Chainsaws aren’t only dangerous in horror movies

New videos from SAIF offer safety tips for chainsaw use at home and work.

How to use a chainsaw safely

Whether you’re on the job or at home, felling timber or trimming branches, a chainsaw is a handy tool to get work done. Just be sure to follow these basic safety tips.

To learn more, visit: https://www.saif.com/safety-and-health

7 minutes

It’s the stuff of horror movies—the villain chasing teenagers through the dark woods, brandishing a chainsaw.

But nothing is scarier than the statistics on chainsaw use. While chainsaws can be a useful tool to trim, prune, or remove trees, 36,000 people are injured by them in the U.S. every year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since 2014, SAIF has had nearly 400 chainsaw-related injury claims. Of those claims, 34% resulted in time loss—with an average time loss of 45 days.

“Those are just days of work missed,” explained Leigh Manning, senior safety management consultant at SAIF. “That doesn’t account for how much life those workers missed because of a preventable injury.”

That’s why SAIF has released a series of videos to reduce chainsaw injuries at work and at home. The videos are available in both English and Spanish. They were created in partnership with the Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.

“Now that we’re heading into summer, Oregonians are spending more time in their yards addressing damage from a long winter of rain and wind,” said Manning. “We just want to make sure people are safe and avoid injuries in the process.”

While the videos provide comprehensive guidelines for operating a chainsaw, Manning offers these three key points:

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including chaps.
  • Inspect the tree or log to remove anything that could hang up the blade and cause kickback.
  • Keep chainsaw teeth sharp and regularly adjust the chain tension.
  • Review the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for use—don’t use the wrong tool for the job.

More information can be found at saif.com/safetyandhealth.