Welcome To Forestry South Africa
Monday, July 22, 2019

click here to see
all logo's

July : Safety guidelines for felling trees with chainsaws

previous page
23 July, 2014

Safety guidelines for felling trees with chainsaws


Chainsaw felling of trees is recognised as one of the more dangerous activities in forestry. However the risks can be reduced considerably with well trained and professional operators. WorkSafeBC and the BC Forest Safety Council have produced a training standard that will go some way in achieving these risk reductions. The document begins by providing an initial safety meeting checklist and universal principles for safe felling. The standard then proceeds to discuss various safety aspects under the following headings:

  • Working safely: This considers general safety aspects such as safety programmes.
  • Clothing and personal equipment: The various safety clothing that should be worn is covered.
  • Safety equipment and personal wellbeing: This section includes information on aspects such as operator visibility and climatic factors.
  • Stretches: Various exercises that should be performed by operators are described.
  • Chainsaw and other equipment: This includes choosing a chainsaw, carrying a chainsaw by hand and chainsaw refuelling.
  • Chainsaw maintenance and filing: A chainsaw maintenance checklist is provided, along with safe chain filing information.
  • Safe chainsaw handling procedures: Various safety aspects are covered, with a focus on kickbacks.
  • Axes and wedges: The uses of axes and wedges with chainsaw felling are described.
  • Planning and safety meetings: Various plans, meetings, checks and procedures are discussed.
  • Falling areas and active falling areas: The safe working procedures are described for entering a falling area and barricading a falling area.
  • Crew transport and first aid coverage: Transportation of the crew, tools, fuel and equipment is discussed.
  • Tree species group hazards: The risks associated with felling various tree species is described.
  • Dangerous tree indicators: The aspects of a tree that create safety hazards are explained.
  • Various cutting procedures: These include different types of undercuts, directional control and wedging.

Other aspects covered include managing risk factors, escape routes, opening the falling face, site-tree assessments, inadequate felling cuts, correcting incomplete felling cuts, and steep slope, upslope and riparian felling.

The training standard (part 1 of 2) can be downloaded for free from :

This news piece was supplied by Logging-on - Supplying unbiased, relevant logging/forest engineering information to the global community 
Logging-on Newsletter

click here to see
all logo's