Dress For Safety
Because a chainsaw gets used pretty much year-round, weather conditions will usually vary from one time
of the year to the next. No matter what the weather, though, to cut safely, you'll want to wear the
appropriate clothing when using your chainsaw. You are the judge when it comes to deciding what you'll
wear when using a chainsaw but here some basics that you should keep in mind:
- Feet first. Using a chainsaw safely starts with finding and keeping a firm footing while cutting. You should always wear boots or shoes that offer support and traction. Steel-toed boots are the safest but sometimes you'll be forced to wear boots that are less than ideal (winter boots), be mindful of the reduced traction and looser fit and cut accordingly. Never use a chainsaw barefoot or while wearing sandals.
- Shield your eyes. Goggles, safety glasses, or a drop-down facemask are a must when cutting with a chainsaw. Wood chips fly fast and furious while cutting - your safety depends on you being able to maintain visual control at all time during your cut. In addition to wood chips, there can be twigs, branches, and other potential hazards while out in the woods. Protect your eyes.
- Hear this. Chainsaws, regardless of size, are loud. Considering that you're never more than about three feet away from the muffler while using a chainsaw, it stands to reason that you'll want to wear ear protection. Earmuffs are the top choice though earplugs will also work. Protecting your hearing while cutting can lead to a longer, more comfortable cutting session with less mental fatigue and reduced risk of long-term damage.
- Use your head. To do so, you'll want to make sure it's protected. It's best to wear a safety helmet when cutting to protect your head against falling or flying wood and in the event of kickback. One with a clear facemask will add to the protective value and can shield your face from flying wood. Make sure that the helmet fits properly and doesn't obscure your view in any way.
- Get a grip. Gloves are important safety items to wear - they can help you keep a more secure grip on the saw, they offer protection from flying debris, and they'll keep your hands warm and agile in colder conditions. Make sure that any gloves fit snugly and don't interfere with safe operation of the saw controls.
- Cover up. Wear clothing that offers protection while not being overly bulky or loose fitting. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are a minimum, don't cut firewood in your swim trunks. When adding extra layers for cold-weather cutting, be sure that you still have proper range of motion to use the saw safely.
Dress properly for chainsaw safety and you won't be sorry. Safe dress is not just about protecting a
certain area of your body, it's an extra measure to help make sure you don't lose control of the saw
during a cut because you are hit in the eye with a wood chip or your legs get peppered by flying wood.
Being distracted while making a cut and losing control of the saw can lead to extreme injury. Wearing
protective clothing can help minimize the risk of that happening to you.
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