Top handled chainsaw use

There have been a number of incidents in recent years when climbers have injured themselves due to only having one hand on the saw when making a cut, which has caused life changing injuries or in some cases worse.

During the last 10 years 24 tree surgeons/arborists have been killed during tree work and nearly 1,400 have suffered an injury. (HSE Website)

We have also seen a lot of activity recently on social media, following the article in Horticulture Week entitled ‘Arborist receives six figure pay out after chainsaw injury’ (12 December 2018, by Matthew Appleby).

Our last two weekly safety staff consultations have focused on reiterating the importance of using two handed cutting techniques whilst using a top-handled chainsaw.

At Beechwood Trees and Landscapes Ltd we have a zero tolerance approach to one handed chainsaw use, we require our operatives to have two hands on the chainsaw at all times when making a cut.

We understand this may cause a slight reduction in productivity, and work methods, but the safety of our employees comes first.

Paul Elcoat runs Elcoat Ltd who specialise in helping arb businesses get things right gives the following advice about the inappropriate use of a top-handled chainsaw with one hand:

  • Don’t do it.
  • It is very dangerous.
  • You will seriously hurt yourself.
  • It will happen to you.

For more on this topic, read this piece here by Paul Elcoat.

Further reading and information can be found by reading these documents: