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Author Topic: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.  (Read 2773 times)

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Offline Tom

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Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« on: September 04, 2003, 07:05:51 PM »
I was given this report by someone I am having an email conversation with.  My first thought were to put it one health and safety but experience has shown that many don't read those topics down below.   Perhaps it will get more attention here. I have the entire report but this is the summary and tells the story.  This guy was no neophyte. He had 15 years of experience as a feller.

SUMMARY

A 33-year-old male tree feller (the victim) was fatally injured after being struck in the throat with a chain saw. The victim and three other fellers, who were felling and limbing trees at a logging site in a rural part of the state, had been instructed to fell, limb, buck (cut into 6-foot sections), and load long-needle pine trees onto the transport truck. The victim had felled a pine tree and was limbing the tree when the incident occurred. There were no witnesses to the incident, but evidence suggests that while limbing the tree, the victim cut through a 2-inch spring pole (a section of tree, sapling, or limb which is, by virtue of its relation to other materials, under tension) using a 16-inch bow-bar chain saw. As the tension on the remaining section of spring pole was released, the recoiling limb caused the chain saw to kick backwards, striking the victim in the throat. The victim was transported by the co-workers to the nearest hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. NIOSH investigators concluded that, in order to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should:

ensure that tree fellers limb trees according to safe methods specified in 29 CFR 1910.266 for pulpwood logging
develop, implement, and enforce a written safety program which includes worker training in recognizing, avoiding and abating hazards such as spring poles and the safe use of bow-bar chain saws
provide first aid equipment at jobsites and pertinent training in the use of first aid equipment
designate a competent person to conduct regular safety inspections.

CAUSE OF DEATH
The coroner's report listed the cause of death as transection of the trachea and great vessels of the neck.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2003, 07:17:45 PM »
Poking the nose of a chainsaw bar into a tree to remove the limbs can be very dangerous.
You can see the one you're cutting but many times there's another hidden from your view and if the top of the nose on the bar hits it  kick back is sure to occur.
I've never used a bow bar and I'm not in any hurry to try one.

Offline Tom

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2003, 07:32:34 PM »
I have used a Bow and they are a great tool if used properly.  Their purpose is for bucking.   Not liimbing or felling or brushing, or raised off of the ground horiizontally.  they have a spur that is to be placed against the log and used much the same as a bucking teeth on a bar saw.  The bow should be used to cut away and down.  It is designed for a specific size of log and not to be used in larger logs where the Guards must be removed to get the bow through the log.  If used properly they cut down on fatigue because you don't have to bend over.  That can be a plus in safety.  Unfortunately, operators remove the guards and also use the Bow for felling, brushing, limbing, and trimiming with the saw over their heads.  

Chainsaws are dangerous and will kill or maim you.  If you don't take them seriously, learn how to use them, use them for their intended purpose and use them safely, then you are courting trouble.

A bow was really designed as a pulpwood tool.  It is for small logs lying on the ground that needed to be bucked. :P
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Offline blue_eyed_devil

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2003, 07:42:26 PM »
Just curious if there is any throat protection built for chainsaw users?They have them for grinders. Any chainsaw cut is disasterous but chances of survival are greater if no arteries get severed.
262 xp,395 xp,built my own chainsaw mill

Offline Tom

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2003, 07:54:18 PM »
I've never seen throat protection.

Here is the proper stance for using a Bow.  His guards have been removed as most operators do. It facilitates working on the chain even if they have no intentions of cuttin a big log.

The guards are "U" shaped pieces of metal that cover the chain on the top and the bottom from the saw head almost  to the bend that forms the tip of the Bow.  The spur is at the bottom curve and locks against the log.

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2003, 07:55:43 PM »
The chainsaw manufacturers carry the clothing that extend to cover the neck but proper techniques should always be first and foremost.
Check out the proper limbing techniques here ... http://www.husqvarna.com.au/node235.asp

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2003, 08:00:16 AM »
The problem here was evidentally the improper cutting of a springpole rather than the bow saw.


A guy always needs to watch for springpoles and cut them at the center of the bend to slowly release the tension.  The worst I've been cut was from a spring pole.  The tree that we had fallen bent over a three inch sapling,  but the tree hung up just high enough that I couldn't limb the upper part of the stem.  I had my son winch it about two feet and the top came down.  Next I went to cut the spring pole using the reccomended procedure.  The springpole had side twist in it now from pulling the tree that was on it.  Instead of the tension slowly releasing as I cut it,  the springpole snapped.  It flipped my 066 out of my hands in a blur,  the bar spinning back around toward me, resulting in several stitches in my forearm.  If the chain break hadn,t stopped the chain or if the saw had spun a couple of inches to the right,  I would have been in worse trouble.
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw Accident in S.C.
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2003, 07:24:26 PM »
Here's a good site describing how to cut a spring pole.
I don't agree that spring poles should be avoided but should instead be cut to remove the danger of someone else getting hurt.
I make several small cuts to release the tension and that works well.

http://www.forestapps.com/tips/springpole/springpole.htm


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