WV Local Technical Assistance Program
Tailgate Safety Talks
Tree Felling Safety Tips
This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.
Each employee involved in tree felling should be instructed exactly what to do. If somebody is not involved in the operation, they should keep clear of the work area.
Before cutting down any tree consider the following: Shape of the tree - lean of the tree - wind force and direction - decayed, hollow, or other weak spots - location of overhead utilities in all directions - location of other workers and equipment - any other things that may cause trouble when the tree falls.
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment consistent with the hazards. Hard hat, eye and face protection, hearing protection, chaps, gloves and sturdy work shoes are required when using a chain saw.
The work area should be cleared and an escape route planned before any cutting is started.
Shut off chain saws or apply the chain brake before clearing the area.
Rotten, split, hollow or frozen trees may fall in an unexpected direction even though the open face notch is made on the proper side.
It may be necessary to use ropes and wedges to make sure it falls in the intended direction.
Always keep clear of the butt of the tree when it starts to fall.
Multiple people limb cutting on the same felled tree should be avoided.
Be aware of others working in the area. Limbs often roll and move during cutting and removal. This scenario has also been the cause of several injuries