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Six Tips for Chainsaw Safety

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

Chainsaws are incredibly powerful and dangerous tools. You will always need to follow guidelines for chainsaw safety when you’re operating one. This applies whether you use one for work or for occasional cutting at home. 


One of the first rules of chainsaw safety is never use a chainsaw with a dull blade. The blade should always be sharpened and the chainsaw should always be oiled. If you fail to do so, you will increase your chance of injury due to the extra pressure required to cut with the chainsaw. 


Use a chainsaw with standard safety features. They include a stop switch, chain catcher, spark arrester, and hand guards. The chainsaw should also have a chain brake that will quickly stop the chain from moving even when operating at full speed. 


Wear proper safety equipment which includes a hard hat with hearing protection and face shield. Safety glasses are also recommended. Wear sung-fitting leather work gloves and chaps. Make sure that anyone who is working around you is also wearing the proper safety equipment, including eye and hearing protection and gloves. 


Only cut at waist level and below. You should never operate a chainsaw over your head because it’s too unsafe. If you need to reach something that’s over your head, you should use a ladder to reach it safely. 


Have an escape route already planned. The ideal route to take is 45 degrees from the direction you expect the tree to fall. You should also make sure there is nothing that can trip you while making your escape. 


The final tip for chainsaw safety deals with refueling your tool. If the chainsaw runs out of gas during operation, you shouldn’t refuel it immediately. Instead, you should let it cool down. AND you must not smoke while refueling.

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