5 Chainsaw Safety Tips That Everyone Should Know

Chainsaws are useful garden tools to own, but they’re also dangerous if they’re not used correctly.

Over 36,000 people are injured each year through chainsaw related injuries, so it’s important to understand the risks and learn how to avoid them.

But how can you avoid hurting yourself or others when you’re using a chainsaw?

With a safety-first approach, and these 5 chainsaw safety tips should get you started.

1. Run a Maintenance Check After Each Use

Before each chainsaw use, you should check it over for any possible damage to avoid the risk of potential injury.

Your routine should be pretty simple. Keep the chain sharp, check the quality of your fuel and replace any filters and plugs on a regular basis. You should also look to keep the engine topped up with fresh fuel, as well as oil for lubrication.

Make sure you don’t forget any maintenance steps by checking our list of 5 chainsaw maintenance tips.

2. Wear Suitable Personal Protective Equipment

You can’t always predict what will come your way when you’re sawing, so you need to make sure your body is protected by wearing suitable personal protective equipment over your entire body.

Our recommended list includes a hard hat, goggles for eye protection, safety boots with a steel toe, protective gloves, ear defenders and a mask for breathing. You should also wear suitable overalls or clothing that won’t get caught in the chainsaw chain.

Looking for further ideas on what protective equipment you should look to buy? Check out our opinions on chainsaw safety gear here.

3. Beware the Kickback

If you’ve never used a chainsaw before, you may not have heard of ‘kickback‘. It’s something you need to avoid, as it’s one of the biggest causes of chainsaw-related injuries.

Simply avoid cutting anything with the tip of your chainsaw. If you do, you lose a lot of the control you have, which can jerk your chainsaw backward – straight into you!

It’s also a good idea to use a saw with appropriate auto braking protection, like a chain brake.

4. Keep Bystanders Away

You’re in charge of the chainsaw, so you’re in charge of the carnage that could occur around you while you use it. When it comes to bystanders, we have a simple message.

Keep them away, or at least a safe distance away from you that they won’t be hit by flying debris. If you’re chopping down a tree, for instance, keep them well out of the potential drop path.

If there is even the smallest possibility of potential injury, they should wear protective gear, too.

5. Have a Clear Escape Route

Before you start using your chainsaw, always understand what it is you’re trying to do, what the possibilities are, and what your likely escape routes will be in a worst-case scenario.

If you’re chopping down a tree, and it doesn’t go the way you expect it, what are you going to do? Keep any likely escape routes clear, and make sure you’re always able to see where the falling item is going, as well as having a safe place to stop and put down your saw nearby.

Stay Safe with These Chainsaw Safety Tips

Chainsaws aren’t a toy, and you shouldn’t take liberties with the safety of yourself or others when you’re using them.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but as long as you take the safety-first approach to chainsaw use that these tips promote, you’ll lower the risk of injury. If you’re looking for further chainsaw safety tips, this guide from the CDC should prove useful.

Looking to buy a new chainsaw? Check out our suggestions for the best small chainsaws for homeowners to buy.

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