22 Jan Safe Use of Chainsaws after Storms
Safe Use of Chainsaws While Clearing After Storms
Fallen trees can be very hazardous. The most common cause of fatalities while using chainsaws arises from felling storm damaged trees and clearing branches during clean-up operations.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advises anyone encountering fallen or storm damaged trees not to try to clear or fell such trees unless they are fully competent and experienced in that type of work activity. Instead, they should contact their local authority who have trained crews with specialist equipment to deal with storm damaged and windblown trees.
Trees can also bring down utility lines (electric or telephone), which creates an added hazard. You have to assume that any cable taken down by a fallen tree or branch is live (energised). If a fallen tree or branch has damaged utility lines, do not approach or inspect the lines yourself. Contact the utility service providers emergency line and they will check the line remotely or send a crew when available to assess the situation. Trees lying on utility cables can also create a large amount of tension in the utility cable and this poses another hazard to anyone trying to remove the branch from the utility cable.
- Only those with appropriate training in the use of chainsaws should operate chainsaws
- Never work on your own
- Ensure that bystanders are at a safe distance from cutting activities
- Wear suitable head and face guard protection
- Wear protective clothing
- Do not walk or work under unstable windblown trees
- Tell someone your estimate time of return Do not compromise on these essential safety requirements. Otherwise, you may be at risk of causing a serious injury to yourself or to others.
For further information on chainsaw safety see https://www.hsa.ie/eng/