How to Operate a Chainsaw Safely for Garden Use | A Safety Guide
Chainsaws are very useful for cutting down trees and logs in your backyard. Not only do chainsaws help make sure that firewood is cut up fine, but they also make the task of cutting down a tree way easier than if you were to use an axe or knife. Safety in the garden is always important. Use tools, such as a chainsaw, safely to ensure you remain injury-free and your garden looks great all year round. A chainsaw can be surprisingly versatile when it comes to cutting logs for firewood or making kindling for that well-earned campfire. You know what they say: if you want something done properly – do it yourself. However, several safety measures should be kept in mind when using a chainsaw in the garden.
The following guidelines should be followed to avoid serious accidents:
- Ensure you have the right equipment for the job – You will need gloves and safety goggles when using your chainsaw. A helmet with visor and ear protection is recommended, and sturdy boots and clothing such as waist-high trousers and coats fasten tightly at the wrist. Do not attempt to work in bare feet or sandals. Wear long-sleeved tops in case your arms come into contact with the chainsaw. A back support belt will add extra support and comfort.
- Check your chainsaw thoroughly before use – Before you start work, check that your chainsaw is in safe working order. Sharp blades are essential for a good cut, and the moving parts should be in a smooth movement. Ensure your cord is securely fastened to prevent tripping over it while you work. Keep an extra length of spare cable safely in a bag, together with tools needed to fix any problems during cutting, such as nuts or bolts. Ensure the necessary safety features on your machine are working, such as the chain brake, which stops the blade from turning if something becomes caught in it.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions – Make sure you read the manual supplied with your chainsaw for specific advice on using it safely. If you are using an unfamiliar machine, make sure you ask someone who is experienced in its operation to show you how it works before you attempt any cutting yourself. Your machine may have unique features compared with other chainsaw models, so do not assume they will be identical in their function or how they should be used.
- Clear up after use – When your work is finished, and the saw has cooled down, remove all debris from around your feet before moving away from the spot where you have been working. You will need to store your chainsaw safely between uses, and it is a good idea to cover the blade with a sheath. You should also check that any cutting tools such as wedges, levers, or chisels are stored in safe areas where they will not damage the saw.
It is important to be aware of some basic safety tips when operating a chainsaw:
● Do not overreach – Keeping both feet on the ground at all times means you have better balance and full control of your chainsaw. If you raise yourself off the ground while holding on to something, you might lose grip on the saw or fall, resulting in injury.
Keep a close eye on what’s happening around you when tree surgery work is being carried out as a distraction can lead to errors being made.
● Wear appropriate clothing – When using a gas chainsaw, long trousers and sturdy boots are recommended. They offer protection from the elements and help provide comfort when working for extended periods.
Avoid loose garments which may become entangled in moving parts or hang up on objects during use. Loose garments could also catch fire from sparks from the saw if left unattended after use.
● Make sure you have safe space around you – Make sure there is always room to move about freely around you while you are operating your chainsaw. Also, make sure that nothing nearby can be damaged by flying debris such as flowerbeds, fences, or windows.
Your chainsaw blade will constantly be moving as it cuts, so anything within range is at risk of being damaged.
● Keep hands away from the chain: Never attempt to touch the chain while the saw is in operation, as your skin will be quickly cut, and you might also lose a finger, hand, or arm if caught by a rotating blade.
Any loose clothing may become tangled around the chain and pull you towards it, so keep your sleeves rolled down and tucked into gloves if possible.
● Avoid kickback: As well as keeping both feet on the ground, make sure there is no one behind you when carrying out any cutting work with your chainsaw. If something goes wrong during use, such as the chain breaking or it jams, you need to be able to take immediate evasive action by jumping out of the way.
If this is not possible, try to fall onto your back so that any kickback or debris being thrown towards you rebounds down or away from you rather than into you.
● Use saws safely: If using a chainsaw on an unstable surface, place wooden blocks beneath the feet to stop them slipping, then use two people instead of one for safety’s sake.
Also, ensure that no bystanders are in harm’s way if there is a risk of falling branches during line clearing work.
Once you have read through these important safety tips and feel confident with everything mentioned here, it is time to start a chainsaw safety course. Suppose you are thinking of buying a new model for home use. In that case, you must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance, as these will tell you the best way to operate your saw.