In the forestry industry, or any occupation that requires cutting timber, the proper tools are vital towards getting the job done in an efficient and timely manner. For some people in this line of work, a petrol chainsaw is the primary tool that is used. Shortcuts should never be taken in regards to the wellness and safety of personnel doing these jobs. Therefore, it’s extremely important that certain safety procedures are set and adhered to when operating petrol chainsaws in order to avoid injury or death.
Chainsaw Safety Equipment
When using a petrol chainsaw, you should be dressed in the proper operating safety equipment. A helmet and safety chaps made of cut-proof fabric should be worn to protect from kickback. Kickback occurs when an obstruction is hit during cutting, causing an unpredictable movement in the chainsaw. A face shield or safety glasses are a necessity as well to avoid wood chips getting into the user’s eyes. Ear defenders should be worn to protect hearing due to the loud noise a petrol chainsaw makes. Flexible chainsaw gloves should be worn. Chainsaw gloves have cut-proof fabric, similar to the chaps, on the back of the hands to protect from a possible derailed chain, but still have some dexterity in regards to being able to use your hands without removing the gloves. An operator should also be wearing high top steel toe boots for protection of the feet.
Electric Chainsaw Safety Features
Just a few very important safety related parts that come with a petrol chainsaw include a chain brake and hand guard. The chain brake lever, located just forward of the front grip, will lock the chain in place avoiding accidental action of the saw. This should be used when walking from one point to the next. The safety throttle is located on the opposite side of the throttle, and when not in use, should be applied to avoid unnecessary and possibly dangerous involuntary action. An anti-vibration system is a must as well. For users that operate a petrol or electric chainsaws often, there’s a risk of what’s called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) which can be permanent.
Petrol Chainsaw Maintenance
A petrol chainsaw should have proper maintenance done to ensure it works properly. A regularly sharpened chain will not only help performance, but will also reduce the risk of kickback. Lubrication of a petrol chainsaw’s moving parts should be done to ensure smooth operation. By adjusting the chain tension, you will get more use of a chain and it will help keep the chainsaw in good working order.
The biggest safety feature that should be applied by all before operating a petrol chainsaw is good instruction and training. Detailed knowledge must be passed on in regards to proper cutting technique, safety procedures and first aid to include what to do in the event of an accident. An inexperienced user should be monitored and supervised when operating a petrol chainsaw to avoid severe injury to either him or herself, or to someone else nearby. Qualified and experienced instructors should watch for bad habits and eliminate them immediately. Work related injuries should never be caused by ignorance to safety regulations and procedures and a company not providing adequate chainsaw safety training should be avoided.