Staying Safe While Chipping Brush

If not careful, brush removal and chipping can lead to some of the most horrendous accidents in the tree trimming space. The good news is that these types of injuries are usually preventable when operators are careful. Avoiding injury by working smart is paramount when dealing with brush chippers, so proper procedures should always be followed.

How can you prevent brush removal and chipping injuries? Avoiding direct contact with the in-feed, practicing safe brush feeding, avoiding flying debris and wearing the proper protection can help keep you and your crew members safe.

Avoid Direct Contact

Careless feeding of brush, like using the feet or hands to push it into the in-feed, can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. Because this machine is so strong, it can easily pull you in if you don’t follow the proper safety precautions.

When working with chippers, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that your feet never pass the edge of the in-feed hopper. The chipper won’t reach out and grab you, but it can pull you in if you place any part of your body to close to the in-feed. Never use hands or feet to push brush into the in-feed, instead use longer branches or specially designed tools to avoid contact with the hopper.

Safe Feeding Practices

Brush and logs should always be fed into chippers butt or cut-ends first, with the operator turning away once the brush has been taken into the feed rollers. Ensure that while the chipper is being operated, you and your crew members avoid entering the chip box of the truck to avoid possible injuries.

When feeding in brush, the chipper should not be your only concern. Many job sites require team members to load brush into the chipper near the side of the road. If you are in this situation, be aware of your surroundings and avoid stepping or being pushed intro traffic by the material you are feeding into the chipper. Always remember that when working roadside, chippers should always be fed into from the curb side to avoid injury.

Flying Debris

When using a chipper, avoid feeding in objects that aren’t supposed to be fed into the chipper. For example, feeding in raking not only dulls the blades of the chipper but can be very dangerous as well. Pebbles or other debris can commonly get stuck in the rakings and can fire back at the operator leading to serious injuries. Other materials such as stones, nails or sweeping can also pose the same problem when fed into the chipper.

Proper Equipment

As with any job, it is important to wear the proper equipment to protect you from injuries. Crew members should avoid wearing things like rings, watches and loose clothing that could get caught in the brush or blades of the chipper. It is recommended that operators wear gloves to protect their hands while feeding in the brush (but avoid wearing gauntlet style gloves, as these can snag and get caught.

When performing a brush removal, safety should be your focus every time. Anytime you will be in contact with a chipper remember to avoid direct contact with the infeed, feed the brush in properly, avoid flying debris and wear proper job site protection.

Posted: 12/13/2018 10:02:15 AM by Global Administrator