Proper Chainsaw Use When Bucking and Limbing Trees

Proper chainsaw use can be the difference between life and death when performing tree work. The process of trimming or limbing a standing tree or limbing and bucking a felled tree usually requires the use of a chainsaw to get the job done efficiently. Workers need to have a thorough knowledge and proper training before being allowed to use a chainsaw. Continue reading to learn tips for safely operating chainsaws.

Preparing for Use

As with any job, the first step when working with chainsaws is for the operator to establish an effective means of communication with other crew members. Expectations for those who will be bucking and limbing trees should be communicated to all workers, helping to establish which team member is responsible for what operation.

Until the operator has stable footing and a firm stance, chainsaw work should not begin. Operators should never put themselves in a position where they could fall off-balance while operating the chainsaw, as this can lead to lost control of the chainsaw, resulting in serious injuries. Before cutting, be aware of your surroundings and know the locations of your coworkers.

Chainsaw Transport

Once work begins, when setting a chainsaw down before or between use, ensure that the chain brake is engaged and that the engine is fully shut off. When traveling more than two steps with the chainsaw, the same procedure should be followed. Workers should also ensure that they are carrying the chainsaw in a way where they can avoid contact with the cutting chain and muffler.

Keeping Yourself Safe

When operating a chainsaw or any mechanical equipment, always wear your PPE or personal protective equipment. Operation of a chainsaw requires cut-resistant leg protection for all ground operations. When using a chainsaw to perform tree trimming tasks, the machinery should always be operated away from the vicinity of the legs and feet to avoid injury. Never, under any circumstances, should the chainsaw be operated towards yourself or another individual.

Wherever possible, natural barriers like limbs should be used to separate the body from the chainsaw. If more than one worker will be limbing or bucking a tree, then each person should be organized in a manner that will avoid hazard for both workers.


Safe Operating Practices

Chainsaws should always be operated with the left hand and thumb gripper firmly around the forward handle, with the right hand and thumb gripped tight around the rear handle; unless the worker identifies this is a hazard for the particular situation. Both hands should always be used for maximum control. Remember, chainsaws are right handed machines and should never be held with your left hand.

Avoiding Tree Related Hazards

Another important aspect to be aware of is the risk that the trees themselves can present to workers. Crew members should avoid standing on loose chunks or logs, as they can roll when the log being bucked is sawed off. To prevent rolling, logs should be blocked with wood or wedges. Remember that all trees, limbs, or saplings under tension are considered to be hazardous.

When it comes to tree trimming, properly operating a chainsaw is something to take seriously. Chainsaw related injuries are preventable, and care should be taken to stay out of harm’s way. By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can ensure the safety of yourself and crew members, so that everyone gets home safe.

Posted: 5/9/2019 2:12:11 PM by Global Administrator