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chainsaw ppe

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Gwyd, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Gwyd

    Gwyd New Member

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    Hi guys i've just joined this forum and am hoping for some advice from the pros. I started using a chainsaw about 6 years ago, my grandad who is a very experienced but not professional chainsaw user (he used trees from his own land to heat his house for years: felling and bucking them) taught me the basics of using the saw and safety. since then i've cut a fair amount of wood for our own heating. He gave me his stihl 044 with a 28" bar, stihl helmet with visor and ear defenders, and oregon chaps, i don't know how old the safety kit is but i'd guess at least as old as the saw which has got to be in the region of 10-15 years old. recently i've watched and read up on a lot safety and cutting advice on youtube and this site which got me thinking: should i be upgrading safety kit wise, new trousers/chaps, proper chainsaw boots, gloves and helmet? should i go and get professional training instead? bear in mind that i do this mostly to heat the house relatively cheaply, a tank of oil costing about £300 so if the cost were to go above that i'd have to question whether its really worth the effort.
    (sorry that was a bit wordy)
    thanks for any advice
     
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  2. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    Each person is different and so are their needs. You need to do what is best for you. I have been cutting wood for more than 50 years and I have my routine. Last summer I tried some safety gear and it made me UN safe so got rid of it. You should come up with a routine that is safe for you. I do not use gloves, hat, chaps or safety boots or helmet, but that does not mean that you should not use them. However have always used ear and eye protection allong with sunscrean. If you have any habits that put you at risk then get whatever you need to be safe. Good leather boots will give some protection to your feet. Gloves will give you a chance of keeping your fingers. Chaps new or used normally last for years. Helmets are easily found used, but very serviceable. So for a days wages you should be able to find all the stuff that you need to get back home with a big smile on your face after cutting all day. Thanks
     
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  3. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That's cheap for oil. I just paid $700 to get mine filled.
     
  4. Mustang71

    Mustang71 ArboristSite Operative

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    I work with sheet metal all day and don't wear gloves like most guys do and I've been cut but I'm not comfortable with them and I'm like a fish out of water and completely unsafe with gloves on. I also wear pants and work boots year around cause I feel safer that way most guys wear shorts and sneakers when it's hot. I feel that sometimes ppe gives you a false sence of saftey and you are less careful.

    That being said I am thinking about buying some chaps. Saftey glasses are distracting to me but a face shield may be comfortable. I like the sound of the chainsaw also but some may find it to loud.
     
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  5. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Not negotiable for anybody using my saws (on the ground...no chaps in the tree):
    *Chaps. As long as they aren't soaked in oil or torn all over, age shouldn't matter. You can "fluff" them in the dryer.
    *Gloves (I have seen pretty bad cuts just getting the saw out of the truck - one guy who is not a klutz got 23 stitches with a little slip)
    *Eye protection - safety glasses or goggles - mesh face shield isn't enough.
    *Hardhat if any work is being done overhead
    *Hearing protection

    I will give on the hardhat if you are staying on the ground. I prefer a forestry helmet (face shield and ear muffs) but don't insist on it. Even with the face shield, you need safety glasses.

    I think steel toe boots (funny story in next post) are a great idea, but not generally considered "necessary". I wear them if I am doing more than a few cuts.

    Lack of ear protection isn't going to lead to an acute injury, but it is very well documented that exposure over the years leads to hearing loss. Doesn't sound fun to me. I even wear ear plugs when I am mowing my own yard or working with loud woodworking machinery in the garage.

    Check the date on your hardhat. The plastic breaks down over time. They are cheap. Your head is not.

    Thinking you are safer without PPE is like saying you are safer without a seat belt. Sure...1:98,475,923 accidents in involve a situation where somebody may have been safer without...but the other 98,475,922 times you are better WITH.
     
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  6. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Steel toe boots story:

    I spent a summer working for a pulp mill in North Carolina. One of the foresters noticed a guy bucking logs was wearing tennis shoes that had toes chewed up from being nicked by the saw.

