Olives add plenty to the garden and landscape with their soft gray-green foliage, tall elegant ...
Win! Prizes over 12 days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, my bit &lsquo o stuff gave to me... ...
STIHL working… safely!
By working in association with ACC, STIHL is endeavouring to put the power of chainsaw safety in our hands!
Programme manager for ACC Injury Prevention, Chris Polaczuk, says although claim numbers for chainsaw-related injuries are down, there is ‘STIHL’ much work to be done!
“The number of claims has reduced by 25% since STIHL’s first Chainsaw Safety Awareness Week was held in 2008 but we’re not celebrating yet. Last year there were still 167 reported preventable injuries and we’re determined to bring that number down further,” he says.
“These aren’t all workplace injuries, but ones that happen to everyday people who are doing things like trimming trees or clearing out their section.”
ACC’S TOP TEN CHAINSAW TIPS
1. Know your capabilities
Match the size and type of your chainsaw to the job at hand. If you don’t feel that you have the skills for the job, there’s no shame in getting in a professional.
2. Check your chainsaw
Before you start up, check:
all parts are intact and secure
chain is the right tension
chain cutters are sharp
depth gauge settings are correct
all safety devices are in place and working
there are no loose bolts, screws nuts or covers
If anything’s missing or damaged, don’t use the chainsaw especially if you weren’t the last person to use it.
3. Gear up
Safety gear can save your life, so take the time to put it on. Typical chainsaw safety gear includes: leather gloves, chaps, helmet, safety glasses, Grade 4 hearing protection and steel-capped boots.
Make sure your equipment has the New Zealand standards’ ‘S’ mark and that clothes are close fitting but comfortable.
4. 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 ensure nothing is going to fall on you while you are working (such as tree tops, etc). Don’t forget to watch out for the weather – some conditions could make your work area hazardous.
5. Never drop-start a saw
Use the cold start or warm start positions only. If you drop start a saw it could swing in an arc and cause a serious injury.
6. Watch for kickbacks
Kickback (when the guide bar is thrown back towards you in an uncontrolled arc) can happen at any time. Usually it occurs when the upper part of the bar nose contacts a solid object or light material, or it’s pinched while cutting. It can also occur if the chain is loose or the depth gauge setting is too low. Most modern saws have a front handle chain brake that will protect the hand and help reduce kickback.
7. Never cut above shoulder height
This isn’t a good idea because it increases the risk of losing your balance. Because you can’t see what you’re cutting and it makes the operator more prone to kickback.
8. Hold and use the saw correctly
Keep two hands on the saw and hold it close to the body, with the body of the saw close to the object being cut. Plant feet firmly and slightly apart for balance. Never try to adjust the chain or machine while the engine is running.
9. Cut only one log at a time
Remember, chainsaws and their chains are designed to cut wood – nothing else.
10. Maintain your saw
Good maintenance will extend the chainsaw’s life and ensure it is safe to use. When a job is finished 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 (as per the start-up routine – see tip 2).
Click here to be in to win a STIHL chainsaw safety pack.