Chainsaw safety

Chainsaw safety is the job of every saw operator, and proper PPE should always be used when handling or working around chainsaws.

These include:

  • Eye protection- approved goggles or safety glasses (no sunglasses).
  • Chainsaw Chaps — proper size and length.
  • Proper-sized gloves.
  • Long sleeve shirt.
  • Leather boots — no loose boot laces.

Take the time to inspect the chainsaw before operating the saw.

  • Check the chain and bar — sharpness of chain, bar seated correctly.
  • Check the bolts and screws all around the saw — no missing screws or bolts.
  • Check the casing of the saw — no cracked or missing plastic.

Make sure you're aware of your surroundings while operating the chainsaw.

  • Look for people working in your area — advise all personnel you're operating the saw.
  • Look for any snags or hazards in your area — look up for power lines, widow makers, etc.
  • Make sure you always have a spotter or swamper to use for communications.
  • Always watch your footing while operating the saw — loose, rocky, steep terrain can cause you to slip while the chainsaw is running.

Always make sure you are comfortable doing the task at hand.

  • Proper training for personnel running saws.
  • While falling trees, know your escape route.
  • If you are not comfortable falling the tree, walk away. Notify your supervisor and mitigate the safety issues or turn down the assignment.

For more safety tips from the Federal Fire and Aviation Safety Team, visit its Six Minutes for Safety section at

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