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Terrible chainsaw accident (wrist guards?)

Post in 'The Gear' started by Mandoo, Oct 30, 2008.

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  1. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Question is, was he wearing chaps or other PPE?

    Gooserider

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Info sketchy.
    Word is, no chaps, but it's all rumor.
    It's been warm.
    Not saying this is the case here, but I've seen other instances where the more experienced worker is the one who gets it.
  3. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Yes it has been warm out - chaps are uncomfortable in hot weather, but saw chains are just as good at cutting you in hot weather as in cold... I don't care WHAT the temperature is, it's still worth wearing the gear. I don't fire up a saw w/o it, though if it's hot out, I may take the chaps off when gassing up the saw, moving stuff that I cut, and so forth. Big thing under those conditions is to stay hydrated - I've been known to drink 3-4 liters of water in a few hours (w/o needing to pee either....)

    As to experts getting hurt, I've seen similar types of things, there is a definite experience vs. accident curve pattern, and it tends to show up in almost any "high-risk" activity, though some are worse than others... "Newbies" have lots of accidents starting out, and then the number drops as the accident-prone get winnowed by Darwin, and the survivors gain experience. After a while though the users gain experience, and get a bit overconfident and the number starts edging back up as they take more chances, etc....

    The other big factor of course is simply "exposure time" - experience helps make you safer, but just the basic odds of "Chit happens" still apply, and a pro is going to spend a lot more time waving a saw around than us "weekend worriers" - sooner or later, the odds are likely to catch up with you...

    Gooserider
  4. downeast

    downeast Guest

    OK Goose, you left out the vital : skill, training, experience. It's the brain. No "flight plan" is going to do anything to help. A cell phone can be crutch for incompetance, and lack of training. And, c'mon: "make yourself findable" %-P , with what, a GPS tracer or a barrage balloon?

    Try this:
    Learn how to use the chainsaw efficiently and safely. Get some training. Work with a logger or arborist.
    Then, cut with care. The fact is that most of us harvesting for firewood, pulp, sawlogs, and managing a woodlot, usually cut alone. Have done it that way for too long.
    Plan your cuts, have an escape route, work the saw correctly ( including use of the chain brake ). Learn to recognize dangerous cuts, bent trees under pressure, loose footing.
    That cell phone is not a help when you're on the ground bleeding out. Learn self emergency care, carry a kit ( the norm here is a couple of large Kotex pads stashed in easy reach and duct tape. If you have to ask why, you need some basic First Aid training ).

    This not what people want to hear......................
  5. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    [​IMG]
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Hindsight is 20/20.
    For me, when that little voice says something like: "I know this isn't really safe, but its just this one time", I'll stop and be safe.
  7. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Part II Goose ( open suggestions )
    With experience and a chainsaw with a chain brake, the saw should never be run @ WOT with the chain brake engaged. Exception when just starting the saw then immediately blip the throttle to idle. It is in all manuals.
    No experienced chainsaw operator EVER takes their hand off the handles while cutting and/or the chain is moving. EVER. The awkwardness is simply from not practicing and little experience. ( Exception only when necessary when cutting high in a tree )This is real world stuff.
    Use of the brake is simple and easy: tuck your thumb over the forward handle ( not for our top handled tree saws such as a Stihl 009 ), with the thumb securely around the handle, reach with your fingers to pull the chain brake OFF. To engage the brake without moving your grip on the top handle, drop your forearm to PUSH the brake on. Practice. Practice then it becomes second nature to engage the chain brake, or disengage.
    From the field and woods. Whatya think ? Call me in the morning. :cheese:
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Ok Iam looking at this chart anyone know where to get arm,wrist and or chest protection I have never seen any?
  9. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Professional training emphasizes SEVERITY AND FREQUENCY of injuries. PPE standards are in order of life threatening injury : left thigh, head/eyes/ears, feet. Get those and you'll be fine......along with experience and training and care.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    been cutting a long time, just never seen wrist arm or chest gaurd got left thigh, head/eyes/ears, feet! (hate seeing blood) Had to take a freind to the hospital on a knee injury! he passout after i got him in the truck felt like i was going to.He wasnt wearing chaps,he didnt beleave in them.(does NOW)
  11. sl7vk

    sl7vk New Member

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    I've thought about getting something like this for this time of year.... 93 bucks or so is what I'm finding online.....

    http://www.usa.husqvarna.com/node3302.aspx?nid=60083&pid=51381

    I once saw a vest version as well..... Might have been made by Stihl though....

