Personal Safety Equipment

As well as using appropriate safety equipment, chainsaw users should wear protective clothing which complies with New Zealand Standards or their overseas equivalents.

Invest in the same equipment the professionals use. When you buy your safety equipment, make sure that it bears a NZ Standards number or “S” mark. This is a guarantee that it has been manufactured to stringent standards to offer maximum protection.

Fig 15: NZ Standards mark of compliance

Fig 15: NZ Standards mark of compliance

 

WHAT YOU NEED

FOOTWEAR. Boots should have steel toe caps and give firm ankle support. Lace-up types must be securely fastened so that you don't trip on the laces.

LEG PROTECTION. Wear good-quality chainsaw operators’ safety trousers or chaps. These should be to AS/NZs 443.3:1997.

SAFETY HELMET. Wear a helmet to protect your head from falling objects and to minimise the risk of injury to the face in the event of a kickback

EARMUFFS. Wear earmuffs rated Class 5.

EYE PROTECTION. If you are working in very dusty conditions, wear goggles. If there's a danger of flying debris, use a helmet visor.

GENERAL CLOTHING. This should fit fairly closely but be comfortable and allow free movement.

Fig 16: This is the safety equipment the Department of Labour recommends. For professional chainsaw users, all this equipment is compulsory.

Fig 16: This is the safety equipment the Department of Labour recommends. For professional chainsaw users, all this equipment is compulsory.

 

FIRST AID KIT. Have a small kit with at least two large sterile wound dressings and keep it in good condition. Clean it, keep it dry and replace any broken or damaged components.

WEDGES

Wedges are an indispensable aid for directional tree felling or to hold open cuts that may bind or pinch. The best choice is a high-density plastic wedge as used by many professional fellers. These are light-weight and inexpensive.

You'll need a mallet or suitable tool to drive in the wedges.

Fig 17: Wedges are useful for directional tree felling or to hold open a cut that may bind or pinch.

Fig 17: Wedges are useful for directional tree felling or to hold open a cut that may bind or pinch.