Safety is no. 1 with chain­saws

Matamata Chronicle - - Summer Living -

CHAIN­SAW SAFETY en­sures the right tech­niques re­duce the risk of in­jury. When work­ing with a chain­saw, safety should al­ways be the first con­cern.

The chain­saw is a pow­er­ful and ef­fec­tive ma­chine but it can also be ex­tremely dan­ger­ous if used in­cor­rectly.

To en­sure you are safe, Husq­varna rec­om­mends you fol­low th­ese sim­ple guide­lines.

In or­der to avoid un­nec­es­sary ac­ci­dents and bad work prac­tices, you should use the cor­rect tech­niques and the best way to do this is to un­der­take some pro­fes­sional train­ing.

Teach­ing your­self how to use a chain­saw can put your safety at risk, just one in­cor­rect ac­tion sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the risk of ac­ci­dent. There are many or­gan­i­sa­tions that pro­vide cour­ses in chain­saw op­er­a­tion and safety.

Re­gard­less of your level of ex­pe­ri­ence, when op­er­at­ing a chain­saw Husq­varna rec­om­mends you fol­low th­ese six ba­sic steps to safe use: 1. Se­lect the right saw. Use a mid-sized saw for cut­ting wood on the ground, such as one with a bar of 16 to 20 inches, for good ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity with­out be­ing too heavy. For smaller limbs, a light­weight, high-speed saw is rec­om­mended. Look for de­sign features like good bal­ance, low vi­bra­tion and high power-to-weight ra­tio. 2. Wear pro­tec­tive cloth­ing. By far the most over­looked as­pect of chain saw op­er­a­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate ap­parel. A prop­erly out­fit­ted op­er­a­tor wears pro­tec­tive chaps or pants, eye and ear pro­tec­tion, pro­tec­tive footwear and work gloves, and a hel­met. 3. In­spect the saw be­fore use. En­sure both the in­er­tia and man­ual ac­ti­va­tion of the chain brake are in proper work­ing con­di­tion. In­spect the chain catcher for dam­age and have it re­paired as nec­es­sary. Also, test the throt­tle lock-out fea­ture for proper op­er­a­tion. In­spect the bar and chain and re­pair or re­place as nec­es­sary. Check for cor­rect chain ten­sion. 4. Start safe. A chain saw is safest to start on the ground with the chain brake en­gaged. Be sure noth­ing is ob­struct­ing the guide bar/ chain.

To en­sure the saw sits se­curely on the ground, place your right foot in the rear han­dle, and hold the front han­dle steady with your left hand. Start the chain­saw with your right hand. 5. Care­fully plan your cut­ting job. Po­ten­tial fac­tors in­clude tree lean, elec­tric lines, wind, ad­ja­cent roads and by­s­tanders, and dead limbs. Note that ‘‘struck-by’’ in­juries from fall­ing limbs are one of the most com­mon ac­ci­dents with chain­saw op­er­a­tion. 6. Pro­tect your­self against ‘kick-back’. Never cut with the up­per half of the tip of the bar. Kick­back oc­curs when the tip of the bar comes in con­tact with an ob­ject or gets pinched dur­ing op­er­a­tion, caus­ing the bar to ‘‘kick’’ up and back to­wards the op­er­a­tor and re­sult in a loss of con­trol and pos­si­ble in­jury.

Chain­saw devel­op­ment has come a long way over the years and many mod­ern chain­saws come stan­dard with a range of safety features de­signed to pre­vent ac­ci­dents and in­jury.

Be­fore you start work­ing with your chain­saw, Husq­varna rec­om­mends you check to en­sure it has the fol­low­ing safety features. 1. Kick­back guard and chain brake. The kick­back guard and chain brake pro­tect the op­er­a­tor in the event of kick back when us­ing the chain­saw. Ex­clu­sive to Husq­varna is the unique Tri­oBrake™ pro­tec­tion sys­tem that makes it pos­si­ble to ac­ti­vate the chain brake in three ways, for in­creased op­er­a­tor pro­tec­tion. 2. Throt­tle lock­out. The throt­tle lock­out is de­signed to pre­vent ac­ci­den­tal throt­tle ad­vance when us­ing the saw. The throt­tle con­trol works only if the lock­out is de­pressed, i.e. you have a steady grip on the rear han­dle of the saw with your right hand while you ac­cel­er­ate. 3. Ef­fec­tive vi­bra­tion re­duc­tion. A chain­saw with vi­bra­tion damp­en­ers has been de­signed to ef­fec­tively re­duce the vi­bra­tion lev­els in the han­dles. 4. Chain catcher and right-hand guard. The chain catcher is de­signed to catch the chain should it break or de­rail. The right­hand guard is de­signed to pro­tect the users hand in the event of a chain break. 5. Ac­ces­si­ble stop con­trol. The stop con­trol should be placed where it is easy to ac­cess on the saw so that the en­gine can be stopped quickly in a crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

Most of all rely on your com­mon sense and no doubt your cut­ting tasks will go off with­out a hitch.

Safety first: Take pre­cau­tions and use com­mon sense and no doubt your cut­ting tasks will go off with­out a hitch.

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