Chainsaw: Preventing Injuries During a Cleanup following a Storm

With Storm Ciara causing havoc over the weekend, many of us have suffered serious property damage, from fallen down trees to blown down fences. The clean up operation has begun across gardens and properties around the UK.  

Here at MowDirect we want to help and ensure garden machinery is used safely whilst getting everything back to order.  

Indeed, Chainsaws are potentially dangerous garden power tools when not used properly.

Here is our rough guide to preventing chain saw injuries during a tree removal.

Chainsaws and protective Equipment: Safety before you start

Avoid wearing large, loose clothing and accessories such as scarves. They might get caught up in the chain of your saw, leading to injury.

Ideally wear a professional outfit such as work overalls or cut-resistant trousers (chain saw chaps).

Always wear the correct protective equipment, including a:

Safety and protective equipment when you use a chainsaw
  • – Ensure you have read the manufacturer’s manual to operate, adjust and maintain the chainsaw according to instructions.
  • – Take extra care in cutting “spring poles” , these are trees or branches that have been bent, twisted or caught under another object during a high wind.
  • – Ensure a safe space whilst working and keep bystanders at a safe distance.

NB : Chainsaws are quite noisy tools, particularly petrol chainsaws. So if you live in a town/city center, ensure to respect the noise regulations of your area. Information should be available from your local council about acceptable operating hours.

Suggestions for using a chainsaw

A chainsaw requires following specific instructions to ensure your security. Of course, all MowDirect chainsaws are equipped with safety features. But it’s essential to follow these safety rules for handling chain saws. MowDirect explains to you how to use this tool correctly to ensure even more protection.

  • 1. Ensure you hold a sturdy sawing position, well balanced and on both feet.
  • 2. Always hold the chainsaw below shoulder level with both hands for more stability and controlled sawing.
  • 3. In order to maintain perfect control, check the ergonomics of the chainsaw to  suit your body shape and to support its weight.
  • 4. The left hand must always be on the front handle, behind the protective bar. The right hand should be on the rear handle. For added comfort, keep your wrists straight.
  • 5. Saw at full power by bringing the middle of the chain to the wood . Never use the end of the chain,  this causes a risk of producing a rebound effect (called kick-back) :  where the machine is violently pushed backwards.
Chainsaw position for safety work

Chainsaw: Be aware of the risk of injury during tree removal

The potential risk of chainsaw injury increases especially after storms,  when chainsaws are widely used to clear fallen or partially fallen trees, wood and branches.  Safety should always be observed to prevent accidents.

  • Check around the tree, branch or  pole for hazards, such as nails or live power lines  before cutting.
  • Properly  maintain  your chain saw blade by sharpening  saw teeth  or replacing your chain if necessary. The saw blade should be lubricated with bar and chain oil. Additionally, periodically check and adjust the blade to keep the correct tension on the chain and to keep it from coming off the blade, and ensure good cutting action.
  • Choose the proper size of  chainsaw to match the job, and ensure you have important safety features like spark testers, chain brake, safety guards, stop switch and chain catchers. 
  • Avoid contact with power lines until the lines are verified as being deactivated.
  • Cutting should be carried out at waist level or below to ensure that you maintain secure control over the chainsaw.
  • Clear the area of cut limbs and wood as you work to allow for safer use of the saw, and to provide an escape path in case of sudden unanticipated movement by trees and limbs falling down.
  • If injury occurs, apply direct pressure over site(s) of heavy bleeding; this may save lives.

Hidden Dangers of ‘Spring Poles’

Take extra care in cutting “spring poles”, these are  trees or branches that have gotten bent, twisted, hung up on, or caught under another object during a high wind. If the tree or the branch is suddenly released, it may strike the person cutting it, or a bystander, with enough force to cause serious injury or death. Even a seemingly small tree or branch (2 inches in diameter, for example) may pose a hazard when it is released from tension.

It’s always best to have a trained chainsaw operator who is experienced in safe chainsaw use and on cutting techniques to fell and remove limbs from trees.  The chainsaw operator should use personal protective equipment and any workers should follow safety guidelines.

Any bystanders  should be at a safe distance from cutting activities.

If in doubt , always speak to trained professionals and get advice about any garden machinery you will be using.  If you have any questions, speak to one of our  in house chainsaw experts here at Mow Direct.

Need advice to choose and buy the perfect chainsaw? Read our buying chainsaw guide here!

Be Sociable, Share!