2 Preparing to operate chainsaw Check over chainsaw for faults.Ensure adequate fuel/oil for the task.Check chain tension (adjust as required).Check sharpness of cutters (sharpen using correct sized round file).Check rakers are at correct depth (file with correct sized flat file).Correct PPE? Helmet/ear defenders/visor and eye protection/chainsaw trousers/chainsaw boots/chainsaw gloves/non-snag clothing/long hair tied back.Site hazards – Risk AssessmentEscape routes.Plan of work.
3 Pre-start checks on a chainsaw Correct PPE.Check saw for faults (loose bolts/screws etc.).Safety features.Chain/guide bar.Fuel/oil.
4 Daily maintenance Chain tension. Chain sharpness. Depth gauges. Guide bar groove/oil holes/burrs.Tightness of nuts/bolts/screws.Operation of chain brake.Air filter.Spark plug.Recoil starter spring.Correct fuel mixture (50:1).Clean debris from around fins, clutch etc.Exhaust.
5 Cold Start Techniques Place saw on firm, level ground. Grip front handle firmly, with foot on rear hand guard.Turn ignition switch on.Engage choke lever.Grip starter cord and pull sharply.Once saw ‘coughs’, push in choke lever.Pull starter cord to fire up saw.Rev saw and check operation of chain brake.Check saw oiling correctly.Check chain does not ‘creep’ when idling – adjust chain tension or carburettor settings so chain is stationary.
6 Warm Start TechniquesOnce saw is ‘warm’, re-start by gripping saw between knees, or place on ground and start as with cold start technique, but without choke.Do not use ‘yo-yo’ technique as unsafe.
7 Re-fuellingRe-fuel at location determined during site safety briefing (within designated work area, but clear from ‘drop zone’ etc.).Clean debris/sawdust from around fuel caps before un-doing and removing.Correctly mixed fuel should be stored in a labelled 5 litre plastic fuel container, with a non-spill pouring spout.It is recommended to use a ‘spill tray’, to prevent contamination/pollution of the site.Re-fuel chainsaw and re-fit fuel cap securely.Top-up oil reservoir with appropriate chain oil and re-fit cap securely.Check chainsaw for loose bolts, chain tension, chain sharpness etc.
10 Safety Features of a Chainsaw Clearly marked on/off switch.Chain catcher.Chain Brake/Front Hand Guard.Chain Breakage Guard (chain-catcher).Rear hand guard.Exhaust pointing away from operator.Safety Labels.Anti-vibration rubbers.Safety Throttle.Guide bar cover (sheath) for transportation.Chain/bar combinations to reduce kickback.
12 Definition of termsSnedding: removal of lateral branches from a conifer tree, using the smooth, flowing technique as used in NPTC assessment.De-limbing: removal of lateral branches from a hardwood tree during breaking down of the crown (tension/compression reducing cuts etc.)
13 Tools to assist felling and cross-cutting operations Plastic wedgesHi-lift aluminium wedgesSteel wedgesFelling/turning barTimber tongsPull ropesHand winches
14 Hazards associated with tree felling operations Falling debris (deadwood, hanging branches, hung-up trees).Splitting stems (Barber’s Chair).Trunk springing back when top hits ground.Trunk rolling sideways (stand on upper side when cross-cutting).Branches under tension/compression (spring back or trapping saw).Tripping over debris (engage chain brake when moving around).Kickback when operating chainsaw.Flying debris getting in eyes (sawdust etc.)