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Avoiding Chainsaw Accidents

If you own property, especially in rural areas, there’s a chance that you’ve used a chainsaw to clear brush, or are thinking about renting or purchasing one. Chainsaws are inherently dangerous, and if you don’t exercise proper safety, you can seriously injure yourself. By following these simple safety steps, you can help prevent chainsaw-related injuries:

Make sure the chainsaw is well-maintained, clean, and oiled in between uses. A rusty or unoiled chainsaw is much more likely to kick or seize than a properly maintained one.
When storing the chainsaw, keep it out of the reach of children, and make sure that the blade is away from anything that could get caught on it.
Handle the chainsaw with care, even when it isn’t on. The blade is still sharp, and you could still injure yourself or others with the chain.
Be sure to fill the chainsaw with the recommended mixture of gasoline mixture. The chainsaw’s owner’s manual should have this information. If it does not, or if you don’t have a manual, contact the manufacturer for more information.
When starting the chainsaw, keep one hand on the saw and one on the rope. Make sure the saw is on the ground; it is very unsafe to attempt to start he saw in mid-air.
Wear proper eye and ear protection. The chainsaw can throw dirt, bark, and debris, which can cause serious eye damage. Additionally, the prolonged roar of the rumbling chainsaw can cause hearing to deteriorate over time, so sound-dampening ear protection is vital.
Gloves are also important for safety when using a chainsaw. Make sure you wear a tough, durable pair that can serve as protection from the spinning chain and provide a better grip on the saw.
When using the saw, make sure you have your feet planted, with the saw pointing away from your body. Never straddle the object you’re cutting, never saw anything between your legs, and always cut with the saw outside of your legs.
Avoid striking objects with the nose of the saw, as this causes kick-backs, which can be very dangerous. Kick-backs occur when the rotating teeth at the tip of the chainsaw strike an object. The high speed of the chain can cause the chainsaw to jump back violently in your hands.

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