According the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] each year, approximately 36,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries from using chain saws.
Spring cleanup activities can be hazardous but the use of chain saws is one of the most dangerous. Hazards that could be encountered include downed power lines, carbon monoxide from equipment, injury from falls, or being hit by motor vehicles.
Chain saws are widely used to remove fallen trees and tree branches after winter weather. One way to avoid injury is to follow manufacturer’s instructions and properly sharpen and lubricate chain saw blades with bar and chain oil. The operator should periodically check and adjust the tension of the chain saw blade to ensure good cutting action.
Choose the proper size of chain saw to match the job, and include safety features such as a chain brake, front and rear hand guards, stop switch, chain catcher and a spark arrester. Wear a hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, and cut-resistant leg wear.
Avoid power lines. This is important for everyone, not just chain saw users and always cut at waist level or below to ensure that you maintain secure control over the chain saw. Keep bystanders away. If injury occurs, apply direct pressure over site(s) of heavy bleeding; this act may save lives.
Remember that all gasoline-powered engines produce carbon monoxide. This gas can rapidly build up in a closed in area, and individuals can be overcome without even realizing it. Confusion, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness may set in too quickly for victims to save themselves and can be deadly.