December 29, 2009

When it comes to safe chainsaw operation, clothing is a key element. If I am working outside, especially with a chainsaw, I layer my clothes.

The colder it is when I start, the more layers I want. My goal is to be able to completely remove items yet remain warm without soaking my clothes in sweat.

I don’t need loose hanging clothes getting snagged in the cutting chain as I bend over the saw. A good pair of steel-toed boots also is essential. I need a good grip as I move around trimmed branches and uneven surfaces to make my next cut.

Once at the job site, I add the finishing touches to my safety program. I pull on my Stihl chaps with seven layers of Engtex cut-retardant material. I know they can’t stop a full throttle chainsaw, but should I slip or lose control of the saw, I want to give myself the best odds I can. 

In that case, fibers in the material will jam the chain, hopefully before too much damage is done. My particular chaps are wrap-around so they are easy to slip on and off, yet effectively give my legs 360-degree protection, limited though it might be.

Next is my hardhat with face shield and hearing protectors. My face shield is a screen, not solid so a pair of safety glasses is advised. Finally, I slip on my leather gloves.  Now it’s time to fire up and start cutting.  

<< More Shop Talk >>


Next Up