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Chain Saw Safety

Every man at one point or another would have liked to be a logger, “Babe and the Blue Ox” story, grow a beard, and eat a logger’s breakfast. Well maybe not every man. Truth is, its hard work in terrible conditions, and requires you to be constantly on the lookout for hazards. Loggers do use a lot of different equipment, and is a very dangerous occupation. For the purposes of this blog today we’ll focus on chainsaws. I could talk about my experiences with a chain saw, but if you review the OSHA list I’ve reprinted below from the OSHA Publications website, you’ll find most of my violations regarding chain saw safety.

Chain Saw Safety

Operating a chain saw is inherently hazardous. Potential injuries can be minimized by using proper personal protective equipment and safe operating procedures.

Before Starting a Chain Saw

-Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they are adjusted according to the manufacturer's instructions. -Make sure that the chain is always sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full. -Start the saw on the ground or on another firm support. Drop starting is never allowed. -Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain's brake engaged.

Fueling a Chain Saw

-Use approved containers for transporting fuel to the saw. -Dispense fuel at least 10 feet away from any sources of ignition when performing construction activities. No smoking during fueling. -Use a funnel or a flexible hose when pouring fuel into the saw. -Never attempt to fuel a running or HOT saw.

Chain Saw Safety

-Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw's chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting. -Shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain. -Keep your hands on the saw's handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the saw. -Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection. -Do not wear loose-fitting clothing. -Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind aginst the saw. -Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut. -Gasoline-powered chain saws must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback. -Be cautious of saw kick-back. To avoid kick-back, do not saw with the tip. If equipped, keep tip guard in place.

There are a few other safety tips you’ll want to include on your list:

*Working alone is never a good idea, and make sure someone is aware of your location, even if it’s your backyard. *Know your own limitations. *Use proper back and safe lifting techniques. The back you have is the only one you’re going to get. *Keep a first aid kit handy, including a cell phone. *Don’t forget the appropriate fire extinguisher. *if using an electric chain saw make sure it is properly grounded and you are using the appropriate gauge extension cord. http://consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/for-corded-electric-chain-saws-get-right-extension-cord/index.htm *Watch out for the yard light *If fatigued STOP unless you have gift card from an undertaker.

So if you’re cutting your own fire wood, helping a neighbor or just pruning a few trees, take the job seriously. Your family will thank you for your Chain saw safety.

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