Chainsaws

10 Chainsaw Safety Tips Every Homeowner Should Follow

Chainsaws are used by millions of people each year for all sorts of tasks around properties. The most important thing that needs to be recognized is this piece of equipment is dangerous, just like other types of motor equipment being used outdoors. Precautions need to be taken to avoid injury to the operator and others who might be there for support. There are a few essential chainsaw safety tips homeowners should follow if planning on buying or operating an existing chainsaw.

 

Be Prepared

Before starting any task, there are a few rules that need to be followed;

  • Always let someone know where you will be working
  • Make sure you have a mobile phone handy with a charged battery
  • Keep a well stocked first aid kit in a toolbox or somewhere that is easy to access
  • Keep your vehicle parked in an area that will allow for a safe and quick exit

 

Wear Proper Chainsaw Safety Equipment

Man dressed in appropriate chainsaw safety clothing and equipmentAnyone who is working with a chainsaw needs to wear proper safety equipment. This could include a pair of safety glasses or a full helmet system, and a pair of earplugs. Keep in mind most helmets often come with a full-face visor that offers better protection than simple safety glasses. Some also incorporate radio gear. This might be over kill for working in the back yard with your chainsaw but at least you now know it’s an option.

 

Visually Examine the Equipment Before Use

You may be the only one using the machine, but an examination before attempting to start the machine is a smart move. This includes making sure the chain is not dislodged and nothing appears broken or seems to be damaged.

 

Wear Proper Protective Clothing

No loose clothing should be worn when working with a chainsaw. Clothing should also cover all areas of the body so no bare skin is showing. This is the best way to be protected from flying debris which might cause a cut or a skin laceration. The type of clothing to wear will include:

  • Work pants or chaps that provide extra protection for the legs – consider Type A or Type C chainsaw chaps depending on the type of work you’ll be undertaking
  • A long sleeved shirt that is fully buttoned with a work jacket or vest
  • A pair of work gloves that still give full control over motor equipment
  • A pair of rugged anti-slip chainsaw boots

Check Equipment for Safety Features

There are many types of safety features that are included on various types of chainsaws. You might find a chainsaw that has a gas-powered motor or may be electrical. They will all have features that will include a kickback guard and a chain brake. Some items may include a throttle lock that keeps machines running at a certain speed. There will also be a chain catcher in case of a chain derail or breakage.

 

Regular Maintenance is a Must

Chainsaws or any other type of power equipment needs to be properly maintained. You should have the unit inspected at least once each year. This can be done yourself or by a professional. This is needed for you to make sure the device is running properly and all safety features are functioning. You should also perform a tune-up that will include replacing the oil and lubricating as required. Sharpening the chain is also vital for optimal performance.

 

Handle the Equipment Properly

There are specific handling techniques that should be used to help minimize the risk of injury or getting a strained muscle;

  • Make sure both hands are in the proper position when grabbing the handles
  • Put the thumb or your left hand under the handle on the front to reduce any kickback
  • Take time to practice balancing and controlling the chainsaw for accuracy
  • Make sure others in the area maintain a 10-foot distance away from anyone using the saw

 

Prepare the Job Site

The work site or job site when using a chainsaw will be bigger than you think. The reason is a tree will not always fall where you might expect when cutting it down. You should also know if the tree may be leaning before making any cuts. If other people are around, make sure they stay at least double the tree height so no one is injured when it falls.

 

Proper Storage

Any chainsaw can cause an injury even though is it not being used. This is the reason secure storage is important. The equipment should be cleaned of any debris after each use. If there is an attachment used as a chain guard, make sure it is put back on. The machine should also be placed somewhere where it is not reachable by young children.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

Anyone who does not have a lot of experience using a chainsaw should practice. You can use any part of a tree like a branch or stump to practice making cuts. Another good idea is to see if there may be a class available at a home improvement store or equipment dealer.

Running a chainsaw can be fun, but is a task that needs to be done with the utmost care. Always take time time to follow all the appropriate safety procedures before starting any work.

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