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Author Topic: Chainsaw Accidents  (Read 14440 times)

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Offline timberturner

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Chainsaw Accidents
« on: September 07, 2002, 07:47:57 AM »
this is a poll to see how chainsaw accidents happen

i Just got my first "real" saw , just like a previous poster (066)and using a much smaller weekend saw, I always used caution and respecteed the saw...

i guess what i'm asking you pro sawyers is for experiences you've had where one second you're cutting away, and the next you've been nicked... HOW did it happen , in your own words...

Thanks

Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2002, 10:14:40 AM »
There`s a short list of things to do and not to do.
Fatigue,being careless and ignorance of just not knowing the hazards of using a chainsaw will get you hurt or killed if you aren`t so lucky.
That combined with related hazards such as cutting a spring pole, having a widow maker fall from the sky or have a tree barber chair makes the job of using and operating a chainsaw one of the most dangerous jobs out there.
Usually these accidents are preventable.
I have never been cut but I have been hit in the face by a tree but continued working thanks to my hardhat and face shield.

Offline Tillaway

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2002, 12:22:33 PM »
Ther are really two kinds of saw injuries IMHO.

Cuts and crunchings.  I have been nicked numerous times, always thrown chains.  Any time you cut brush, lop slash, limb, percommercial thin (spacing for the Canadians) then you run a real risk of saw cuts and you will throw chains.  All these activities require saw chaps or you will cut your leg eventually and often.  Thrown chains will hit you every where you are vulnerable, hands neck, arms you... name it.  I have also caught the end of small pieces of wood and had the chain throw them at me... it really hurts.

Crunching on the other hand are serious.  Most Fallers out West have been crunched at least once and often it is fatal.  I have had my crunching and I was in bed staring at the ceiling for 6 weeks after I got out of the hospital.  What you are cutting often has more potential to really hurt you than the obvious one you are doing the cutting with.

Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2002, 01:44:14 PM »
Keep your cutting area clear of entanglements with the bar and chain as well as yourself.  Tillaway, alluded to that idea.  You will find that when there is hunger, being tired, in a hurry, or simply not paying attention to the task, "IT" happens so fast you almost don't know why, how or evenif something did occure to hurt you.  I have had many an Oak barber-chair, always in the know that it would occure, but never injured.  I did have about 5 stitches near the knee-cap about 30 years ago.  It was simply not clearing the brush away to allow freedom of movement with self and saw. Another thing, do not be cutting unless you can give saw operation you complete and total atention.  Preoccupied with youself, wife, kids other job, etc is opening the door to injury to yourself or others. :)
Frank Pender

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2002, 01:50:17 PM »
Postscript:  Always check you saw for good operation condition.  Are the fuel lines all secure, spark arrestor working correct, chain-brake working, fuel pump working right, correct tention on chain (not toooo loose),nose sprocket and bar not worn or mis-alligned, no holes in your muffler.  These are just a few things that can cause you to not keep full attention to saw operation and cause havoc for yourself or others. :)
Frank Pender

Offline Tom

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2002, 02:17:19 PM »
The one time I was injured it was minor, thank God.  I was clearing roadway through pines and heavy underbrush. The temperature was hot, I was thirsty and tired and being rushed by a mobile home mover.  The chain on my chainsaw would turn at idle because my idle was too high.  I was catching my breath and rested the saw against my thigh......zip.........my trousers were torn.  Then I noticed some blood so I disrobed and found a trough about the size of a pencil and 3 inches long had been cut just above my left knee.  I pulled it together with a couple of bandaids and luckily don't even have a scar.  

But, I think of it often and it's scary.  I could have cut a muscle, a vein or something else near and dear to my heart that resides in the vicinity. :-/

Now, I keep the saw adjusted properly; and when I'm tired, I turn it off and put it down.  I also don't let someone else pressure me. >:(
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Offline timberturner

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So, what is a barber chair,
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2002, 07:10:25 PM »
is that where the cut tree falls unpredictably ?

Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2002, 07:50:04 PM »

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2002, 08:02:16 PM »
Timberturner,

I would sure get a video, literature, or supervised hands on experience with an expeienced logger before you learn some of this stuff the hard way.

Things that can get you in trouble fast if you don't know the proper techniques are leaning trees and hollow trees.  Before you start your cut, clean the area and pick out your escape route.  Check for widow makers and vines.  Last winter a grape vine almost got me.  It was way high in the tree, must have come from an adjoining tree at some time in the past because the root was 20 feet away.  When the tree fell, the vine knocked me down, if it had pinned me under it, it would have cut me in two.

Spring poles were mentioned.  Learn how to cut these the correct way or they will hurt you.  you can't believe the power in even a small sapling until one hits you or knocks the saw out of your hands.

It's already been mentioned but is important enough to repeat.  If you get tired or can't concentrate on what you are doing for any reason----QUIT before you get hurt.

Think safety 100% of the time you are logging.

Noble
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline Tom

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2002, 09:15:59 PM »



Ouch!   That hurts.

The base of the tree is now a very dangerous area because the trunk can fall off of the stump.

