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Importance of protection

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Standingdead, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Standingdead

    Standingdead Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    159
    Loc:
    Saratoga county, NY
    Seen some younger guys bucking a couple felled trees today. They had no chaps etc on. I thought about the number of new cutters I read about on this site. Thought I might be a good time to start a convo

    I use baileys competition chaps. They are super light weight and will stall any 8hp or lower saw. They cost me about $100. That's a lot less than the cost of a hospital visit or new leg. When felling trees I use my husky helmet and visor, bought at tractor supply for around $60. All it takes is a couple inch diameter branch to break off and hit your head and, well it ain't pretty. I am older and half deaf. Might not of been so if I wore some hearing protection when running equipment. What do you all use for safety? Where did you get it and about what it cost. Just trying to encourage the new folks here to think about safety and how inexpensive it really is.
    Gunny, Bluezx636 and AnalogKid like this.

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  2. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    N. California
    I have a 18" bar Echo chainsaw. I always wear safety glasses, ear plugs, gloves, work pants, and leather work boots. Never thought about chaps. Even a small saw can hurt you. Being cut with a chainsaw would not be pretty. Quick way to make hamburger.
  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    6,944
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    I always wore hearing protection and usually eye protection but never got into the helmet and chaps until last year.

    My uncle does logging and is a smart and safe one. He stopped me last year and asked if I was wearing a helmet and chaps. While I know he's a safe guy, he's not the type to push things onto others so I told him I wasn't and asked what happened. He had a small branch as you mention drop and hit him square on the helmet. He gave a good inspection of the tree and those around prior to cutting and never spotted it. He wound up unconscious in the woods, woke up with the chainsaw still running next to him, lost his glasses, etc. He was a hurting puppy for several weeks after. Thank god his hand came off the throttle and it came to a rest somewhere other than one of his vitals.

    I got the husky helmet and chaps shortly thereafter.

    Even in the summer, the chaps aren't bad to wear and the helmet isn't either. Certainly not as uncomfortable as dealing with the aftermath of an injury that could be lessened or prevented.

    It's a just suck it up and do it sort of thing.

    pen
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    27,277
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    Northern Virginia
    I personally know what the bone in my left leg at the knee looks like and what it is like to drag your leg out of the woods to get a neighbor to take you to the emergency room while you hold the wound together.

    Chaps. Don't start a chainsaw without'em.

    Small three inch tree fell backwards on the saw and drove the bar into my leg.
  5. NYLumberjack914

    NYLumberjack914 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    Yorktown Heights NY
    I wear everything thanks to some of the old timers on this forum. It's doesn't how much it cost. Go out and get all the gear necessary. I started about 11/2 ago burning wood. I went to my local stihl dealer and purchased chaps , helmet w visor , gloves . Your health has no price on it. Thanks again to everyone on here for such great advice
    wapiti39 likes this.
  6. hrhunter

    hrhunter New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    I finally purchased chaps last year. I always use hearing protection and gloves. When I got the chaps, the store owner asked what I did to myself with a saw. The only time people bought chaps was after getting hurt. Don't wait until then, it might be too late.
    Soundchasm likes this.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,035
    Loc:
    Western PA
    All the time:

    Safety glasses
    30 db NRR earmuffs
    Stihl antivibration gloves
    Labonville full-wrap chaps
    Steel toe boots

    When dropping trees:

    Stihl forestry helmet. I still wear the safety glasses underneath the metal mesh of the helmet, but I drop the earmuffs to use the helmet's muffs (even though they aren't as good as my regular earmuffs).
  8. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
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    283
    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    Last February during my birthday My wife showed me a picture of some chaps from home depot and said happy birthday. She had hoped to get them from town (1.5 hours away) but the timing wasn't right. Since we were passing by the home depot around my birthday we stopped in to pick them up. Not knowing where they were I asked a lady and she said good idea buying chaps my husband uses them while working in the bush since he cut himself. She pointed to the corner of the store and said go find Barb over there she will help you. My wife and I found Barb who said to my wife, good idea! my husband uses them now especially after an accident in the bush! I thought wow ive been using chainsaws for years without them but now I wont cut without them (partly due to this experience but also from reading hearth.com). They are also great in heavy brush, they keep all the scratchy thorny stuff off your legs, now I can just power through!
    TreePointer likes this.
  9. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT
    When cutting I always wear my Husqvarna chaps, Stihl glasses, a great pair of work gloves, ear protection and boots. Until about a year ago I never wore chaps. Now, if I cut without having them on due to laziness or whatever, I feel so inadequate. Like waterskiing without a life vest, or 4-wheeling without a helmet, etc. I simply can't run a saw with out them.

    **I really should invest in a helmet, I have had a large limb come down on me. Hit me square on my right shoulder and base of my neck/upper back. Buckled my knees and put me right on the ground. I had a running saw in my hand at the time too, (no chaps). I was shaken up for a little bit.....scary.
    brakatak likes this.
  10. paul bunion

    paul bunion Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
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    734
    Loc:
    NJ
    I learned to wear chaps a long time ago when a sapling stump ran down my bar and popped the chain off the tip. (Chain was probably loose, but I was 18 and knew everything). The chain ended up wrapped around my leg, only damage was a couple of pulled threads on my jeans. An easy lesson.

