According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year around 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws. Chainsaws are inherently dangerous tools, though when coupled with defects or malfunctioning, chainsaws are extremely hazardous to tree care workers and consumers.
The majority of the injuries involve the hands and lower extremities with about than 10 percent involving injuries to the head and neck regions. The most common hazards associated with chainsaws are injuries caused by tool kickback, pushback, and pull-in.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Catastrophic Injury and Product Liability lawyer accepting workplace accidents and related defective chainsaw injuries nationwide.
Recent Chainsaw Recalls
DeWALT Recalled 18-inch Corded Chain Saws Due to Injury Hazard in
January 2022. DewaltDWCS600, 18-inch corded chain saws can remain running when the switch is on the off position or turn on when plugged in, posing an injury hazard to the user.
- In May 2018, more than a million chainsaws sold at Harbor Freight Tools stores nationwide were recalled because they allegedly continued to run after being shut off, posing a serious injury hazard. The company received at least 15 reports of chainsaws that still operated after the user switched them off, resulting in three laceration injuries. The recall involves two models of 14-inch chainsaws, sold under the following brand names: The Portland, One Stop Garden, and Chicago Electric.
- Around 48,000 Hong Kong Sun Cordless electric chainsaws were recalled in February 2018 because the chain brake guard can fail and allow the chainsaw to continue operating, posing an injury hazard to users.
- Nearly 100,000 STIHL gas-powered chain saws were recalled in February 2017 because the fuel line can leak, posing fire and burn hazards.
Chainsaw Accidents & Injuries
Certain safeguards can protect against injury while operating a chain saw, whether it is deemed defective or functions as intended. Safety tips for Ohio workers and consumers include:
- Operate, adjust, and maintain chainsaws according to manufacturer’s instructions
- Properly sharpen chain saw teeth
- Properly lubricate the blade with bar and chain oil.
- Check and adjust the blade tension on the chain to keep it from detaching
- Choose the proper size of chain saw to match the job
- Include safety features such as a chain brake, front and rear hand guards, stop switch, chain catcher and a spark arrester.
- Wear protective equipment, including hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves, cut-resistant legwear, and boots which cover the ankle.
- Check around cutting area for possible tripping hazards
- Avoid contact with power lines
- Always cut at waist level or below to ensure that you maintain secure saw control
- Keep bystanders or coworkers at least 150 feet away from anyone felling a tree and 30 feet from anyone operating a chain saw
- If injury occurs, apply direct pressure over site of heavy bleeding