One of the most used power tools out there is the chainsaw. But it is also among the most dangerous ones, as handling a chainsaw can be complicated. With that, chainsaw training is vital for those who work with this tool regularly to be able to use it competently and carry out their job safely. This applies to people working in arboriculture, construction, horticulture, agriculture, conservation, land-based industry, local authorities, and more.
Working with Chainsaws
If used incorrectly, the chainsaw machine can cause injuries or fatalities. Therefore, operators must receive adequate chainsaw training Newcastle to the kind of job they undertake. This involves wearing appropriate protective clothing every time they use the power tool.
When working with a chainsaw, safety should be the first thing that comes in mind. While chainsaw safety training covers everything that makes the operator use itsafely and efficiently to prevent any possible injury, there are other things to consider such as the safety of other trees around and the property.
The chainsaw course is a helpful for arborists, utility workers, agricultural workers, or people using chainsaws for tasks at home.
What Are the Chainsaw Hazards?
There are many hazards associated with using the chainsaw that can endanger even those experienced operators. With proper chainsaw training, an operator can identify these hazards prior to starting work. The most dangerous hazards include:
- Vibration disease.This is an ergonomic hazard, in which the physical factor in the environment causes musculoskeletal injuries. The disease develops because of the vibration of hand-held power tools like chainsaws. Note that it is irreversible when the vibration disease is fully developed.
- Hearing loss. Chainsaw operation comes with some noise, which is a serious hazard for operators. While it may seem insignificant for occasional users, the noise-exposed workers like in logging and forestryhave a higher percentage of acquiring hearing loss than other industries with noise exposure combined.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning.CO poisoning is another chainsaw hazard for farmworkers, arborists, and forestry workers. Small gasoline-powered engines like chainsaws emit a high-risk amount of carbon monoxide and are quite dangerous for loggers.The worst part is carbon monoxide is colourless, tasteless, and odourless. Even in small amounts, it can also be deadly.
- Chainsaw kickback. This hazard occurs when the power tool suddenly jolts or jerks in an upward direction. The blade tip can go upward as far back towards the operator. If you are holding the chainsaw when kickback happens, you could get seriously injured. Most chainsaw fatalities take place due to kickback. A comprehensive chainsaw training and safety awareness can help prevent kickback from happening.
- Electrical hazards. Electric chainsaws always come with the danger of electrical fires and electrical shock. It is critical to always check the socket, cord, and plug for arcing and burn marks. Also, make sure to use a socket with an RCD and the right extension cord.
The other electrical dangers for gas-powered chainsaws involve falling trees or branches as well as the peril of contact with power lines.
A Guide to Chainsaw Safely
Learning the safe usage of this power tool through chainsaw trainingcan help avoid potentially fatal incidents and operator mistakes. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) also requires that chainsaw users must learn how to use it properly and identify the hazards before they perform into the field.
The first rule of operation is to follow the chainsaw manufacturers’ instructions, then follow the following steps for safe work practices:
Start the chainsaw safely. Your chainsaw training typically covers how to start the power-driven cutting tool safely. This is a crucial part of the chainsaw operation. There are a few guidelines for starting your chainsaw. You should:
Avoid contact with anything when the power tool starts
Keep the chainsaw away from your body
Never drop-start the chainsaw
Turn off the engine before putting the machine back down
Cover the guide bar once the motor stops
Handle the chainsaw correctly. The way you hold your chainsaw determines how you canavoid the hazards related to its operation. Grip the chainsaw securely. Normally, you should hold the chainsaw with your left hand on the front handle and your right hand on the back handle. Having said that, keep in mind that you should not hold it too tightly, as this will increase your risk of vibration disease.
Follow these rules for correct chainsaw handling:
Stand to the side of the machine. Never place it on your leg.
Hold the chainsaw with your two hands.
Point the guide to the rear when carrying the saw, so that the blade drops off at your back.
Keep the chainsaw on a level surface when you put it down.
Cut accurately and safely. When you are ready to work with your chainsaw, your action will dictate where and how you cut using it. Keep in mind these general rules usually included in chainsaw training:
Do not cut a tree that has a greater diameter than the length of the blade.
Never cut anything above your mid-chest height.
If you get tired, stop working. You may lose your focus and grip, which may cause a serious incident.
It is better and safer to work with a companion.
The size of a tree is not an indication of how dangerous it is. Small branches can also bring about accidents by capturing the chainsaw and causing the operator to be unsteady and off balance.
Create a risk assessment or work plan. Before starting a task using a chainsaw, the operator should conduct a risk assessment and have a work plan. The process includesdocumenting and identifying any key risks, particularly the ones associated with the usage of chainsaw.
For example, if the project involves working at height and trimming branches, take into account the potential of a branch hitting the operator on the ground and that the person may fall.
The work plan should include spotting hazards around the job site and mitigating them where possible. It is also important to clear everything away near the area. Remove any potential fall and trip hazards. Moreover, you must have a retreat pathway accessible to you.