While a chainsaw can be one of the most useful items around the home, it also has the potential to be one of the most dangerous. If you are planning on undertaking any project that requires the use of one of these powerful tools, it is important to appreciate some of the main safety precautions to take. Let us have a closer look.
This should be an obvious concern, especially if you have small children. Make sure that the chainsaw cannot be accessed by any child. Not only will this prevent them from operating the machine, but remember that the teeth of the blade are extremely sharp. Even when it is not in use, the saw can be dangerous to young ones.
Using the Saw
First, be sure to have a firm grip on the handles of your saw when you pull the cord to start it. Place the saw on a flat and stable surface during any of these “cold engine” starts. Always keep the blade in front of you and far away from your legs during this procedure. Once you begin cutting, you need to make note of a point of the blade on the front upper tip that is known as the “kickback zone”.
Avoid cutting with this portion, as the blade can literally kick back and cause grievous injury. When getting a feel for the saw, cut downwards as opposed to upwards, as this is the safest way and offers you the most balance. Some other mandatory tips when handling chain saws include:
- Completely wrap your hand around the front handle and maintain a firm grip.
- Do not lean forward too much when cutting; you may fall into the moving blade.
- Carry the saw at your side and slightly behind you. This will prevent you from making contact with the blade if you stumble.
A final point is that you always need to plan your cuts ahead of time. NEVER cut a branch that is weighed down on either end (such as after a tree is felled). This can cause the branch to spring up once it is cut and strike your body.
Always wear boots with a steel toe and shank. This will prevent an accidental injury if the blade penetrates the shoe. Hardhats are a must to protect against falling debris and hearing protection is likewise required alongside a pair of safety glasses. A long-sleeved shirt or jacket can also help to avoid cuts and minor scratches.
Operating a chainsaw is an important task that must be taken seriously. By keeping these suggestions in mind, safety will never be sacrificed. Safety first, Safety last, Safety ALWAYS!!