    I learned to wear a helmet more recently when a small dead branch fell out of a tree I was cutting. It missed my skull by a fraction of an inch as it ripped my glasses off my face with only a small cut to my brow. I got off lucky again.
  11. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm Feeling the Heat

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    Sep 27, 2011
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    486
    Loc:
    Dayton, OH
    I only cut stuff on the ground, and have just seen chaps this year on the forum. But the boots have saved my toes, gloves save my fingers, glasses save my eyes, and hearing protectors save my ears. No matter what the temp is it's long sleeves and long pants.
  12. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    2,035
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    Western PA
    I used to wear long sleeves all the time. A couple long cutting sessions over some hot summer days made me realize that heat stroke was more of a risk at the time. Off went the long sleeved work shirt.
    AnalogKid likes this.
  13. PDXpyro

    PDXpyro New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    62
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    I'm 58, and with no prior experience in running chainsaws I inherited two Stihls a couple of years ago. I thought, Boy, this is great: now I can really get Serious about gleaning my own firewood!

    Being much more cautious than my teens-20s version, I did a lot of online reading about chainsaw operation and safety, and after a few very timid outings with the saws, concluded that I'll use them sparingly, for only the most straightforward, foolproof cuts on small stuff. No way I'm gonna get geared up with the chaps, headgear, etc. and start doing major bucking, much less felling! After seeing the chainsaw-injury statistics for the USA, I wimped out and decided that I'm a splitter, not a sawyer.

    It's usually easy enough to scrounge quite a few pre-cut rounds throughout the year, and otherwise I'll gladly pay for someone else to do the potentially dangerous work. At this point in life I don't mind being a wimp.
  14. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    I gear up even for the little stuff. If im using the chainsaw I see no difference. For me that's what makes me feel comfortable.
    Soundchasm likes this.
  15. Gunny

    Gunny Member

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    Oct 16, 2013
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    109
    Loc:
    S.E Michigan
    Learned chainsaw safety/use in the Marine Corps 20 yrs ago. Very little PPE as they call it. (Personal Protection Equipment). Few limbs, not wood, deaths, and the USMC has there guys GEARED UP! Chaps, gloves, helmets, masks, hearing pro, etc. Feel like the kid from A Christmas Story in the snow suit going to school. All very important gear, personally I just can't get past the hearing pro though, I seem to need to hear the saw to make sure it is operating correctly. Hey we all have our faults. What did you say?
    Standingdead likes this.
  16. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm Feeling the Heat

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    Dayton, OH
    Ain't that the truth. Some motorcyclists say ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). Once you get used to it, it does *not* feel right to work w/o it. It only takes another minute or two to get it right.
    bluedogz, Bluezx636 and TreePointer like this.
  17. BillLion

    BillLion Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Greater Hartford, CT
    2nd that! Just started using a chainsaw a few months ago and I got all the gear thanks to some strong exhortation to do so here. I appreciate all you guys looking out for us!
  18. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    N. California
    You know, well, many will say "I've been doing this for years"It only takes a second to get hurt. A lot of times complacency leads to injury.
  19. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Messages:
    379
    Loc:
    central NJ
    I always wear ear protection, glasses and chaps... combined cost was cheaper than the deductible at the ER.
    Soundchasm likes this.
  20. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

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    CT
    I am with you here. I am always sleeveless, unless it's sub-40 degrees or so (maybe cooler depending on how hard I'm working).
  21. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Eastern MA
    I don't start the saw without my chaps on. Luckily I've never tested their chain stopping power :)

    I also wear my helmet anytime I'm cutting. I once managed to cut a branch such that it hit me square on the head. It drove me down like a pile driver, knees buckled, saw dropped from my hand (luckily to the side) and I was dazed. I'm confident that things would have been MUCH worse had I not had the helmet distributing the impact more evenly across my skull. I never lost consciousness, and in the end my pride was harmed far more than anything. I did have a bit of a sore neck/upper back for a few days which I attribute to the strain of impact. I've fully recovered.

    When just cutting logs or rounds I still wear the helmet - it has my ear protection and screen type visor. I wear glasses under the screen to help keep the little stuff out of my eyes too. Excessive? I don't know. While I'm sure it looks odd to wear a helmet while cutting logs on the driveway, I've never been all that fashion conscious. I've also heard it suggested that there is some way to get a kickback that can make the saw strike your head, never experienced/seen it but I figure the helmet wouldn't hurt in that case either.

    I'm a big advocate of safety gear. Prevention is the key I figure and while practicing safe cutting (don't do dumb things) clearly is the best way of avoiding injury, it is nice to have a backup just in case that "one mistake" happens.

    So my inventory of safety gear that I wear:
    Chaps (full length)
    Helmet (ear protection and screen type visor built in)
    Safety glasses
    Gloves (just leather, not saw protection)
    Boots with steel toes (probably does more to protect against logs rolling/falling than anything from the saw)
    TreePointer likes this.
  22. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    I wear everything but hearing protection, can't protect whats already gone
  23. Capetownkg

    Capetownkg Member

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    Loc:
    Southern Maryland
    I wear husqvarna chaps and helmet and visor with ear protection. All bought off amazon with prime shipping. Helmet and visor and ear protection was $43 and the husky chaps were $67. Heck of a cheaper deal then hospital and it helps put my wife's fears to ease which makes my life easier.
  24. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I bought my brother a pair of chaps the first Christmas after he bought a saw and a large piece of property. He had to replace them after about 10 years as he had too many cuts on them. The cuts didn't look that bad but I expect the scars would have looked worse.

    I use a chainsaw helmet and chaps. I haven't tagged the chaps but the helmet has been thinned a few times from rotten birch branches. I love the steel screen faceplate, beats getting a face full of sawdust.
  25. BKInsert

    BKInsert Member

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    Oct 23, 2011
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    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    After I decided to get serious about cutting my own wood I got a few chainsaws, I started to read about how to use them and that is when I realized how dangerous they could be. I learned about the kickback zone and how to avoid it, I bought good chaps, a helmet, eye goggles and still tow boots and uses them every time I use a chainsaw.

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