All Archived Publications

Chainsaw Safety

Jill Webster Ph.D., Utah State University


Chainsaws, like other types of equipment on the farm, provide valuable service, but they are inherently dangerous. The risks of operating chainsaws are obvious. What is less obvious is the fact that there are over a hundred causes of chainsaw injuries and deaths. By far the most common cause of chainsaw accidents is “kickback.” Kickback occurs when the cutting teeth on the chain or the chain itself catches or binds in the cut. Because the chain is moving at very high speeds, if the chain or teeth strike a hard substance, or get pinched in the cut, the whole saw will move with great force.