What PPE do you all use when running the saw?

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PaulBunyun

New Member
Oct 15, 2019
32
Michigan
Saw a local article about a chainsaw accident that ended badly. Was wondering what all PPE do you use whenever your running your saws. I have a pair of saw resistant chaps that are supposed to stop the saw when they come into contact with it. I also have a plastic helmet that will do nothing for a saw but protects the eyes. Is there anything you all use that you would recommend?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,472
Northern NH
I use chaps, with helmet, screen and muffs. I use safety glasses under the screen on occasion mostly when its sunny out. I wear regular work gloves as my hands do not fit the cut resistant ones I have tried. The chaps were sized by a NPS employee who sized them long, they do extend down over the top of my boot. I do not wear steel toes as I have odd feet that do not fit steel toes very well.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Gloves, eye pro, ear pro, sometimes a respirator, chaps, steel toe boots, and a helmet if I'm felling trees. I usually wear a pair of in ear plugs and a pair of over the ear muffs. My helmet has the screen and muffs, but I used to have a pair of muffs that had a screen with no helmet, but I broke the screen...
 

fvhowler

Member
May 4, 2018
94
Heart of NC
I wear chaps, regular gloves, ear plugs, hiking boots and regular glasses. Will wear a helmet when cutting down a tree or if any limbs/branches are above me when cutting.
 
I use chaps, with helmet, screen and muffs, steeled toed boots and some type of vibration gloves...
 
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DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
668
West Michigan
Chaps, steel toe boots, husqvarna helmet with muffs and face screen, gloves. Sometimes safety glasses, depending on the kind of wood and kind of work that I'm doing.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,020
MA
Same as above. I bought the old Husqvarna PPE Homeowner kit when I bought my saw. I also wear steel-toed shoes. I wear glasses anyway, so I have them on under the mesh face shield.

I finally bought Husqvarna protective gloves at Lowes last year.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Safety Gloves in the Chainsaw Safety Equipment department at Lowes.com

I just bought a chainsaw protective shirt. Haven't even worn it yet. For just $70, I thought, "why not?"

SwedePro Chainsaw Protective Shirt at CSPOutdoors.com

I was in the ER for stitches in my fingers over 20 years ago. It was late summer. I did a dumbass thing and reached up to see if a running attic fan motor was overheating. It was making noise. Who knew that the fan blades extended so far past the motor? I didn't. I do now. :)

An ER doctor saw me, and said I needed stitches. I young doctor came in a few minutes later to do the stitches in two fingers. I asked why the switch of physicians. She said that other was going off his shift, adding that he was head of ER and would do the stitches in a few seconds. She is new, doing her residency, and will take a lot longer than he would. I am less likely to have visible scars.

I asked if she has done a lot. She said that just about all she has been doing is stitching up homeowner's thighs from where they put chainsaws into them cutting wood for the winter.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Same as above. I bought the old Husqvarna PPE Homeowner kit when I bought my saw. I also wear steel-toed shoes. I wear glasses anyway, so I have them on under the mesh face shield.

I finally bought Husqvarna protective gloves at Lowes last year.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Safety Gloves in the Chainsaw Safety Equipment department at Lowes.com

I just bought a chainsaw protective shirt. Haven't even worn it yet. For just $70, I thought, "why not?"

SwedePro Chainsaw Protective Shirt at CSPOutdoors.com

I was in the ER for stitches in my fingers over 20 years ago. It was late summer. I did a dumbass thing and reached up to see if a running attic fan motor was overheating. It was making noise. Who knew that the fan blades extended so far past the motor? I didn't. I do now. :)

An ER doctor saw me, and said I needed stitches. I young doctor came in a few minutes later to do the stitches in two fingers. I asked why the switch of physicians. She said that other was going off his shift, adding that he was head of ER and would do the stitches in a few seconds. She is new, doing her residency, and will take a lot longer than he would. I am less likely to have visible scars.

I asked if she has done a lot. She said that just about all she has been doing is stitching up homeowner's thighs from where they put chainsaws into them cutting wood for the winter.

