide bars are suitable for small trees while larger ones are good for felling big trees.
Select The Correct Chainsaw Type
There are different types of chainsaws you can pick. First, some are suitable for home use. Also, there are those that professional operators use., You’ll need to choose one that suits your needs and expertise. If you are buying for general home use, you should go for the homeowner type while professionals should go for the expert or semiprofessional variety of chainsaws.
Chainsaw operation requires different levels of expertise. Since you have several types and sizes of chainsaws to choose from, you must begin at a manageable level as you advance. Besides, you must take the time to learn the skills and techniques that will enhance your safety. With a high number of injuries reported annually, there is a need to get the right education to prevent more people from being part of the statistic.