Logging Safety: A Field Guide

Section Two: Chain Saw Safety

  • The chain saw is one of the most efficient, productive and dangerous portable power tools in any industry!
  • Proper operation and maintenance will increase both safety and productivity!
  • Chain saws must be in good condition and inspected before each shift.
  • Chain saws must be secured when transporting in vehicle or equipment cab. Unsecured tools can be a hazard to the operator, especially if a rollover occurs.

Review the operator's manual and follow the manufacturer's instructions!

Chain Saw Injury Locations (U.S.)

Note: most injuries occur on the lower left leg and thigh, the left arm and the back of the left hand. Be sure to protect your body.

accident_frequency_and_loaction

Know the Safety Features of a Chain Saw

Chain_Saw_Diagram
  • Side cover plates: intact
  • Throttle trigger
  • Muffler
  • Hand guard
  • Chain catcher
  • Anti-vibration handle system
  • Throttle trigger lockout
  • Chain brake (gasoline only)

Make sure that all safety features that are on the saw are functional.

Always check before each use!

Before Starting Your Chain Saw Always

  • Check for properly sharpened chain.
  • Check controls, chain tension, bolts, and handles.
  • Adjust according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Fuel at least 10 ft. from ignition sources.
  • Start at least 10 ft. away from fuel.
  • Start with chain brake on, while standing on level ground or firmly supported.
  • Use approved metal or plastic fuel containers. Metal safety cans are the best choice.

While Running Your Chain Saw Always

  • Keep hands on handles.
  • Maintain secure footing.
  • Eliminate cutting overhead.
  • Keep your cutting area and your retreat path free of obstacles.
  • Shut saw off or release throttle prior to retreating
  • Shut saw off or engage the chain brake if the terrain is hazardous or if you are traveling more than 50 ft.

Chain Saw Maintenance

  • Read and study the operator's manual.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  • Inspect, operate, adjust, sharpen, maintain and repair regularly.

A sharp and well maintained saw increases production, decreases fatigue and helps prevent injury and accident.

Chain Saw Operation Checklist

  • Do you inspect your saw at the beginning of each shift?
  • Are the safety features of your chain saw working properly?
  • Is your saw adjusted and used according to the manufacturer?
  • Do you fuel your saw at least 10 feet from ignition sources?
  • Do you start your saw at least 10 feet from the fuel sources?
  • Do you start your saw with the chain brake on and firmly supported or on the ground?
  • Do you keep both hands on the saw and your footing secure?
  • Do you keep your cutting area and retreating path free of obstacles?
  • Do you avoid cutting overhead?
  • Do you shut off the saw release or throttle before you retreat?
  • Do you shut off the chain saw or engage the chain brake if the terrain is hazardous or if you are moving more than 50 feet?