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Chainsaws a dangerous way to clear storm debris
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Chainsaws a dangerous way to clear storm debris

Chainsaws a dangerous way to clear storm debris
Photo Credit: Jack Conway

Chainsaws a dangerous way to clear storm debris

When it comes to using a chainsaw to clear storm debris, one expert says his best advice is to hire someone to do the work.

Clayton Coss is a nationally-known chainsaw artist, and has taught classes on chainsaw safety.

"There's so many bad things that can happen so fast with a chainsaw, that you really need to have safety on your mind," he told KRMG.

"If you cut in the wrong place the wrong way, that can kick back on you so fast, you can't move fast enough to get out of the way."

He says those who want to do the work themselves need to read the manual very carefully for safety advice, at the minimum.

It's also important to have the proper safety gear, especially eye protection.

But the best advice he can offer, he reiterated, is to hire a professional to do the work.

This information comes from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

Before Starting a Chain Saw
  • Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they are adjusted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Make sure that the chain is always sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full.
  • Start the saw on the ground or on another firm support. Drop starting is never allowed.
  • Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain's brake engaged.
Fueling a Chain Saw
  • Use approved containers for transporting fuel to the saw.
  • Dispense fuel at least 10 feet away from any sources of ignition when performing construction activities. No smoking during fueling.
  • Use a funnel or a flexible hose when pouring fuel into the saw.
  • Never attempt to fuel a running or HOT saw.
Chain Saw Safety
  • Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw's chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting.
  • Shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain.
  • Keep your hands on the saw's handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the saw.
  • Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind aginst the saw.
  • Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut.
  • Gasoline-powered chain saws must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback.
  • Be cautious of saw kick-back. To avoid kick-back, do not saw with the tip. If equipped, keep tip guard in place.
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