Chainsaw Safety

illustration: NY Dept. of Health

Using a Chainsaw and Making Cuts

If you are cutting limbs and trees you should read this list of do and don’ts ….

  • Clear the area of all objects that might accidentally come into contact with the moving chain, and cause it to bind or kick-back.
  • Identify and clear an escape route, so you can move easily and safely away from the tree being cut into a safe zone.
  • Know who is around you and where they are – keep children and pets away from the cutting area.
  • Never work from a ladder, or any unstable position.
  • Keep the chain guard on your saw when not in use. Carry the saw with the cutting bar to the rear and outside, away from your body.
  • Start the engine by placing the saw on the ground. Place your foot in the rear hand guard, grip the top handle firmly, and use the other to pull the starting rope.
  • Position your feet for optimum balance when initiating the cut.
  • Position your body to the left of the cut and away from the saw chain when the engine is running.
  • Be very conscience of the potential for kickback caused by striking the tip of the chain saw against an object.
  • Begin and continue cutting at full throttle.
  • Never leave a saw running when not in use.
  • Refuel the engine only after it has cooled.
  • Top off the oil tank, adjust the chain tension, and tighten all the nuts and bolts each time you refuel. Also, consider your level of fatigue, and if you are thinking clearly.

When operated properly, and with respect, chainsaws are valuable labor saving devices. If you think that what have just read is over kill, you should not be using a chainsaw.