Harmless or Armless – Your Choice

There are a couple of things that Kerry Miles, the Waimakariri District Council’s Rural Safety Co-ordinator, knows about chainsaws. Carelessly used they often result in injuries that are vicious, severe and permanent. And carefully used, with the right safety equipment, they are a very useful tool. So Kerry wants to make sure that you take the harmless route.

"Spring is the season that tempts people to get outdoors and tidy up”, says Kerry “and for a lot of people that means getting out the chainsaw and searching out some firewood for the next winter season, or carrying out the clear-up that the weather has stopped them from doing over winter”.

Kerry says that there are some simple basic safety precautions that need to be taken to avoid the possibility of chainsaw accidents, first and foremost of which is the wearing of suitable safety protective clothing – chainsaw resistant trousers or chaps, a safety helmet, ear and eye protection, steel-cap leather boots, gloves and tighter-fitting clothing.

Just as important are the use, safety and care of the chainsaw itself – making sure that it is correctly tensioned and sharpened and that the chainsaw and bar size are correct for the job at hand.  Using the area of the tip of the bar is another dangerous exercise which can lead to an uncontrollable kick-back of the saw into the user.

The third area of risk is the area of operation. Children need to be kept well away from any sawing being carried out and users need a well developed sense of the danger-zone – where timber might possibly fall, what happens when a tree or branch under stress is sawn through and the possibility of an uprooted tree with a large root ball springing back to the upright position if the trunk is cut through.

Kerry encourages people to refer to the Waimakariri District Council website (waimakariri.govt.nz) to find out more details about how to ensure their safety where a full list of safety precautions is available. He has also organised a chainsaw operation and awareness seminar on Saturday 27 August in Fernside at which a professional chainsaw safety trainer will talk through setting up and maintaining a chainsaw and provide further useful safety hints and tips. Those interested in attending should contact Kerry in the first instance at kerry.miles@wmk.govt.nz


Contact: Kerry Miles

Phone: 03 311 8900