Minimising Chainsaw Risks

Chainsaws are powerful, but with great power comes great responsibility. This poignant reminder from the Spiderman movie is something to keep in mind when using chainsaws as there is always the risk that something can go wrong with this type of tool.

Each year, over 120 injuries occur when people use chainsaws incorrectly. This is why it’s highly important that basic training and safety checks are thoroughly implemented before even switching the chainsaw on.
Risk minimization is crucial when it comes to chainsaw ownership. This piece of equipment is practical and useful on both a domestic and professional level and certainly a worthy investment. They save time, money, and manual labour in many different elements of agricultural upkeep. From cutting trees to chopping wood for the fire, chainsaws really do make life much easier.

As useful as they are, chainsaws have the potential to be very dangerous. Some things to keep in mind to make using chainsaws safer include wearing suitable protective clothing and a mask to cover your eyes. Strong closed-toed shoes, long trousers, and a long sleeve top will also be useful. Make sure clothes are tight fitting so that they don’t flap around and have potential to get caught in the chain. Wearing gloves is recommended as well, as long as you can still maintain a positive grip on the chainsaw.

The Health and Safety Authority also works to ensure that all proffesional owners of chainsaws are properly trained. To meet the competency and training requirements of this Authority (and why not, it’s a good way of ensuring you’re up to scratch), some things you should do include:

  • Write a risk assessment before you start work. In this, make sure you note the issues and risks involved and have a plan on how to stay safe if something does go wrong.
  • Complete an accredited chainsaw training course. These are available for all levels of training.
  • Wear protective clothing and gear as outlined above. Also ensure you have a safety helmet with visor, ear muffs, and high visibility vest.
  • Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit that is easily accessible. Also, never work alone so that you or someone else can attend to first aid if necessary.
  • Check your insurance and get covered for chainsaw work if carrying out proffesionally.

Taking these steps will keep you safe when using a chainsaw and will result in much better outcomes for you and others.

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