Knowledge Library

Common Chain Saw Injuries & How To Avoid Them

AMERISAFE wants to remind workers of the typical hazards found in the logging and tree care industries that we see regularly with hopes that each one will put safety first and correct all hazards that arise.

There are three types of injury that occur regularly with chain saws. These are: noise, vibration and cuts.


The exposure to the high level of noise emitted by a chain saw, over a long period of time, can lead to hearing loss. Using hearing protection can help prevent hearing loss.


Saw vibrations can lead to circulatory problems in the hands and fingers. Having vibration dampening (rubber bushings between the handle and engine sections), keeping the hands warm, having a properly tensioned and sharp chain, and not holding the chain saw so tightly are ways a worker can help prevent this injury.


The most common accident resulting from a chain saw. Most cuts result from a “kickback”. A saw can “kickback” in less than 1/5 of a second. This leaves the operator with no reaction time. Cuts can be reduced by the following:

  • Inspect power saws on a daily basis to make sure all safety equipment is in good repair.
  • Keep the chain properly tensioned and sharp.
  • Always wear saw chaps.
  • Make sure the chain brake and trigger lock are working properly.
  • Wear gloves while operating, filing up, handling or changing the chain.
  • Adjust the saw so that the chain is stopped when the saw is idling.
  • Don’t work off-balance.
  • Stop the motor when carrying the saw for any distance.
  • Know where the tip of the bar is at all times, especially when limbing or working in large timber.
  • Never stand behind or straddle the saw.

The facts are clear: most accidents occur when people take chances or short-cuts.

More than anyone else, YOU are responsible for YOUR safety.


Click here to download a printable version of this safety guide.

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