Chainsaws can be used on farm for various tasks such as cutting firewood, topping fence posts, woodlot management and felling large trees. Chainsaws can be a valuable tool on the farm but can also be a very dangerous one too when the operator has not been formally trained, doesn’t understand the hazards associated with its’ use, or is an inexperienced operator.
Three main hazards associated with using a chainsaw are noise, vibration and cuts.
When a farmer is exposed to noise as loud as a chainsaw, hearing loss can occur. Damage to hearing is permanent and can become worse over time with continuous exposure. You can prevent hearing loss while using this powerful tool by simply putting on hearing protection that is adequate for the decibel level of the chainsaw you use. Ensure the hearing protection meets the CSA Standard for hearing protection CSA Z94.2 and fits properly.
Over time, chainsaw vibration can cause circulatory problems in your fingers, hands, and arms. To mitigate the risk of vibration, ensure that the saw is equipped with vibration dampening devices, the saw is sharp, you have a firm but not a tight grip, and you are warm while working.
Cuts are the most common injuries suffered by chainsaw users and those working around chainsaws. Workers can suffer from minor injuries when filing a chain to an amputation from kickback or another worker working too close to the user.
Download the Safe Work Practice for Chainsaws from the Farm Safety Nova Scotia Website and adapt and use as your own to help prevent incident and injury on farm.
Here are a few hints & tips for safe chainsaw use: