With low-pressure system after low-pressure system sweeping the country and causing widespread wind-based havoc recently, many of us have suffered serious damage to our outdoor spaces, and are faced with fallen trees, flattened fences and branch-strewn lawns. Hence, the autumn clear-up is well underway!
So, here’s our rough guide to preventing chainsaw injuries during felling and branch-processing.
Avoid wearing large, loose clothing and accessories such as scarves. They might get caught in your saw’s mechanism, which is obviously not likely to end well for you (or your clothes!).
Ideally wear a professional outfit, such as work overalls and/or cut-resistant trousers, known as chainsaw chaps.
Further Advice on Safe Chainsaw Use
- Wear a hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection and heavy-duty gloves.
- Choose an appropriate size of chainsaw to match the job – you don’t need a fully-fledged forestry saw to turn a few fallen branches into firewood!
- Ensure you have read the manufacturer’s manual, so you can operate, adjust and maintain the chainsaw correctly.
- Take extra care when cutting “spring poles”; these are trees or branches that have been bent, twisted or caught under another object during high winds – they can suddenly release and spring up dangerously.
- Keep bystanders a safe distance from the working-area.
NB : Chainsaws can be quite noisy, particularly petrol models. So, if you live in a city centre or suburban residential neighbourhood, respect your area’s noise regulations. Information regarding acceptable operating-hours should be available from your local council.
Suggestions for Using a Chainsaw
Of course, all MowDirect’s chainsaws are equipped with safety features, but it’s essential to follow the safety rules below:
- Ensure you maintain a controlled sawing position; well balanced and with both feet firmly on the ground.
- Always hold the chainsaw below shoulder level – and with both hands – for more stability and improved control.
- The left hand must always be on the front handle, behind the protective bar. The right hand should be firmly planted on the rear handle. For added comfort and security, keep your wrists straight.
- Saw at full power by bringing the middle of the chain to the subject piece. Never use the end of the cutter-bar, as this risks causing a rebound effect called ‘kick-back’, where the bar jumps.
Chainsaws: Be Aware of Their Injury Risk!
The potential risk of chainsaw injury increases after storms, when the machines are widely used to clear branches and fallen – or partially fallen – trees.
Safety guidelines should always be observed to prevent accidents!
- Check around the tree or branch or for any hazards, such as nails or live power-lines before getting to work.
- Properly maintain your saw’s cutting-gear by sharpening its chain, or, if necessary, replacing the chain altogether. Additionally, periodically check and adjust the chain to achieve the correct tension, to keep it from coming-off the blade, and to ensure optimal cutting-performance.
- Choose the proper size of chainsaw for the job, and check it has all the key safety features, including a chain brake, safety guard, stop-switch and chain catcher.
- Cutting should always be carried-out at waist height or below to ensure that you’ve got a firm, positive grip at all times.
- Clear the work area of cut limbs and deadwood before you start – this will allow more freedom of movement, and will provide a clear escape path in case of sudden unanticipated movement by weakened trees and falling branches.
- If injury occurs, apply direct pressure over site(s) of heavy bleeding; this could well be critical to the outcome.
If in doubt, speak to trained professionals and get advice about any garden machinery you’ll be using. If you have any questions, speak to one of our in-house chainsaw experts here at MowDirect.
Need advice to choose and buy the perfect chainsaw for your needs? Read our chainsaw buying-guide here!