Safety is a vital part of our lives. In our homes, workplaces, schools and whatever places you can think of, safety measures are always a familiar topic. When it comes to our homes, there are many appliances that need to be handled with care to prevent accidents. Some of these items mostly use electricity or fuel, and that makes them pose a great danger if not handled in the way they are supposed to. Cutting tools such as axes and splitting mauls are other common household tools that should be handled with great care.
A chain saw is an example of a cutting tool. Felling trees is not your typical hobby nor is it just a job for every other person. As an activity that involves many activities and a number of equipment to carry it out, such as the ropes and climbing equipment, it is no doubt that it requires professionalism that abides with safety regulations to handle just as it is defined by Chainsaw Geek website. That means that the whole activity poses potential dangers that require safety measures to be put into place in order to prevent them from taking place.
For such a huge task that felling a tree is, protective equipment and professionalism is not an issue for debate. The whole task is somewhat underrated because many people think that cutting a tree is as easy as starting the chain saw. The truth of the matter is that without proper skills and up to task equipment then the whole job is good as not done at all.
Chain saw activities
Felling a tree is not something you just decide to do. It is a task that involves adequate preparations and a well laid out plan. It is also not a task to be carried out alone. It requires wearing appropriate protective equipment. Full protective equipment comprises of a head gear, eye and hearing protectors not forgetting protective gumboots for leg wear. Chain saw pants are recommended especially when climbing with a chain saw. Handling the chain saw itself requires expertise because its weight is not equally distributed meaning that one side is heavier than the other and therefore needs balanced handling. It is important to note that chainsaws do not only fell trees but are also used to cut branches off tree, clearing fallen trees and carving wood.
One should make sure that their feet are firmly attached on the ground and that they are holding the chain saw with both the hands; to avoid chain saw kickbacks which most of the times happen too fast before someone can even react. In this case, the left hand should be on the forward handle with the thumb around the handlebar. Also, the chain brake should always be engaged just in case you need to take one hand off the chain saw while walking. When cutting branches, one should firmly hold onto the ladder for support.
Steps to Felling down a Tree
As mentioned earlier, felling a tree is not just a matter of two minutes work. It involves work that has to be planned step by step to make sure no loopholes for accidents to happen or mistakes for that matter. The cutting methods are well crafted by not just anybody but professional chainsaw operators in order to achieve successful results. These are the plans involved;
- Identifying tree height and hazards. The height of a tree helps you determine the side on which the tree should fall. Identify factors such as decay or electrical conductors that may prevent the tree from falling on the wrong side. Look at destructors such as pavements and structures that may need moving if necessary or change of direction for the tree. The strength and direction of the wind is also something to put into consideration.
- Assessing the good side for side lean. This helps determine the side on which tree cutter should stand on when cutting the tree.
- Escape Route. This should be always thought about before felling any tree. It should be on the opposite direction to the side that the tree is supposed to fall and it should be clear from any obstacles. Use the escape route the moment the tree starts to fall.
- Back cut technique. If taken for granted, back cut technique can be a cause of felling accidents. The forward or back lean degree will determine the kind of back cut to use, and whether a pulling rope will be necessary not forgetting the power that may needed to move the tree over the hinge. Thin trees may not require such techniques, but would rather need you to be on your escape route the moment they begin to fall.
You can read more about tree felling planning on Chainsaw Geek website.
Safety Tips keep in Mind When Felling a Tree
- Read the instructional chain saw manual that has outlined operations guidelines and maintenance tips.
- Protective clothing should be a priority in order to prevent unforeseen harm. A hard hat is usually recommended to prevent head injuries, glass protectors for the eyes to prevent flying splinters from damaging your eyes. Protective hearing cover should also be an essential because chainsaws are too noisy. Leather gloves and timber chaps or gumboots for protecting hands and legs respectively from chapping.
- Be keen on observing refueling of the chainsaw and how you carry it. That prevents shortage of fuel scenarios in the middle of the felling process.
- Look for any tree defects such as decay. Such incidents can affect the side on which the tree was expected to fall on.
- Determine the side on which the tree will fall and make sure no destructions will be around such as buildings and power lines.
- Have an escape route to run to when the tree starts to fall.
- Clear any debris that may be around the tree. This clears obstructions during the felling of the tree.