The chainsaw safety tips and tricks you need to know


Make sure you have all the gear and the right idea

If you’re a classic Kiwi “weekend warrior” who likes to get stuck into some DIY from time to time, it’s important to take five minutes to get ready and stay safe before you start your chainsaw. This week is STIHL Chainsaw Safety Awareness Week so we turned to the experts for their chainsaw safety tips and tricks.

CHECK THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND GEAR

• Clothing should be snug-fitting, with no loose elements getting in your way
• Wear trousers with a reinforced cut-retardant layer or front leg protection i.e chaps
• Wear protective cut-retardant footwear with non-slip soles and steel toecaps
• Wear heavy-duty non-slip gloves
• Don’t forget to wear appropriate head, face and eye protection as well as sound barriers (ear plugs or mufflers)

Visit your local STIHL SHOP to view their extensive range of Essential Protective Wear and get what’s right for you.

CHECK YOUR CHAINSAW BEFORE YOU START UP

That means checking:

• that all parts are intact and secure
• the chain is the right tension and chain cutters are sharp
• the depth gauge settings are correct and all safety devices are in place and working
• that there are no loose bolts, screws nuts or covers

If anything’s missing or damaged, don’t use the chainsaw. This is especially important if you weren’t the last person to use it.

CHECK YOUR WORK AREA 

Make sure your work area is free of tripping hazards and electrical cables. Also keep an eye out for anyone who could enter your work area and check to make sure nothing is going to fall on you while you are working (like tree tops, etc). Don’t forget to watch out for the weather – some conditions could make your work area hazardous.

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HOLD AND USE THE CHAINSAW CORRECTLY 

Keep two hands on the saw and hold it close to your body, with the body of the saw close to what you’re cutting. Plant your feet firmly and slightly apart for balance. Never try to adjust your chain or machine while the engine is running.

MAINTAIN YOUR CHAINSAW 

Good maintenance will extend the chainsaw’s life and ensure its safe to use. When you finish a job make sure the air filters, sprocket cover and chain brake mechanism are free from sawdust; clean the guide bar groove; oil the holes and check everything is in place.

For more safety tips, head to the STIHL website, and go in the draw to win a $750 STIHL SHOP gift voucher here.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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