Thanks for posting the link to the shirt. I may order one soon.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,020
MA
A comment I saw online was that the seams were uncomfortable. I'll wear a t-shirt or long-sleeve t-shirt under it anyway.

The link I posted was the best price I found for it online. Ordered it not that long ago, too, so that still may be the best price.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
447
California redwood coast
Same as above. I bought the old Husqvarna PPE Homeowner kit when I bought my saw. I also wear steel-toed shoes. I wear glasses anyway, so I have them on under the mesh face shield.

I finally bought Husqvarna protective gloves at Lowes last year.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Safety Gloves in the Chainsaw Safety Equipment department at Lowes.com

I just bought a chainsaw protective shirt. Haven't even worn it yet. For just $70, I thought, "why not?"

SwedePro Chainsaw Protective Shirt at CSPOutdoors.com

I was in the ER for stitches in my fingers over 20 years ago. It was late summer. I did a dumbass thing and reached up to see if a running attic fan motor was overheating. It was making noise. Who knew that the fan blades extended so far past the motor? I didn't. I do now. :)

An ER doctor saw me, and said I needed stitches. I young doctor came in a few minutes later to do the stitches in two fingers. I asked why the switch of physicians. She said that other was going off his shift, adding that he was head of ER and would do the stitches in a few seconds. She is new, doing her residency, and will take a lot longer than he would. I am less likely to have visible scars.

I asked if she has done a lot. She said that just about all she has been doing is stitching up homeowner's thighs from where they put chainsaws into them cutting wood for the winter.
Are the gloves anything more special than leather gloves?
Does one glove have anything especially protective like kevlar chain jamming fibers?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Are the gloves anything more special than leather gloves?
Does one glove have anything especially protective like kevlar chain jamming fibers?
I have seen cut resistant anti-vibe gloves before, I meant to order a pair on Amazon but I forgot. Now I'll add them to the cart.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,020
MA
Protective pad on back of one glove.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,720
Northern Maine
Chaps, typical forestry helmet, steel toe boots, saw gloves.
I have a vest with fibers but it’s never been worn. I also have a pair of safety loggers boots but they are also never been worn.
 

PaulBunyun

New Member
Oct 15, 2019
32
Michigan
Same as above. I bought the old Husqvarna PPE Homeowner kit when I bought my saw. I also wear steel-toed shoes. I wear glasses anyway, so I have them on under the mesh face shield.

I finally bought Husqvarna protective gloves at Lowes last year.

Husqvarna Chainsaw Safety Gloves in the Chainsaw Safety Equipment department at Lowes.com

I just bought a chainsaw protective shirt. Haven't even worn it yet. For just $70, I thought, "why not?"

SwedePro Chainsaw Protective Shirt at CSPOutdoors.com

I was in the ER for stitches in my fingers over 20 years ago. It was late summer. I did a dumbass thing and reached up to see if a running attic fan motor was overheating. It was making noise. Who knew that the fan blades extended so far past the motor? I didn't. I do now. :)

An ER doctor saw me, and said I needed stitches. I young doctor came in a few minutes later to do the stitches in two fingers. I asked why the switch of physicians. She said that other was going off his shift, adding that he was head of ER and would do the stitches in a few seconds. She is new, doing her residency, and will take a lot longer than he would. I am less likely to have visible scars.

I asked if she has done a lot. She said that just about all she has been doing is stitching up homeowner's thighs from where they put chainsaws into them cutting wood for the winter.

The shirt is very interesting. I was trying to find something similar. However from the description on the site I didnt see anything about material it is that would jam a saw if contact was made.

I should also mention I always bring a first aid kit with me when cutting. It's a small bag that has clotting gauze and I also have a tourniquet inside as well. I highly highly highly recommend anyone cutting bring a tourniquet with them. They can be found on amazon for cheap and it would be a shame to die when a $15 item could of saved your life.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,472
Northern NH
Some accident stats from a single USFS report. The pareto principle is go for the low hanging fruit.

