A chainsaw is an incredibly useful tool, but they can also be dangerous to operate. The potential danger that comes with operating a chainsaw is sometimes overlooked which can lead to unfortunate consequences.
By wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment its possible to reduce the chance of accidental injury while operating a chainsaw.
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This infographic looks at information on what chainsaw related injuries lead to the most emergency room visits in an average year and how wearing the right PPE could help prevent those types of injuries.
This guide covers the different pieces of PPE that the department of agriculture recommends wearing while operating a chainsaw. For each piece of PPE it offers a brief explanation of how it helps to protect the operator from injury.
When operating a chainsaw you should always wear ear well fitting clothing. Wearing clothing that is too can risk possible entanglement with the chainsaw.
Chainsaw Chaps or Trousers
Protective leg chaps or trousers are used to protect the legs from injuries caused by a running chainsaw. They contain layers of ballistic nylon or Kevlar that protect the legs by wrapping around and stalling a chainsaw that cuts into the material.
A properly fitted hard hat can provide some degree of protection from against falling branches or other debris. It should be remembered though that it will not do anything to stop a running saw.
Because the sun can weaken plastic over time it’s recommended to replace a hard hat every 3–5 years.
To protect your eyes its recommended to wear a full-face shield or safety goggles/glasses to protect your eyes from wood chips, twigs, and sawdust.
Chainsaws can produce a lot of noise and with extended use can cause long term hearing loss. To reduce this risk wear earplugs and/or that offer a degree of noise reduction protect your hearing.
Wearing ear protection that is rated with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 25 or higher will help to greatly reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
After the legs the hands are the most common area that serious chainsaw related injuries occur. To reduce the risk of injury you should wear leather chainsaw gloves. These gloves should provide a secure grip when holding the saw and absorb some of the vibration when operating it.
A pair of chainsaw should include ballistic nylon reinforcement on the back of the hand. This is because most chainsaw related hand injuries tend to occur on the back of the hand.
When operating a chainsaw you should wear steel-toed high-top boots with aggressive-treading to provide a firm footing and protect you from slipping. The steel-toe will also protect your feet from any heavy falling or rolling objects.
For maximum safety boots made of ballistic nylon can offer the most protection from chainsaw injuries. They work in the same manner as chainsaw chaps and trousers.