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Farmsafe chainsaw training

Ket Bradshaw, New Zealand Tree Grower November 2009.

The Farmsafe training course on chainsaw safety is a comprehensive introduction to using chainsaws. It covers safety, including safety gear and first aid as well as the landowner’s legal obligations under the Health & Safety Act. Under the Act the landowner is deemed the principal, so if you employ or invite someone on to your property it is up to you to make sure they are qualified to do the job they are going to do. Otherwise, if they are injured you are liable.

Earlier this year 11 Wellington Branch trainees recently took part in a Farmsafe two-day course − Chainsaw safety and basic operation.

The course was organised especially for Wellington Branch members by Dave Gratton who hosted the course on his property. Jason Cribbs was the Farmsafe trainer, and all costs of the course were met under a scheme run by Telford Rural Polytechnic. Trainees finished the course with two NZQA Unit Standards.

Correct safe use of the saw was a big part of the course – it was surprising, or perhaps not – to see how many bad habits even the experienced chainsaw users amongst the trainees had picked along the way. Like most bad habits, they are hard to lose, but with chainsaws, the risks are always high.

Out in the forest, trainees learned three basic cuts – up, down and bore cuts – and were able to practise these with a range of different types of saw. We were shown with the up cut how here is a risk of kickback if the nose of the guide bar is used. With the bore cut the bottom quarter of the nose of the guide bar is used to create a bar-width depth cut.

There was also a session on getting to know the different parts of the chainsaw along with basic daily maintenance, sharpening and cleaning.

These are courses where everyone can learn something. A more advanced course is available and is being planned for in the future.

Dave Gratton oversees proceedings
The correct way to start the chainsaw
The downcut
The upcut using the upper part of the chainsaw.
The bore cut

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