Chain Saw Safety
Following any emergency, additional injuries occur as people begin cleaning up and repairing their property. Using a chain saw can be especially dangerous.
Follow safety precautions and take the time needed to stay safe during any clean-up procedures. However, if you have never used a chain saw, now is not a good time to start; find someone who can help.
Fueling the saw
- Do not smoke while fueling the chain saw!
- Use a funnel or flexible hose
- Never attempt to fuel a hot or running chain saw
- Be sure you have, and wear, hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protective equipment any time you use a chain saw
Before starting the saw:
- Check the controls, chain tension, and bolts and handles for proper adjustment
- Make sure the chain is sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full
- Start the chain on the ground
- Start the saw at least ten feet from the fueling area
- Be sure the chain-brake is on during starting
Plan the cut:
- Watch for tree limbs and trunks under tension that could spring back with deadly force if cut
- Use extreme care to bring the object to the ground
- Plan where the object will fall; ensure the fall area is free of hazards
- Avoid felling an object into another one
- Ensure you have a clear retreat path
Using the saw:
- Clear dirt, debris, limbs and rocks from the path of the saw before cutting
- Check the tree for nails, spikes or other metal before cutting
- Be sure your footing is secure before and during cutting
- Keep your hands on the saw handles while cutting
- Cut so the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw.
- Beware of branches under tension that may spring out when cut.
- Avoid saw kick-back by sawing with the blade, not the tip of the saw.
- Never saw directly overhead
Information courtesy of OSHA and the Maine Department of Labor Safety Works Program
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