Saw kicked back 156
Saw thrown or pushed against worker 30
Worker fell while using or carrying saw 26
Worker struck hand or other part of body against saw 11
Chain broke or slipped off saw 4
Worker injured while starting saw 3
Worker injured while repairing saw 2
Not known 38
- Total cases 270

The percentage of workers injured by chain saws while limbing was 50.6 percent; while bucking, 27.7 percent; and while felling, 9.5 percent. Most injuries were on the legs and ankles (47.8 percent), arms and wrists (14.3 percent), hands (1 0.7 percent), and fingers (1 1 percent).


My speculation is the legs are in the line of fire far more often than other body parts thus I use chaps. Having been thunked by dead fall several times over the years, the helmet is mandatory for me when felling. I always use ear protection and eye protection as working and visiting factories its a requirement that I brought home. I was taught that both hands are on the saw at all times and I stick to that so not sure if cut resistant gloves are high priority . If I could comfortably wear steel toes I would but since getting some that fit requires major compromises that can cause more issues I live without them and regret it on occasion. I try to stick to the 2 step rule for using my chainsaw brake. If I can pivot on one foot I usually do not hit the brake but if it requires two steps the brakes on or the saw is off. This is real easy to ignore when limbing but I try to stick to it.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I try to remember earplugs, run about 50/50 on that. I wear steel toes all the time anyway, so I guess that counts. I own chainsaw chaps (gift from my wife some years ago). I know I should wear them, but I never have.

I've been chainsawing for more years than I'd care to admit at this point, and all my close calls (other than dropping trees on myself) have been from limbing.

The most dangerous hazard for me has always been getting tired, having pain from bending over, and continuing to limb anyway. That's when I'm at greatly increased risk of taking my toes home in a coffee can.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Risk only increases over time. No better time than the present to start wearing PPE. I wear a long sleeve shirt when I use a chainsaw, might as well have one that will be more resistant to a chainsaw than a regular cotton long sleeve shirt. Hands usually aren't close to a moving chain, but chit happens, might as well have a safer product when you are going to be wearing gloves anyway. Chaps are awesome for keeping saw chips off my pants and thus keep the mess outside. I find the unwillingness to wear PPE baffling when it is not an inconvenience.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Risk only increases over time. No better time than the present to start wearing PPE. I wear a long sleeve shirt when I use a chainsaw, might as well have one that will be more resistant to a chainsaw than a regular cotton long sleeve shirt. Hands usually aren't close to a moving chain, but chit happens, might as well have a safer product when you are going to be wearing gloves anyway. Chaps are awesome for keeping saw chips off my pants and thus keep the mess outside. I find the unwillingness to wear PPE baffling when it is not an inconvenience.

There is definitely a prideful element there. "If I let the chain get that close to my leg, that's what I deserve."

I think it's also what behaviors you have internalized as 'normal'. I grew up around saws and have still never seen somebody (in person, videos excluded) wearing chaps or safety glasses to operate one, so that is probably also a factor.

I probably won't change, but I also won't laugh at anybody who wants to wear a full suit of chainsaw armor.

Any tool that you have will hurt you if you don't respect it appropriately (and while a little fear is healthy, too much is dangerous again).
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,254
Ottawa, ON
^^^^ All of the stuff mentioned above plus lots and lots of water if you are cutting in the summer!
 

drewmo

Feeling the Heat
Nov 20, 2006
358
Topsham, ME
Couldn't help but to post this photo of a guy I watched cut out a water trough. Maybe those are steel-toed? But that's about it.
 

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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,020
MA
The link I posted to the shirt was the best price I found when I purchased it. To see more descriptive listings and the protective material, search: Swedepro protective chainsaw shirt.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
Couldn't help but to post this photo of a guy I watched cut out a water trough. Maybe those are steel-toed? But that's about it.
I think that is also a 390 or 395xp, a huge saw.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,254
Ottawa, ON
I believe @begreen posted a good one. A guy in flipflops shorts and maybe tshirt limbing. That was some time ago
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,476
Northern Canada
Just watch some vids of lumber being cut in asian or south american countries.
Bare foot ripping logs with a Stihl090 that they carry on their mopeds along with their cutting partner and his 090 too.No helmets,or other riding gear either.
They might wad up some old cloth and stick it in their ears,but the PPE ends there.
It's a wonder they survive a week :rolleyes: