Bad Habits: Part Two...

In part two of this short series looking at common problems that I find when teaching chainsaw usage, we have the classic... forgetting to either pull down the visor, or close the ear defenders (or both). So what's the big deal here? Find out more after the jump...

As you can see from the anonymised image of John Smith from Andover, Hampshire here, it's all too easy to forget to pull down the visor that's supposed to provide protection for your eyes and close the ear defenders - by the way, none of the images in this series have been posed, they're all examples of real learners making common mistakes.

John here (not his real name... and he doesn't live in Andover either) was totally unaware that he was putting both his vision and hearing at risk; but there's more to it than that. The thing that can cause major problems is that once the operator realises their mistake they will naturally release the saw with one hand and correct the PPE. And there's the 'gotcha' - not only have you been operating the chainsaw with improperly worn PPE, but you've also now only got one hand on the chainsaw and the chain brake is off. You've just compounded the problem!

So, given that it's almost natural to forget to pull down the visor, or ear defender(s), at some point what can you do? Simply apply the chain brake, sort out the PPE and then once you've corrected that problem continue to cut the timber.

Just to give some kind of comparison on sound levels, the Stihl MS260 saws are rated at 114dB, but just how loud is this? This is akin to a loud rock concert (115dB) and it's worth noting that sound levels of 125dB are physically painful. U.S. occupational health recommend no more than 15 minutes of exposure at 115dB, so using a saw with no ear defenders for any length of time really isn't clever. I said, "using a saw... never mind".[Source: Galen Carol Audio)

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