FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2014
SOUTH CAROLINA FORESTRY COMMISSION OFFERS CHAINSAW SAFETY ADVICE
(Columbia, SC) It’s expected that many homeowners may attempt tree clearing in the wake of the ice storm. Although widely available to the general public, these machines are quite powerful and potentially deadly if used incorrectly by unskilled hands. The South Carolina Forestry Commission requires its foresters, firefighters and forest technicians to complete its chainsaw safety classes before they are allowed to operate one on the job. SCFC reminds everyone that the danger lies not only in the blade of the machine, but the energy in a large tree you unleash when a cut is made.
Here are some safety tips and chainsaw techniques from Forestry Commission staff:
- Protective equipment includes more than just goggles. Chaps, gloves and hearing protection should be worn at all times.
- Downed trees and limbs can be under a lot of stress. Watch for moving pieces when your chainsaw relieves that stress. A chainsaw operator can be pinned or injured from suddenly moving limbs.
- Watch for “kickback” from the chainsaw. Your operator’s manual offers tips on how to avoid this.
- Avoid cutting over your head or from a ladder.
- If you don’t know how to tackle a clean-up or if the job is too big, hire an experienced and insured professional from the phone book.
- Children should never be allowed to operate a chainsaw and should be kept away from downed trees.
- Be aware that a fallen tree may have taken a live power line with it.
- Never operate a chainsaw alone. Have a buddy or responsible family member on hand in case something goes wrong.
The best approach for most people with storm-damaged trees in their yards is to hire a professional arborist to cut the trees and clean up the debris, but caution is also called for in hiring a tree service. The Forestry Commission recommends asking for proof of property damage, liability and workman’s compensation insurance before hiring a tree service to do any sort of tree work, and getting a firm estimate of the cost before proceeding.
News editors, for more information, call Scott Hawkins at 803-360-2231.
SC Forest-related businesses have a $17 billion annual impact on our economy.
For every $1.00 invested by the state in its Forestry Commission, forest industry produces about $1,200.00 of economic impact.