It's something we all have to live with: the possibility of oil prices going up and up. Because of this unpredictability, many people have chosen to heat their homes with wood. Some of them buy their wood pre-cut, but many others cut their own. The Rural Health and Safety Council notes that recent information from the forestry industry shows a rising amount of accidents related to woodlot work.
A serious hazard is a hung, or lodged, tree. This happens when a tree gets caught in another tree's branches as it falls. The biggest mistake you can make is to cut down the second tree. Because the first tree may unexpectedly fall while you're cutting down the second one, you run the risk of being crushed by the first tree. The safest procedure is to wait and allow the cut tree to fall naturally.
A second serious hazard is called a "widow maker." While cutting a tree, you run the risk of being hit by dead wood which is lodged in the top of the tree you're cutting or in other nearby trees. This problem can be handled by either not cutting down that particular tree or taking the chance that you'll be able to avoid the dead wood when the tree falls.
The most important thing to remember is that knowledge, experience, and close attention to safety are essential when trying to avoid woodlot accidents.
This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326 - Ph# (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527 in the northeast. Publication date: 1994.
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. More