    Ok, here's the Stihl version. Pretty slick too! The Stihl shirt is 69 bucks..... Seems like a great Christmas present to me!

    http://www.stihlusa.com/apparel/features_shirt.html
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    not ever seen one before they are slick!
  13. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I have a pro forest jacket and the summer pro forest shirt. They are very nice not only for the added protective layer, but they are great brushing clothes as well. My jacket is due for replacement after nearly 12 years of abuse.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Sweet looking for one right now!
  15. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I am not sure what your needs are, but if you are primarily are using a saw to buck firewood you may not want a jacket like that. It is pretty warm, and I only tend to use mine when I am in the woods felling and dealing with slash and brush. Definitely not a great around the yard item.
  16. downeast

    downeast Guest

    ...I swear this is the final suggestion. I swear. I swear.................

    Spend your $$$ getting:
    1. UL rated chaps, preferably wrap-around.
    2. A UL helmet system ( check out Bailey's 'new' one from Germany, that is, how you say, "sweet" )
    3. Good steel or poly toe boots.
    4. Grip gloves ( the "protective" backing on "chainsaw gloves will not do much for carelessnes,incompetance, or hubris )
    5. Learn, train, observe, ask. "It is the little grey matter " Inpsector Poirot.

    You wanna look good, go to Brooks Bros., or Barney's.
  17. sl7vk

    sl7vk New Member

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    I think you can do both.

    Adding that Stihl shirt for 70 bucks, and some nice Husqvarna chainsaw gloves for 22 bucks gets you great protection for under 100 bones. The graph above shows that the MAJORITY of accidents are hand/arm/upper body.
    So be smart, learn to use the saw properly, always respect it, but why not add a bit more protection for under 100 clams? You have 2k worth of saws, for 5% the cost of your saws, you can get a bit added protection.

    Now I think I'll go and get me one them Stihl shirts. Try convincing my wife that I look Brooks Bros or Barney's!
  18. downeast

    downeast Guest

    I think you can do both.
    Adding that Stihl shirt for 70 bucks, and some nice Husqvarna chainsaw gloves for 22 bucks gets you great protection for under 100 bones. The graph above shows that the MAJORITY of accidents are hand/arm/upper body.
    So be smart, learn to use the saw properly, always respect it, but why not add a bit more protection for under 100 clams? You have 2k worth of saws, for 5% the cost of your saws, you can get a bit added protection.
    Now I think I'll go and get me one them Stihl shirts. Try convincing my wife that I look Brooks Bros or Barney's![/quote]

    I lied...sorry boys.
    That graph is ONLY PART OF THE STORY. It is the old saw about statistics and liars lying.
    From real world, real time experience, not some Google search, MOST SERIOUS CHAINSAW ACCIDENTS ARE TO THE FEMORAL ARTERY. Get out there, ask, investigate, look, experience. Don't take from some avatared persona, get out and try it yourself. No pretty jackets, no arm guards, no gloves will protect you from the most common chainsaw injury ( ask OSHA, MEMIC, your regional ER docs, the EMT's who will stop the blood ).
    You don't know a femoral artery from The Who ? Get to know, now.
    I am dismissed.
  19. sl7vk

    sl7vk New Member

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    We're in agrement here, that's why I wear chaps!

    But I'm trying to avoid not only fatal injuries, but also going to the ER..... period!
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Mixed response... Depends on how you define "serious" - definitely if you get the Femoral, you are in deep doo-doo, and chaps are the preferred protection for it, but I'd be VERY surprised if injuries to the femoral were a high percentage of the total - it's on the inside of the thigh, towards the back of the leg, so it's fairly well protected against a self inflicted chainsaw hit. (Good thing too, as otherwise we'd have a lot more fatals) I believe that the majority of chainsaw hits are to meat and bone areas that are messy, expensive to put back together, and potentially disabling, but not necessarily life threatening w/ reasonably quick and effective 1st aid...

    What would be interesting to my way of thinking is to get a more detailed breakdown of those injury dots... How severe were the average injuries in each of them? How many injuries were actually due to hits from a moving chain / running chainsaw?

    Keep in mind that "chainsaw related injury" may be a bit of a fuzzy term - it might include getting hit by cutting debris, or injuries caused by a non running saw. Remember that safety rules and insurance regs for every place I've ever worked say that ANY injury, no matter how minor, is supposed to be reported, and is likely to be classed as "chainsaw related" if there was one involved in any way.

    I'd especially wonder if that big batch of hand injuries might actually prove to include a lot of fairly minor scrapes and scratches, of the "hand slipped" while sharpenning / adjusting / replacing chain? I've done several of those when working on my own saw, I cussed a bit, maybe slapped a bandaid on it to keep from getting blood on the saw, and kept on working... However if I was working for a tree company, I'm sure the same thing would have required an accident report be filled out, and the report would probably end up on some OSHA bureaucrapper's desk...

    Obviously it's in the interest of the protective gear companies to make that picture as bloody as possible in order to increase their sales, but it might result in a slightly misplaced focus.

