Chainsaws are available in a variety of sizes and horsepower. Common hazards exist among different models, and similar safety precautions must be taken to prevent injury. Read the manufacturer’s instructions, or have an experienced trained person demonstrate the safe operation. The following general precautions should be followed:
Keep all bystanders at a safe distance from the work area.
Use anti-kickback devices since kickbacks are the single biggest cause of chainsaw accidents. There are three types: safety nose cone or guard, safety chain, or chain brake.
Avoid contact with the chain. Cuts can occur when the chain is in operation, being moved, or repaired.
Wear personal protection, including approved eye/face shields, above-the-ankle leather boots, protective chaps, gloves, and hard hats. Ear muffs or ear plugs may also be needed depending upon the noise level.
Avoid contact with hot surfaces, such as the muffler or cylinder head. Wearing gloves may be useful in reducing or preventing burns.
Use approved containers for storage and dispensing of gasoline.
Ensure the engine is off before refueling.
Maintain the saw free of excess gasoline, oil, and sawdust.
Keep all wires and spark plug connections tight.
Have a fire extinguisher present.
Maintain a first aid kit on site, and have someone on the crew trained in first aid.
Use proper lifting techniques during all aspects of the job, including the cleanup operation.