What are the minimum operator requirements?
- Worker must be under direct supervision until assessed as competent by person in charge of the workplace
- Never work alone. Have someone within calling distance
What equipment do you need?
- All personal protective equipment should be to a recognised AS/NZ safety standard, maintained and replaced when necessary
- Steel capped safety boots with firm ankle support (AS/NZS 2210.1:2009).
- Safety trousers or chaps (AS/NZS 443.3:1997)
- Hi Visibility Safety Helmet (ATV–NZS 8600:2002 or AS/NZS 1801:1997) with visor if flying debris likely
- Hearing protection Class 5
- Eye protection (AS/NZS 1337:1992)
- Co-workers should be in sight of the operator if safe, in order to enhance communications due to hearing protection
- If the worker must be working alone, refer to the Lone Worker Safe Work procedure
- Check the chainsaw to make sure it has been correctly maintained and is in safe working order. The following features must be fitted:
- Chain brake
- Safety mitt
- Chain catcher
- Rear handguard
- Throttle lockout
- Lubrication system
The following procedures must be followed
- Check chain sharpness and tension
- Check no chain rotation on idling
- Check all external fittings are secure
Starting the chainsaw
- Check correct fuel/oil and chain oil.
- Use only approved starting methods:
- Cold start (saw on the ground)
- Warm start (saw on the ground or step-over method).
- Never drop start a chainsaw.
When cutting, use the proper stance and hold the saw correctly depending on the type of cutting action
- Never use a chainsaw with one hand
- Avoid kickback. Do not overreach or cut above shoulder height
- Regularly check chain tension, oiling and sharpness. Chain tension should be checked when cool
- Regularly check all nuts bolts and screws for correct tension
- Follow the five-step tree felling plan, especially noting escape routes
- Stop the motor and place the chainsaw on clear ground. Apply chain brake
- Fill the oil tank first to allow the chainsaw to cool down
- Take care not to spill fuel on hot motor components. Wipe any spilt fuel from the chainsaw
- Move at least three metres away from the fueling point before restarting
- Do not smoke while refueling
- Use an approved container that does not leak
What are the risks?
- Eye injury
- Broken bones
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Hearing loss
- Vibration disease “white finger”
Find out more
WorkSafe Good Practice Guidelines “A Guide to Safety with Chainsaws”