As spring storms bring down limbs and trees, be careful when operating chainsaws to help clean up. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
As spring storms bring down limbs and trees, be careful when operating chainsaws to help clean up. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
VAN WERT — The sounds of chainsaws across the countryside were heard several times in the past few weeks when gusty winds and storms blew through the area. That threat, says OSU Extension educator, Curtis Young, calls for area chainsaw users to review safety tips during stormy spring weather outbreaks.

“A lot of people don’t respect chainsaws as much as they should,” said Young recently. “The danger of using a chainsaw is so immense. It can rip through flesh so quickly. If we’re not paying attention to what we are doing, it can kick and grab us so quickly. It suddenly throws you back into head injuries.”

“It grabs into the leg and results in leg and foot injuries,” continued Young. “People don’t recognize the type of clothing they should wear to protect themselves from chainsaw injuries.”

Young said that professionals using chainsaws wear all kinds of gear when they use chainsaws.

He noted that they wear gear to protect their legs, feet, eyes and ears.

“It’s not only important to be aware of yourself, but anybody else that might be around,” noted Young. “Helpers that pull away brush can be dismembered if a chainsaw hits them. Those around need to give an appropriate safety zone near the operator.”

“Chainsaws should never be run by somebody sitting on a ladder,” added Young. “There’s too much that could go wrong. One wrong move and it could kick out the ladder and lose control of the saw.”

Young emphasized that in addition to spring clean-up, spring is also a time of downed trees, not only from heavy wind but also, once in a while, from spring ice storms or heavy wet snow.

Young also cautioned about limbs entangled with electrical wires.

“It should be left to the electric companies to clean up lines,” observed Young.

“Limbs about ready to break or trunks about ready to kick back can be immeasurably dangerous when running a chainsaw,” Young said. “People have no idea how much wood weighs.”