Chainsaw accidents are the deadliest accidents occurring, and it takes place due to power tool misuse.
Professional loggers, landscapers, construction workers, and individuals keen on doing work enveloping their own homes use chainsaws commonly.
These accidents result in catastrophic injuries and death.
The chainsaw accidents mostly are preventable.
The negligence of another person or self results in suffering painful and unexpected injuries that may be debilitating disabilities.
Chainsaws Safe Operation
Operating a chainsaw, from home or at work, requires you to follow safety rules to prevent accidents. It is best to do the following:
- Read the owner’s manual and follow operating instructions
- Wear steel-toe boots, leather chaps, eye protection, gloves, a hard hat, and a hearing protection
- Choose a chainsaw fitting and control properly
- Take a course on chainsaw operation and safety
- Sharpen and file the blade
- Keep the motor clear of debris and dirt
- Do not operate or hold with one hand the saw or airdrop the saw to start
- Have a buddy present if there is an accident
Common Causes of Chainsaw Accidents
Chainsaws are dangerous tools. The risks associated with these machines are high.
The law does not specify taking any formal training or a special license to operate or own a chainsaw.
Chainsaw accidents are caused commonly;
- A kickback accident with the chainsaw as the blade of the teeth is caught, causing the chainsaw to jerk and injure the neck, face, shoulder, upper torso, or arm.
- Lack of proper instruction
- Ignoring the chainsaw warnings
- Unskilled or untrained operators
- Faulty motors
Many injuries caused by chainsaws are due to poor judgment, recklessness, or a lack of understanding about responsible and safe use.
The operators of chainsaws may harm themselves and the people around them if they ignore or fail to follow the guidelines.
What is the common chainsaw injury?
The common hazard with chainsaws is caused by pushback, kickback, and pull-in.
The most common is the kickback, and it poses the biggest hazard.
It occurs when suddenly the rotating chain stops as it meets a solid area. The saw is thrown rapidly back to the operator.
The injury may include underlying disruption of ligaments, tendons, and bones.
The worse also happen, such as amputations, though uncommon.
The extremity of chainsaw injuries is the ones that leave macerated and ugly skin disruptions and lacerations.
Even turned-off chainsaws cause puncture wounds and lacerations.
Safeguards against injury while using a chain saw
- Adjust, operate, and maintain the saw as per the instruction of the manufacturer as provided in the chainsaw manual.
- Sharpen properly the teeth of the chainsaw and lubricate the blade with chain and bar oil. Periodically check and if essential, adjust the blade to keep on the chain the correct tension so that it stays on the blade, besides giving good cutting action.
- Wear protective equipment appropriately including, safety glasses, heavy work gloves, hardhat, cut-resistant legwear, hearing protection, chain saw chaps, and boots covering the ankle.
- Choose a chainsaw of proper size matching the job. Include safety features such as a stop switch, spark arrester, rear, and front hand guards, chain brake, and chain catcher.
- Avoid contact until the verification of lines with power lines while it is de-energized.
- Check the area you are cutting for hazards such as cables or nails, within the debris or wood around the limb or tree.
- Clear the cut limbs, and wood for safer saw use, and provide an escape path for the unanticipated sudden movement of limbs and trees.
- Cut below or at waist level to ascertain you maintain over the chainsaw secure control.
- If an injury occurs, apply direct pressure over heavy bleeding sites to save a life.
- Coworkers or bystanders should be 2 tree lengths away around 150 feet from felling a tree. It means at least 30 feet from operating a chain to remove fallen trees or limbs.
- Chainsaw blades create a hazard as they become dull, and the chainsaw is compelled to operate with force to cut. Sharpen routinely the blades, and the operators should learn to sharpen the blades, it is helpful.
- Chainsaw users must know if the chainsaw is suitable for the job that they are doing. It is because some jobs need greater torque and horsepower saws to power larger objects while others require more finesse and precision.
- Chainsaws should not be used without anyone in the presence. Choosing to use the chainsaw alone is not right. If something unfortunate takes place, the operator can assist her or him in seeking medical attention.
- Operators of chainsaws may wear safety equipment such as safety glasses, helmets, and protective gloves. They should avoid using hard objects such as metal or stones and should not work around electrical wiring or power lines.
- A major cause of injury is kickback, and it occurs even in the chainsaws claiming to eliminate or reduce it. An operator losing the chainsaw control may cause injury or result in an accident.
- Chainsaw operators should avoid using the tool around stones, metal, or hard objects and should never work around electrical wiring or power lines.
- Chainsaws should not be airdropped as in this process the dropping of the chainsaw by the user in one hand and pulling with the other hand, the start cord ensures all possibilities of losing control over the chainsaw. It will result in chainsaw injury.
Most chainsaw injuries or accidents happen as the guide bar or chain collides with an object.
This collision can happen in a second and result in kickback or cause life-altering injuries or death.
Chainsaw injuries are common, and nearly 36000 people approximately get into hospital emergency for injuries using chainsaws.
The risk of injury increases especially after natural disasters and hurricanes.
It is the time chainsaws are used widely to remove partially fallen or fallen trees and tree branches.