Chainsaw Hazards And Safety Tips
November 4, 2019
Chainsaws are tools commonly used in a variety of jobs – but they can also be extremely dangerous and cause thousands of serious injuries and hundreds of fatalities every year. When employers implement effective safety and health programs to mitigate chainsaw dangers, a majority of the hazards typically associated with these tools can be avoided.
Data on Chainsaw-Related Injuries and Deaths
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches. There are more than 30,000 chainsaw-related injuries annually – and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, says most result from what is known as “kickback”. Kickback is what happens when the chainsaw’s tip comes into contact with a hard object (e.g. a knot in wood) and kicks back towards the operator.
Most chainsaw injuries involve the leg and/or knee-area. Depending on the severity and location of contact, these injuries can prove to be fatal. OSHA reports somewhere between two and three hundred deaths that involve chainsaws each year – and most of these happen during tree trimming activities.
Protecting Workers From Chainsaw Accidents
Employers are responsible for maintaining effective and federally compliant worker safety and health programs. There is no excuse for completely preventable injuries and deaths to occur. Some of the best ways to protect workers from chainsaw-related injuries on the job is to:
- Ensure workers wear job-appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g. protective goggles, hardhats, protective chaps, face shield, gloves, etc.) also known as PPE,
- Never alter chainsaw guards or other safety features like “dead man” switches,
- Read instruction manual and warnings before using a chainsaw, and be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s guidelines, and:
- Do not operate chainsaws on unstable surfaces, like a ladder. When people lose their balance while operating chainsaws it can result in fatal injury.
Allentown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured at Work
If you were injured in a chainsaw accident, please contact our Allentown workers’ compensation or products liability attorneys. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.