Tailgate Safety


There are many parts to be inspected daily and prior to operation to confirm a chainsaw is safe to operate. IF ANY OF THE 10 SAFETY FEATURES ON A CHAINSAW ARE BROKEN OR INOPERABLE, THE SAW SHALL BE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE.

  1. Chain Brake
  2. Chain Catch
  3. Front Hand Guard
  4. Rear Hand Guard
  5. Throttle Interlock / Release
  6. On / Off Switch
  7. Rotating Parts Guard
  8. Handles (grip with two hands)
  9. Anti-Vibration System
  10. Spark-Arresting Muffler
Chainsaw Inspection

Below are additional items that are critically important to safe chainsaw operation and need to be inspected.

Guide Bar Inspection
As the chain spins around the bar, it wears on the bar and chain. The bar is made of softer metal, so the bar wears quicker than the chain. Usually, one bar rail will wear more than the other causing the chain to cut at an angle. If the chain grove is too shallow, it can cause the chain to come off. It’s difficult to even out the bars along the groove without a grinder, so a new bar is required.

Oil is pumped through the oil holes and the chain carries it around the bar. As the saw is used, debris begins to build up in the chain groove. If the groove is not periodically cleaned out, oil will fail to lubricate the entire bar causing excessive wear and damage.

The chain must be sharp, and a sharp chain does the work. When the chain is dull, you must place pressure on the saw. If the sawdust is fine rather than in larger chips, the chain needs to be sharpened or replaced. Chain tension causes most bar and chain problems. Heat causes the bar and chain to expand when the chainsaw is being used. If the tension is set while the chain is hot, the chain will be too tight when it cools. Tension that is set too tight can damage the bar and chain.

To adjust chain tension:

  • Loosen the bar nuts on the side of the saw.
  • Pull the nose of the bar up and keep the nose up as you adjust the tension.
  • Turn the saw’s adjustment screw until the bottom of the bar barely touches the chain.
  • Tighten the rear bar nut then the front bar nut.
  • With CUT-RESISTANT gloves on, pull the chain along the top of the bar from the engine to the tip. Chain tension should feel snug, but the chain should move freely within the groove.

Click here to download a PDF of this edition of Nelson Tree Service Tailgate Safety

Safety Smart Question
“If any of the _____safety features on a saw are broken or inoperable,
the saw must be taken out of service .”