Modern Chain Saw Safety Features
Using a chain can significantly speed up the process of a heavy work load. It is essential to be extremely cautious and educated in its safety features. Make sure all precautionary measures are taken in order to prepare yourself and the unit. Read through the operator’s manual to understand exactly how your chain saw works. Wear protective eye gear to shield yourself from dust and flying debris and ear muffs to prevent permanent ear damage. Gloves are recommended to protect your hands and wear clothes that won’t get caught on limbs or branches. Below are basic safety features that are needed on a chain saw.
The muffler is a familiar and simple feature designed to not only decrease the noise level but also to direct hot exhaust gases away from the operator. The muffler is sometimes combined with the spark arrester. The spark arrester’s job is to keep sparks from being ejected by the exhaust. Sparks can occur when carbon deposits in the cylinder break loose and are ignited by the exhaust gases.
A front hand guard is a bar located in the front of the top handle. It is essential to have and must be in place on all chainsaws. It is designed to stop your hand from slipping and coming into contact with a moving, snapped or derailed chain. This guard is often combined with the chain break which is designed to stop a moving chain within a fraction of a second should a kickback occurs.
The rear hand guard and the chain catcher are two features both designed to protect your hand from a broken or jumping chain. The rear hand guard is located on the lower part of the rear handle of the chain saw and the chain catcher is located on the bottom of the saw engine as far forward as it possibly can be.
A throttle trigger lockout prevents accidental opening on the throttle. The throttle trigger is locked in the idling position when the lockout is not engaged by the proper hand grip on the handle. The stop switch should be located so that it can be activated easily by your right thumb without losing your grip of the rear handle.
The vibration damping consists of rubber bushings located between the handle and the saw body or on the engine mountings. This feature considerably reduces the amount of vibration that occurs to the operator’s hands. Excessive vibration to the operator can cause damage to hands and fingers and/or slippage of the unit within the operator’s hands. Wearing the gloves reduces the vibration further.
Again, make sure to know the safety features of your chain saw before operation, as well as, be aware of the environment that you are working in. Too much precaution during operation is better than not being cautious enough.