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Below are basic safety guidelines for using a chainsaw on the ground. If you’re using a chainsaw in a tree you should already know these.


Qualifications from the National Proficiency Tests Council

In the UK there are basic qualifications you should complete in order to use a chainsaw safely. These can be completed through the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC). As a bare minimum you should do the CS30 which teaches you the basics on chainsaw maintenance and cutting techniques. This course costs around £195.00 (although prices can vary considerably).

Many people are concerned about attending a course like this – don’t be. Old hands can still learn something and total novices will gain some solid instructions on using and maintaining a chainsaw.

Click here to visit the NPTC website to find out where you can complete a chainsaw course in your area

Click here to visit another good resource – David Vickers’ blog

Video advisory

How to work with chainsaws
– Safety video from Husqvarna

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and what should I be wearing to operate a chainsaw?

You should wear the correct chainsaw trousers, chainsaw boots, a helmet with visor and chainsaw gloves. Experienced users may choose to use different gloves but the rest of the kit is essential.

personal protective equipment

Chainsaw trousers

Chainsaw trousers come in two guises – Type A are for groundwork and have protective material in the front only. Type C have all round protection front and back. There’s nothing to stop you wearing Type C trousers on the ground but they will be hot and uncomfortable in summer. Putting your chainsaw gear on puts you in the correct frame of mind to do chainsaw work.

Bear in mind chainsaw trousers and the rest of the kit are chainsaw resistant and not chainsaw proof. Don’t get complacent just because you’re wearing all the correct gear!

helmet visor ear defenders

chainsaw trousers boots

First aid

Have a suitable first aid kit to hand. First aid knowledge and a working mobile or backup is essential. You should also be working with someone else close by. Check your mobile signal and keep your phone close by.

Have a plan in case of an emergency. Think about what you would do in an emergency, would an ambulance be able to get to you? Accidents do happen and the most important thing is being able to react fast and efficiently.


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