Operating a chain saw poses a number of very serious risks. OSHA recommends the following protective measures when operating a chain saw:
- Check the chain tension and all controls, bolts and handles to ensure they are adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure the chain is sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full.
- Do not drop-start the saw. Start it on the ground or another firm surface.
Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain’s brake engaged.
- Always transport fuel in approved containers.
- Dispense fuel at least 10 feet from any sources of ignition.
- Never smoke while fueling.
- Pour fuel into the saw using a funnel or flexible hose.
- Never attempt to fuel a saw while it is hot or running.
- Clear dirt, debris and rocks from the chain saw’s path. Before sawing, examine the wood for hidden nails, spikes or other metals.
- When carrying the chain saw on rough or uneven terrain, be sure either the brake is engaged or the saw is fully shut off.
- Keep both hands on the chain saw’s handle and maintain sure footing during operation.
- Wear personal protective equipment to protect your hands, feet, head, face and hearing.
- Do not operate the chain saw in loose-fitting clothing.
- Be careful of branches under tension, which may spring out after being cut.
- Do not saw with the tip. Keep the tip guard in place if the chain saw is equipped with one.
- Ensure all gasoline-powered chain saws are equipped with a protective device to minimize kickback.