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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    How to safely operate a chainsaw

    Chainsaws are powerful, dangerous tools that can inflict serious, even fatal work injuries. They should therefore only be used by trained workers.

    Preventing accidents at work

    To prevent fuel-related workplace accidents, petrol containers for chainsaws should feature securely fitting caps and be:

    • Designed specifically for chainsaw lubrication/ fuelling
    • In good condition
    • Clearly labelled

    Spills (over-filling) should be prevented by auto-filler spouts fitted to petrol container outlets. Fuelling or oiling chainsaws safely requires operators to:

    • Avoid introducing dirt into the fuel system
    • Immediately after oiling/ fuelling replace filler caps securely
    • Immediately wipe up any spills of oil/ fuel
    • Keep fuel containers at a minimum distance of 4 m (13 ft) away from fires or sources of ignition (including the saw)

    Prevention of chainsaw accidents

    Pre-use checks to prevent chainsaw injuries include ensuring that:

    • All nuts, screws, and so forth, are on tight
    • The chain is at the correct tension
    • The throttle can only be squeezed on by pressing the throttle lock-out

    Safely starting chain saws

    Wearing the correct personal protection equipment and maintaining safe working distances from other people, as well as ensuring the saw is clear of obstructions means the saw can then be started safely by:

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    • Placing it on level ground
    • Securing it firmly by placing a foot onto the base plate of the rear handle and one hand onto the front handle
    • Setting controls according to manufacturer instructions
    • Firmly pulling the starter cord

    The engine then needs to be warmed up by revving the throttle. To avoid injuries at work, operators should then check that the:

    • Chain ceases to move when engine revs return to idling
    • Chain brake operates effectively when applied according to manufacturer specifications or at maximum revs
    • Engine does not stop when rotated 90 degrees (any direction)
    • Stop switch operates correctly
    • Chain/ guide bar lubrication works properly

    Kickback and workplace accidents

    Preventing personal injury by kickback involves:

    • Not permitting the guide bar’s nose to accidentally touch branches, stumps, logs, or other obstructions
    • Keeping saw lower than chest height
    • Not over-reaching
    • Keeping thumb of left hand around back of the front handle
    • Selecting appropriate speeds for materials to be cut

    More detailed information on safely operating chain saws can be found in the Health & Safety Executive’s information sheet on ‘Chainsaws at work’:

    Claiming industrial injury compensation

    If you were injured by a chainsawrelated accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to work injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 to learn more and initiate your no win, no fee* claim.

    Date Published: January 28, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Category: Machinery accident claims

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.