How to identify chainsaw work area safety zones

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Consider your workplace safety zone before you turn on your engine

When you intend to use a chainsaw, it's important to check the work area for hazards before you start felling or cutting.

Obviously, you'll never deliberately do anything that will harm another person when you are using your chainsaw but you do need to be mindful.

Here's a personal example of a lack of mindfulness

Last year I was chopping up some branches my neighbor himself had cut down and thrown over the fence for me to use as firewood.

I happened to run out of fuel and the saw cut out. I put it down in front of me and that's when I realized my two-year-old daughter was standing just me. Gave me a hell of a fright with the realization that a kickback or an odd movement from myself could have put her in harm's way.

It appears I did not shut the back door of the house properly.

Did I think to do so?

I can't recall, but either way, I wasn't mindful enough to check my working zone would be safe.

So I know personally this is no joke, and you do too, that's why you're here, looking for safety zone advice.

Now this may be obvious stuff but so is properly shutting a door so here we go:

Working with a chainsaw requires proper safety measures to be taken in order to minimize the risk of injury. Before starting any work, it is important to make sure that the work area is clear of people and animals. If there are people or children around, make sure to tell them to stay clear and keep a safe distance.

Working in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow or high winds is not recommended and can pose a serious safety risk. Make sure you have a clear and stable work area with a good footing, and adjust ladders or have a support person as needed.

When walking to the work area, take extra care on uneven or sloping ground and wear suitable and sturdy boots. 

It's crucial to to not walk around with the chainsaw running, and always carry it by the front handle with the bar facing the rear to maintain balance.

If you are felling trees, make sure that other people are at least two tree lengths away and determine your escape route before cutting. 

Also, check for any potential hazards such as electricity or telecommunication cables and seek advice from the local authority if needed.

Be mindful of material such as branches or tops that may fall into the work area as the tree is being cut.

Once you're in the zone (you're working, you're moving, you're in the zone, you're grooving) - be mindful of reducing the chance of a kick back - and for goodness sake, wear some head gear and safety pants.
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