There are no minor injuries when it comes to an ax or any chopping tools. The impact of such tools can be devastating to a limb or body part. Be aware of the follow-through of your swings and the direction of the cutting edge at all times.
Hatchets are dangerous because of their short handles, which can often injure a knee or shin on the follow-through or after a glancing blow. The same happens with a machete.
The longer handles of a half or full ax, as well as some tomahawks, will be safer in that the cutting bit will be more likely to dig into the ground rather than come back toward you.
Never chop above your head; keep work as close to the ground as possible. It is always safer with a hatchet or short-handled tomahawk to kneel down, with the task in front of you. Impact-resistant sunglasses or safety glasses will keep your eyes safe from sharp chips that will undoubtedly be airborne when chopping. Always keep the wood you’re cutting at a safe, parallel plane to the ground or other solid support when splitting or chopping.
If possible, don’t use heavy cutting tools after dark. In addition, safety with any type of ax or knife starts by having a reliable sheath for carry and storage. Combining know-how with experience will put you on the fast track to safety and enhance your chances of survivability.