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Chain Saw Safety Tips

How to safely operate a chain saw

The invention of the chain saw was a turning point in world history. Chain saws empower logging operations to harvest timber much more efficiently than in the days of the two-man crosscut saw.

They have also made life much easier for homeowners. Tasks such as cutting firewood or cleaning up fallen trees and broken limbs used to be very time-consuming, but a chain saw makes quick work of those duties.

But if they aren't used properly, a chain saw can cause serious injury - or worse. It's just common sense that if a high-speed spinning chain can cut through an oak log like butter it can do the same to a human body! That's why when you use a chain saw, you must take precautions to do so as safely as possible. To that end, here are a few chain saw safety tips:

  1. Never use a chain saw unless someone else is with you. If you only follow one suggestion from this article, make sure it's this one. If you get hurt when you're working alone, chances are you won't be able to get the help you need in time to save your life!
  2. Always stand in a stable position while sawing. Many serious accidents occur when the operator slips or loses his/her balance.
  3. Hold the chain saw securely with both hands - one on the trigger grip and the other on the handle bar. There are several circumstances that can cause the saw to "kick back" into your body - you must always be prepared for them.
  4. Never attempt to start a chain saw while holding it up in the air. Always place it on the ground and hold it securely in the manner described in the operator's manual while pulling on the starter rope.
  5. Always be aware of where your hands are in relation to the chain. Don't go flailing them about or you'll probably come to regret it.
  6. Don't wear loose fitting clothing than can get caught up in the spinning chain.
  7. Keep the business end of the saw away from your legs and all other parts of your body.
  8. Don't use a chain saw near another person, especially a child or someone who isn't extremely familiar with the safe operation of chain saws.
  9. When cutting down a tree, be aware of where it is going to fall and stay out of its way (and keep others out of its way also). Always be aware that a falling tree can bring other trees and branches down with it, so be aware of your surroundings!
  10. Before you operate a new chain saw, read the owner's manual carefully - and completely. If you have never used a chain saw before, it's a good idea to ask an experienced user to use it the first time so you can learn by watching.
  11. Always use hearing and eye protection when operating a chain saw. These are your two most important senses, and improper use of a chain saw is a great way to damage both of them!

Chains saws are among the most useful tools for homeowners to have on hand, but they are also among the most dangerous. Use them with extreme caution and you'll be able to keep all of your fingers, toes and everything else that's precious to you!

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