A friend of mine caused one of these and being not satisfied with his ill felling techniques tried to take the tree on down.  The split closed when the tree began to fall and, somehow, caught his head in the split.  He lived but almost lost an ear and his head was scratched up something awful.  It took his father and brother some time to figure out how to get him extracted, all the time not knowing the extent of his injuries.  His father thought he was dead.
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Offline timberturner

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2002, 10:23:59 PM »
i will check out the site recommended, but the illustration that described a "barbers chair", looks like the first two cuts weren't made properly,

what am i missing

someone mentioned videos,,, could you recommend a source?

thanks a million
btw, are there any minnesotans on this board that might be able to steer me towards some red cedar logs , just a couple is all  i need

thanks

tom

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2002, 02:44:30 AM »
In Tom C's diagram you are correct in that the tree wasn't notched.  This is one reason for notching.

If you are cutting a species that is prone to split such as northern Red Oak, and the tree is leaning just a little; you sometimes can't cut the back cut fast enoughto prevent a barberchair even with the proper notching and an 066.  On leaning trees you use a plunge cut procedure after notching.

I got a video on safe felling from the Mo. Conservation Comission Forestry Division.  They have an extensive video library with the only cost being the return postage.

Noble
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline Tom

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2002, 06:03:08 AM »
There is a Chainsaw Safety Course on our "sister site" whose link can be found at the bottom of any of the Forum's pages.   The Timber Buyers Network
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Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2002, 08:25:23 AM »
Can you guys expand a bit on how to make the cuts on leaning trees?
Chainsaw Nerd

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2002, 09:01:22 AM »
   I had an 'incident' but not an accident the other day. Cutting a VERY small cherry which (sigh) I had incorporated into my fence and with the most recent repair I wanted the (now dead) top off. It had branches and I was cutting at about chest height. It's not an accustomed cutting height for me and I still don't have the unconscious positioning down (I think of sawing as a planned cut with a 'follow through' as the saw is slowing down- a safe place for it to go as the chain is slowing down and (hopefully) stopping (unless the idle is too high as Tom mentioned). There is the chain brake and the kill switch but I generally like to move-er-'smoothly' out of harms' way in a direction I have predicted to be safe with good clear space for feet and blade..

  So- the saw was higher than usual, the tree was prepared to go in the predicted direction- but it's branches caught in those of another tree and so it kind of 'rebounded' toward me and came down at the same time- hit the saw and took it around in a way I hadn't planned. Fortunately I had a good 2 hand grip on the saw and secure footing- and the tree wasn't that heavy. But it was a tangle and I'da hated to have had to try to 'think it thru' while airborne if things had gone worse. Letting go the saw wouldn't have helped. It wouldn't have gone so well if I'd had the saw in only one hand.

  My take-home was to pay more attention to ALL PARTS of the tree and surround- and think more about saw movement as well as body movement in terms of follow through. I generally just think of 'us' moving away as a unit (I kinda brace my elbow against my hip as I'm turning and this gives me about 2' built-in space between the nearest body part and the turning chain) but in this case I had to build in a piece about bringing it down to carrying height. Live n learn.
   ::)   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2002, 10:05:19 AM »
I believe I understand what you are saying, thank you. It makes perfect sense, although I donít  know that I am good enough yet with a saw to make a good plunge, level and parallel to the face cut. But it is not something I am faced with having to do at the moment. I will keep this set up in mind as I am out cutting and work on the skills.
Chainsaw Nerd

Online Jeff

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2002, 11:30:23 AM »
While I know that there is some great experience on here and there may be some excellant discriptions on techniques for different situations and suggestions on how to do it. I just gotta say it aint enough. No one should take a chainsaw out and start whacking trees from just reading how to do its. There just is no room for that one mistake. Find someone thats knowlegeble to teach you. Make sure that person knows what they are doing and just isnt one of those "Awe, I do it all the time guys".

Take a course. Do everything there is to do before taking that saw out.  

Here is a link to FISTA, The Forest Industry Safety & Training Alliance[/url]

They have training courses and videos. It they are not in your area they will tell you where to go for info. fista@newnorth.net
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2002, 05:08:30 PM »
LW, that`s common when brushing.
Trees down around your ears at times.  :D
I know you had your hardhat/muffs, face shield , safety boots and chaps on so as long as you had control of the saw with both hands and the chain was stopped you didn`t really endanger yourself but now you know it can happen and will again most likely.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2002, 05:24:20 PM »
Rob,
There`s really no single explanation for what you are asking in felling a leaning tree but a tree standing on level ground that leans in the direction you want it to fall can be felled in this manner  ...

Make your face notch
Cut a tunnel behind the hinge by boring straight through the tree
Saw up to the hinge then backwards leaving a heel.
Pull the bar out and cut the remaining heel.
The tree will fall.
Having said this, any leaning tree is under extreme pressure and can be considered unpredictable.
Don`t enter the bore with the upper nose of the bar or kickback will occur.


Offline DanG

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Re: Chainsaw Accidents
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2002, 09:21:33 PM »
That's a good illustration and description of the plunge cut method, Kevin.

One thing I have come across a lot is trees that are "limb heavy" on one side. Another problem is, trees that are leaning in the wrong direction, where they have to be dropped opposite to or perpendicular to the direction of lean. I have one of those in my yard that just has to go, but I'm not sure how to go about it safely.  Any input on this?
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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