    Gooserider
  21. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I don't have access to my files, but the statistic sheet I have from my last recurrent saw training has a similar diagram, and it it specifies that all injuries were body contact with a moving chain. All were serious, and if you know enough older loggers you will see plenty with the scars and missing digits to match the diagram. Improved training, techniques, and safety gear have drastically reduced saw related injuries in the logging world in the last 15 years.
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would make an addendum from reading a huge number of safety gear related threads over on Arboristsite (where the really serioous chainsaw guys hang out) that there is a definite pattern about which gear gets worn and which is worth it...

    Chaps or chainsaw pants, steel toed boots (preferably chainsaw rated) and a helmet / visor / muff system definitely top the list. Almost all the posters claim to wear them, and the ones that don't generally get yelled at about it - the only exception being some of the climbing guys who skip the chaps while going up a tree. There are lots of threads w/ gory pictures of not wearing chaps, and almost as many w/ pictures of shredded chaps... Also a fair number of shattered helmet photos.

    Chainsaw rated gloves get a more mixed review. Most of the guys wear gloves, but a good many don't seem to feel the added protection of the chainsaw glove is worth the extra cost for them.

    Very few seem to talk about wearing the shirts / jackets, and I don't see people that say they don't getting abused the way the non-chap wearers do.

    Based on that, I'd say this is the purchasing order....

    MUST HAVE gear -

    1. Chaps
    2. Helmet system. If you ONLY buck logs, then you can get away with a visor and muffs, but it doesn't save much and doesn't work as well (I tried it...)
    3. Boots, steel toe minimum, chainsaw rated preferred. (IMHO Matterhorns are the best, followed by Labonville's)

    OPTIONAL gear -

    4. Chainsaw rated gloves (I have and use them, but when the current pair wears out, not sure I'd get another, unless I find something with better fit and comfort)
    5. Chainsaw rated shirt / vest - I'm not convinced of the need, and don't have. If I did, I'd get as much for the "orange" visibility, and better brush busting as I would for any chainsaw protection property.

    Gooserider
  23. Sealcove

    Sealcove Member

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    I agree 100%. Protective tops and gloves are not commonly worn. I often use a protective top because I am cutting alone in relatively remote locations, and they have the added benefit of being good outer layer for thrashing around in dense woods. On the gloves front, many professional users cut barehanded when temperatures allow.

    Matterhorns are a killer boot, and I can hike with them all day and still have happy feet in all but the most frigid temps.
  24. jibe

    jibe New Member

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    -PPE
    -Use the chain brake when you move, thats what it's there for. It takes half a second to put it on and half a second to turn it off.
    -Wrap the thumb. Wrap the thumb. Wrap the thumb.
    -Keep that tip away from objects unless you know how to bore with the tip.
    -Proper wedging and bucking technique to prevent pull and push back.

    Buying a bunch of Stihl chainsaw safety gear might help you out, but learning proper habits will serve us all in the long run.
  25. downeast

    downeast Guest

    My god, another fact and experience-based rejoinder to Forest Gump stuff that seems to come from internet ether.
    Please, step away from the PC, get out into the working world and get some basis for what is open ended opinion. If this sounds too harsh, well, saw injuries are. Your past posts belittled the use of PPE, then......? You order firewood, cut in your driveway then all of sudden you are a saw expert. People on this site for some reason accept what some write as gospel with no basis of judgement. Because of the relationship between a chainsaw chain and flesh, most injuies are NOT minor.

    "Defining serious" sounds too much like our obfuscating ex-president ( i.e. "it depends what you mean by IS." )
    If you haven't had ER or EMT or field first aid training (sounds from your posts that you have not ), please don't 'splain to the audience where arteries are. There's plenty of detailed injury accounts recorded with any organisation: hospital, Workmans' Comp, arborist groups, pro loggers, etc.... Do some homework rather than pulling "facts" out of the air. Reiterate: the left thigh including the femoral artery are the location of most of the life-threatening ( read: "serious" ) injuries caused by chainsaws.
    Now guys: do you know how the speed of the chain at WOT ? A slow moving chain at a fast idle ( do you set low speed at no movement ?) will slice flesh.

    Another: you have on investigated fact that the PPE ( not "protective gear" ) companies are trying to make the "picture as bloody as possible" to peddle PPE ? Now Goose, what are you smoking there in Massachusetts ? This is really READY FIRE AIM . Please, call Stihl in Virginia Beach, Electrolux in Sweden, Bailey's, or Labonville; or maybe the UL labs that test the PPE. They BTW, make their money on more important equipment.....like chainsaws ! Do some legwork before you write.

    Sorry about the hard words Goose, but you are promulgating deadly misinformation.
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