Saw Safety After the Storm

Posted on July 3, 2012


As usual following a storm there are many folks performing cleanup with chainsaws.   In the past few days I’ve seen many hazardous situations involving chainsaws in the Jackson area.  In addition the normal safety precautions that should be followed when using a chainsaw (proper PPE, kickback forces,  proper felling techniques etc.), there are additional situations that arise when dealing with storm damaged trees:

1) never cut braches above your head or from a ladder;   this is extremely dangerous

2) trees that are hung on other trees, wires or buildings are especially hazardous; it difficult to predict how they will fall; leave them for the professional

3) fallen trees and branches can be under considerable pressure which can be released violently when  cut with a saw; use extreme caution or better yet leave them for the professional

4) Assume that all downed powerlines are electrified; never cut a tree that is near or on a powerline.  Even improperly connected generators can charge downed lines.

5) Finally,  many saw users succumb to the temptation of not utilizing safety gear when working in the extreme heat and humidity ; pace yourself; try to work in the early morning hours, limit the number of hours on the saw and hydrate often.

Proper felling techniques and personal protective equipment when using a chainsaw

Additional resources:

Storm Damage and Chainsaws; Alabama Cooperative Extension:

Chainsaw Safety; Illinois Extension:

Stihl Chainsaw and storm clean-up:

OSHA Chainsaw Safety:

If you’ve got questions feel free to contact me,  and I can provide you with additional resources.

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