Forestry service offers advice on chainsaw safety - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Forestry service offers advice on chainsaw safety in storm clean-up

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The South Carolina Forestry Commission put together a list of helpful tips for people planning to use chainsaws to clean up debris in their yards after the winter storm. 

Officials said the best thing people can do is hire a professional and insured crew to clean debris for them. For people who do hire a service, officials recommend 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.  

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.

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