A chainsaw is one of the most versatile tools used for felling trees, cutting, bucking, and pruning including many other uses. However, it is also one of the most dangerous tools with the number of injuries reported annually in the United States rising each year.
With chainsaw accidents, the injuries are usually serious and often fatal and in most cases, victims undergo amputation. This is why one can never be too careful when handling a chainsaw.
Below are some tips that will help you handle a chainsaw and use it safely whenever you use it for cutting.
Read the Manual Carefully
Every chainsaw has a manual with information about general chainsaw use and information that is particular to your specific chainsaw model.
It is important to read the manual thoroughly and follow the instructions to the letter. It is unfortunate that many people attempt to operate chainsaws without clearly understanding the instructions given or failing to adhere to the given instructions.
This is the number one safety tip that every potential sawyer needs to know. Apart from lack of proper protective gear, most chainsaw accidents are caused by ignorance and failure to exercise due care.
Wear Protective Clothing
Most chainsaw accident victims are usually injured on the thighs. This is because a momentary lack of concentration or loss of balance will have the sawyer fall back causing the chainsaw to fall back and rest on the thigh or foot of the sawyer.
Because the teeth of the chainsaw rotate at up to 60 miles an hour, it can cause serious injury if exposed to ones flesh to your flesh even for a fraction of a second.
If you intend to handle a chainsaw, it is imperative that you invest in a hard hat, protective goggles, hearing protectors, leather gloves and most importantly shoes and cut resistant chaps that will protect your limbs if exposed to the chain in case of an accident.
Take Someone with You
When you are planning to use a chainsaw to cut a tree or for any other reason, ensure that you do not perform this task alone.
Always take someone with you. This is because no matter how prepared you are, an accident can still occur at any time and you will need someone to help you administer first aid and to call for emergency help.
In addition to this, ensure that you have a working mobile phone, a first aid kit and access to a vehicle. Even if the chance of an accident occurring is less than probable, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Never Use A Chainsaw While Drunk or Under Any Medication
Chainsaws are very powerful yet highly dangerous tools that will require a lot of concentration to operate. Alcohol or even prescribed medication can hinder one from being alert and cause one to be distracted and lose concentration which can result in an accident.
This is why it is advisable to cut your tree when you are free of any drugs and if you are under medication, it is better to postpone the task.
Plan In Advance
When cutting down a tree, every situation is different. To ensure that this process is safe and successful, it is important to plan well in advance.
You should take stock of your surrounding and cut down any small trees or twigs that surround the tree you plan to cut and clear small rocks and any debris.
These are things that may cause you to trip or to lose your footing which is highly dangerous if you are handling a chainsaw. Planning ahead will also ensure that you have taken care of all the safety precautions.
Refilling the Chainsaw
Ensure that you first stop the engine before refueling and at no instance should you or another person near you smoke during this process.
It is also important to use a funnel when refueling in order to avoid spilling the gasoline and especially on the hot engine. If it is during the dry season, you will need to take extra care because of fires.
Last but not least, it is imperative that you ensure that your chainsaw is always in good condition.
Like any other tool, a chainsaw undergoes wear and tear and the more it is used the more the need for maintenance. Failing to do this may cause the chainsaw to malfunction and cause accidents.