    Forester bought the guy a pair of steel toe boots wanting to help keep him safe. Shows up on another job site a week or two later and see the guy doesn't have the boots on - back in the shoes:
    "Did the boots not fit?"
    "Oh, no...they fit just fine"
    "Why don't you wear them?"
    "My chain kept getting dull every time I hit the toe of the boots"
    :dizzy:
     
  7. Big Natey

    Big Natey ArboristSite Operative

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    I rarely wear chaps, but I use my chain break as it's intended to be used. If the chain ain't in some wood the brake is on. I don't have to try to do it either it's kind of instinctive.

    But I will say a hard hat has saved me more times then I can count.
     
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  8. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Operative

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    I wear my Matterhorn mining boots when I'm running a saw. In addition to the safety toe they have metatarsal protection that has saved my feet from dropped chunks.
     
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  9. Mustang71

    Mustang71 ArboristSite Operative

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    I almost learned the chain break the hard way. Now it's always on when I'm not cutting.

    Also don't grab for the saw if it falls off something...
     
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  10. woodenboater

    woodenboater ArboristSite Operative

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    about the brake. The instructor on my course wasn't big fan of always flipping it over when not cutting (a habit I got into. chain not in wood, push it back with back of hand. every time). His reasoning was that all that pushing the brake back and forth could compromise its action when most needed. He also was of the mind that if you're not on the throttle, then the chain won't/shouldn't move so why set the brake ? I'm presuming idle has been set properly.

    Thoughts ?

    oh yeah, I always wear ppe. full wraps in summer and pants in colder weather. cut glove on left hand. Stihl chainsaw boots (hate those orange ones that are everywhere, the metatarsal was a pita to my shin)
     
  11. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    ??? How us using the break going to "compromise its action"? I had to replace one break handle. Not sure if I broke it by overuse or not. Of course, I wouldn't have known it was broken if I wasn't using it... Regular inspection lets you know when problems are coming.

    For in-tree work, a couple of years ago somebody posted a helmet cam video here of their saw stuck on high throttle dangling from their harness. Fortunately the break was engaged...would have created quite a mess if it wasn't. I can't honestly think of a good reason to NOT set the break. As others have said, it becomes second nature.
     
  12. Mustang71

    Mustang71 ArboristSite Operative

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    As I said my saw was idling fell off a log I grabbed for it and on the way down it hit the chain brake itself and good thing it did cause I grabbed the bar and still dropped it. Learned two lessons there. Now the brake is always on when not in use.

    My old poulan does some funny stuff sometimes with the throttle especially when it gets near empty and there's no brake on that.
     
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  13. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Honor GOD, Country and Corps

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    PPE ? Just look at a chart showing percent injuries to different areas/body parts...

    I cut for home heating mainly. I wear Steel toed boots, chaps, safety glasses, ear plugs and work gloves. Most of my cutting is on the ground w/o helmet but I do have one available for felling. You'll never know exactly how much PPE you should have had on until you wish you'd had.
    I religiously use my chain brake while repositioning/relocating/walking. Why not use it??? Don't you set your emergency brake on the car/truck? If it wasn't working right wouldn't you want to know before the o-S#!t happened?
     
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  14. david1332

    david1332 ArboristSite Operative

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    Saved my toes atlEast once.
    There's a video online that shows a chain saw going through a pair of composites but not through a pair of steel toes. I show it to all my guys when they ask why I require them to wear steel toed boots. Sena units also help them keep their eye, ear and head protection on. Haven't had a problem since I bought them
     
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  15. woodenboater

    woodenboater ArboristSite Operative

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    His reasoning was it would become loose I think. I also posted previously that this instructor also passed everyone on the course I was on. People who really needed way more time on their NIB saw.

    A twist of the wrist engages the brake every time saw is not throttled. Old habits yano. Good habit imo
     
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  16. 009L

    009L ArboristSite Operative

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    Do you recall what model boot you have? I've found some (MT860 looks pretty good) but I'm only seeing a toe guard, not the metatarsal protection. And the toe guard is a composite, not steel.

    Pat
     
  17. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Operative

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  18. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Operative

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  19. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Operative

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    They are bulky but very comfortable after broken in and I get used to wearing them. I'm sure they are a composite safety toe so I really don't know the result of contact with a saw.
     
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  20. LoveStihlQuality

    LoveStihlQuality Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Those that push steel toes often demonstrate between composite and steel toe with saw at full throttle. Kinda dumb to me to keep sawing on your foot?

    Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk
     
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