Chainsaws are daunting tools, especially for those who’ve never wielded one before. Before investing in a new saw, there are safety standards that the industry wants you to follow.
The technological advancement of chainsaws is a mixed bag. These powerful tools involve the use of a rotating chain with saw teeth around a guide bar, which is powered by an electric or gas motor. These sharp saws are capable of felling trees, cutting thick branches, trimming plants, and cutting all types of wood. They are an industry standard in the forestry and lumber businesses, and are often used by farmers, ranchers, and even homeowners for various projects throughout the yard.
But above all things, safety is the most important. Our guide will help you understand the basics of chainsaw safety, as well as go over the clothing and equipment you’ll need to wear during the operation and use of a chainsaw.
Preparing for Chainsaw Use
Before donning the proper gear, it’s important to know how to prepare yourself, the saw, and the clearing area for use. If you’re working with trees or stumps, you might want to measure height requirements as well as felling directions. Or, prepare your logs in an assembled manner that makes them easy to reach while using the chainsaw.
Next, you’ll want to make sure to read your chainsaw manual – this is highly important! Every type of chainsaw comes with its own specifications and set of instructions. Make sure you understand your specific device. Is it gas-powered? Is it electric? Is it cordless? Be sure to know the limits and functionalities of your saw before using it. Know where the safety shut-off is. Ensure that there is kickback protection. And, always wear gloves!
Which brings us to our next piece of advice…
Chainsaw Safety Gear
There are a few important pieces of clothing that you’ll need to have on your person at all times while using the chainsaw. These pieces of gear include, but are not always limited to: Chaps, gloves, anti-vibration gloves, protective helmets, and boots. By sporting these items during use, you can ensure that you will not be accidentally cut by the saw, nor will you suffer the effects of violent vibrations.
We’ll discuss the need and usage of each piece of gear in-depth.
Chainsaw chaps protect your legs and groin, and are strapped on to your front like a pair of pants without a back. A good set of chaps, which can be sold by Husqvarna and other reliable chainsaw companies, will be tight-fitting but without restricting movement or work capabilities. Chaps are made of a thick, layered fabric that can protect your legs from being cut by chainsaw or the debris flying around as you cut. They are optimized to help you with your tasks, and are usually equipped with ventilation so you don’t become too hot as well. These lower body aprons are a must-have for any type of chainsaw job.
If you’re going to be working with chainsaws a lot, or if your job includes being in the open and handling rough wood, you’ll definitely need a good set of gloves. Different gloves are good for different types of jobs. Consider what you’ll be doing with your time. Are you gardening? Are you working in forestry? Will you be chopping down large trees and shaving logs? Gloves come in a variety of thicknesses and mobility uses to help you stay protected without impeding your use of your hands. Some gloves will help you with grip, while others will help protect against kickback and vibrations.
Speaking of which…
Anti-vibration gloves are a specialty kind of glove that most chainsaw users will want to invest in. There is a patented functional chainsaw glove made by Husqvarna that will keep your grip strong while also reducing the effects of vibration. Chainsaws can vibrate a lot, which is not ergonomically safe for your fingers, tendons, hands, or wrists. By equipping yourself with preventive wear, you will reduce the feeling of vibration and stop the sensations from destroying your joints. Plus, you’ll be able to work with your chainsaw for a longer period of time, which helps you get the job done fast.
Every chainsaw user should wear a helmet. Speaking on even broader terms, any worker who is outdoors on any type of construction or yardwork project should wear a helmet. When working with trees and branches, there are many things that are prone to falling – it’s just part of nature! Having a work helmet is essential to your safety. Your head is the most important part of your body, and keeping it safe means that you are able to continue your duties unharmed. Invest in a helmet that has hard-hat capabilities. Most chainsaw user helmets also come with a ratchet, granting a sheet of protective plastic in front of and around your face to keep any debris from falling into your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. And speaking of ears, most chainsaw-specific helmets also come with a nice pair of noise-deafening headphones. They sit cozily on your ears as if you’re listening to music. Chainsaws tend to get loud, which can seriously damage your hearing. But with this helmet, you’ll make working with a chainsaw a breeze.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need a good pair of boots to keep your work strong. Much like needing gloves and helmets, you need boots to protect your feet from any potential harms and dangers that work as a part of the outdoor workplace. If you are in a wooded area, think of all the uprooted branches and stems that can pop out of the ground. Not to mention rocks and debris that fall from the air, plus any potential of having a damp or wet ground. A thick pair of boots will keep your feet protected from elements of all kinds.
Safety is the most important factor to consider when using a chainsaw. A chainsaw is not a toy; it is a highly dangerous professional tool that is used to slice through thick pieces of wood, logs, and trees. These technologically advanced devices must be used wisely. Aside from having a good knowledge about how your chainsaw works, you should also be sure to invest in all of the necessary protective gear to keep your body healthy and strong.