saws can be great labor saving tools. But if not operated properly
and with respect, they can quickly cause severe injury and death.
At least two people died from injuries related to chain saws
during the first week of cleanup after Hurricane Hugo. This
leaflet cannot address every potential hazard you may encounter
while using a chain saw. If you are not familiar with techniques
of sawing, saw operation, or maintenance, read your owner's
manual, consult a more detailed publication, r ask a dealer
for more information.
you have only small branches (four inches or less), use a hand
saw or axe. Chain saws are not suited for cutting such small
branches. Owner's Manual
the owner's manual before operating a chain saw for the first
time. Note the safety practices. Note how to check and adjust
the chain tension. It's important for safe operation.
of the best safeguards against injury is wearing the proper
protective equipment. This includes:
glasses or goggles
heavy-duty, non-slip gloves
sturdy non-slip shoes
trim fitting clothes (not loose or ragged)
long-sleeve shirt and pants (chaps if you have them)
the chain guard on the saw when not in use. Always carry the
saw at your side with the cutting bar and chain to the rear
and to the outside. Never carry a chain saw in the passenger
area of a vehicle. Fueling a Chain Saw
the fuel mix recommended by the manufacturer. Never fuel a
hot chain saw; let it cool first. Always fuel in a clear area
away from debris. If your fuel can has no spout, use a funnel.
Wipe the saw clean of any spilled fuel after fueling. Never
smoke while fueling.
is only one safe way to start a chain saw:
10 feet or more away from the fueling area.
the saw in a clear, debris-free area.
the saw firmly on the ground by putting your foot through
the rear handle (if possible) and by holding it down with
one hand on the top handle. Pull the starter cord with the
other hand. The chain should not be moving while the saw
start the saw while holding it off the ground, or by "drop
away anything that has a chance of interfering with the operation.
Remove debris that could cause you to slip or lose your balance
or accidentally contact the chain. Keep both hands firmly on
the saw when cutting.
occurs when the saw rotates back, or "kicks back" at the operator,
due to the nose of the saw contacting an object or obstruction.
To prevent kickback:
a saw equipped with chain brake or kickback guard.
the saw firmly with both hands. Grip the top handle by putting
the thumb around it.
for twigs that can snag the chain.
pinch the chain while cutting the log.
with the lower part of the bar close to the bumper, not
on the top near the nose.
high saw speed when entering or leaving a cut.
the chain sharp.
not reach above your shoulder to cut. The chain is too close
to your face in this position.
injuries occur because the operator got tired or withstood long
periods of saw vibration. Take frequent breaks.
down large trees is not simple and should be left to experienced
operators who have felled trees before. Limbing requires proper
position and consideration of kickback potential, the springing
back of branches, and the chance the log will roll. Bucking
(cutting a log into lengths) requires knowing how to block the
log to prevent binding, kickback, and rolling. If you are not
familiar with these operations, get more information from your
owner's manual, a saw dealer, a book or video, r from an experienced
Publication #: 490-306
information developed by Clemson Cooperative Extension following
Hurricane Hugo. Revised for Virginia audiences by Virginia Cooperative
more information, contact your local office of Virginia Cooperative
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.