Stay safe with these chain saw operation tips

Due to the inherent danger of misusing a chain saw, the University of Florida has implemented policies on how university students, employees, contractors and volunteers wield the potentially lethal power tool.

Below are some safety tips from their policy that can be useful to anyone who must work with a chain saw on the job.

  • Never operate a chain saw when tired or while under the influence of medication, whether prescription or OTC, that could impair the operator’s abilities.
  • Make sure these safety components are present on the chain saw: chain catcher; muffler; throttle or throttle interlock; chain brakelever, and hand guard.
  • Using a handle system to reduce vibration protects the operator’s fingers and hands from strain.
  • Always use hardhats and protective equipment for face and eyes.
  • Wear leg protection consisting of material like ballistic nylon or Kevlar that is resistant to cuts.
  • Steel-toe boots that cover and support the ankles must be worn whenever operating a chain saw.
  • Regular maintenance procedures should be undertaken to keep the saw functioning safely.
  • Never put a chain saw down without first turning the power off.
  • Make sure the chain is lubricated and has the right tension.
  • Don’t operate a chain saw with only one person present.
  • Never add fuel to a hot saw and always re-fuel outside.
  • Only start a chain saw on a flat surface; never drop start one.

While it appears that the UF authorities are serious about safety concerning chain saw operations, not all employers may be so safety conscious. Workers who get injured on the job due to safety protocol breaches or negligence may be able to seek financial compensation for their injuries.

Source: University of Florida Environmental Health & Safety, “Chain Saw Safety Policy,” accessed Dec. 23, 2015