Working with chainsaws
What you need to know
Chainsaws are potentially dangerous machines which can cause fatal or major injuries if not used correctly. It is essential that anyone who uses a chainsaw at work should have received adequate training and be competent in using a chainsaw for the type of work that they are required to do.
In recent years (in forestry and arboriculture) direct contact with a chainsaw has caused 5 deaths and many serious injuries. These do not include the high numbers of other types of accident that occur during felling, pruning and other related work.
For more details on injuries and the main cause, visit:
HSE's investigations show that most fatal and major injuries involve chainsaw operators taking shortcuts and not following good practice guidance. Usually the reason is to save time!
These case studies show what happens when chainsaw operators do not follow good practice guidance.
What you need to do
Chainsaws have the potential to cause horrific injuries. By law, chainsaw operators must have received adequate training relevant to the type of work they undertake.
They are also required to wear appropriate chainsaw protective clothing whenever they use a chainsaw.
The free leaflet Chainsaws at work contains everything employers and workers need to know about working safely with a chainsaw, including:
- Fitness to operate
- Training and competence
- Selecting a chainsaw
- Maintaining a chainsaw
- Lone working
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- First aid
- Working with chainsaws
- Tree felling with chainsaws
- Working with a chainsaw off the ground