It seems that Autumn is coming early this year and during the last couple of weeks we have already experienced two Autumn/Winter storms.
The ground is saturated, and trees are still in full leaf. Consequently, there is more chance of large branches and trees being damaged by storm conditions.
When damage occurs or trees are blown down, the debris must be removed, and the area made safe. Chainsaws are usually used for this type of work but there are number of factors that must be taken into consideration before you grab your chainsaw.
A person who works on trees using a chainsaw should hold a certificate of competence or a licence to use such equipment. This qualification should be updated at least every three years.
Any person using a chainsaw for any other works must have received suitable training from a qualified instructor on how to operate and maintain such equipment.
Any person must ensure that they take extra care if trees are close to over head power lines (OHPL). You must not work on trees if they are within 10 metres of OHPL and such work should be passed to a competent tree surgeon.
You must ensure that as a chainsaw operator, you know your escape route and that nobody is allowed within two tree lengths of the tree being felled.
Saws and Protective Clothing
Ensure that saws are well maintained and fitted with a chain catcher, combined chain brake and front hand guard, silencer and anti -Vibration mounts.
The chains have low kickback characteristics and are sharp, correctly tensioned and lubricated.
All operators wear a safety helmet, hearing protection, eye protection and gloves.
Operators must also wear protective clothing around their legs and feet, usually chainsaw trousers with all round protection and chainsaw boots
Before you commence any work, make sure that you have completed a risk assessment and that you are competent to undertake the task without risk or injury to yourself and others.
If you have any doubts, arrange to obtain specialist assistance.