Chainsaw Safety – Protecting you and your equipment
With winter fast approaching and outdoor clean up begins, homeowners often reach for a chainsaw to make light work of winter tasks. But before you reach for your chainsaw this season, be sure you have the right accessories to protect you and your equipment.
“Whether it’s cleaning up after a storm, performing tree maintenance or cutting firewood, during the winter season a chainsaw may be in the hands of an inexperienced operator,” says Mike Enderby, Husqvarna Product Manager – Handheld. “It is crucial for anyone operating a chainsaw to carefully review the owner’s manual and follow recommended guidelines.”
While users may pay close attention to proper starting and working techniques, two areas often over looked are choosing the right protective clothing and maintenance accessories to ensure your chainsaw is safe to work with.
Dress for the occasion
Before you even think about starting the chainsaw, you need to be properly outfitted with safety clothing. Safety gear is specifically designed to help protect your body and can help to reduce the severity of an injury in the event of an accident. While there is a large variety of protective apparel to consider, Husqvarna recommend that you invest in the following essential items.
- Protective Pants/Chaps
Wearing protective pants or chaps specifically designed for chainsaw operation will protect you in the event that the chainsaw makes contact with the lower body. The textile fibres in the pants have been designed to stop the motion of the chain. Pants or chaps should be discarded if the protective layers have been damaged by a saw.
- Helmet with hearing protection and visor
The helmet is designed to protect you from falling branches and the visor should cover your entire face in order to protect against flying chips and saw dust. Because chainsaw operators are exposed to high noise levels that can impair or damage hearing, the ear muffs on the helmet help to reduce the noise, thus reducing the risk of hearing damage.
- Protective Gloves
To prevent injury to your hands, protective gloves should be worn. Gloves with built-in cut resistance are recommended for the best protection.
- Protective Boots
Wearing cut-resistant boots helps to protect your feet in the event of saw slippage. When selecting your boots, ensure that they are durable, comfortable and appropriate for the work at hand.
- First Aid Kit
When working with a chainsaw, a first aid kit should always be kept on hand and readily available.
Effective maintenance for added safety
One of the most important factors in owning a chainsaw is ensuring regular maintenance is carried out before each use. By following Husqvarna’s simple maintenance tips and using the right maintenance tools, you can make sure your chainsaw is functioning properly before use.
Always inspect your chainsaw before use and check that the chain brake is clean and that the inertia and manual activation of the chain brake are in proper working condition.
For a good, clean cut, the chain should always be sharp and should exhibit the proper tension. A Husqvarna filing kit includes everything you need to keep your chain in top cutting condition, while the range of guide bars and saw chain available means you will always have access to the right equipment when you need it.
Before using your chainsaw, refuel with a fresh fuel/oil mixture – mixed according to the manufacturers recommendations. Check the chain oil level and that the chain lubrication works – poor lubrication of cutting equipment may cause the chain to snap, which could lead to serious, even fatal injuries. Husqvarna provides a range of oils suitable for a variety of working conditions that are optimized according to the development of Husqvarna engines. Husqvarna’s approach is to use the perfect blend of synthetic and highly refined mineral oils which, together with specially developed additives, will give you perfect lubrication, seizure protection and a cleaner engine.
Ellenbrook Mowers, located at Perth, can give you advice on simple maintenance checks, correct filing techniques and advice on which oils to use for your chainsaw, simply give us a call or visit us in person.