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Chainsaw Protective Gear
Chainsaw Protective Gear

Chainsaw Protective Gear

Chainsaws are powerful cutting machines. That’s why it’s crucial to wear the proper protective gear (often referred to as personal protective equipment) to reduce the risk of chainsaw related injuries. 


Tips to Keep in Mind when Choosing Personal Protective Equipment


When choosing personal protective equipment, it’s crucial that it meets the specified safety standards for the region you live in. In the United States, organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) help set standards for chainsaw protective gear such a safety helmets and eyewear. 

Please note, the Oregon Forestry catalog notes when a product meets these safety requirements. Safety standards may vary by country.
Recommended Chainsaw Protective & Safety Clothing & Equipment

Recommended Chainsaw Protective & Safety Clothing & Equipment

1. Head, Eyes, Face, Ears
2. Upper Body
3. Arms & Hands
4. Lower Body & legs
5. Feet
 

Recommended Chainsaw Protective & Safety Clothing & Equipment
Protect Your Head with a Safety Helmet

Protect Your Head with a Safety Helmet

A safety helmet or hardhat is the main type of head protection worn by chain saw users. The purpose of a safety helmet is to protect your head from the impact of falling branches and can help protect the brain against injuries such as concussions.

The original safety helmets were made out of aluminum. While aluminum hard hats are still worn today, the majority of safety helmets are now made out of plastic.

Regardless of the material you choose for your safety helmet, it’s important that it is structurally sound. If it has holes, dents, bad suspension, or is discolored (in the case of plastic safety helmets), it’s time to get a new hat or fix the suspension.

You can test the structure of your plastic safety helmet by compressing it with your hands. If the helmet returns to the original shape after you release it, it is structurally sound. If not, your helmet should be replaced immediately.

Many of today’s helmets are built with additional safety features. Some safety helmets, like the one sold by Oregon, include a face shield. Face shields can help prevent cuts and scrapes from branches, flying wood chips, and sawdust. Other helmets can also include built-in earmuffs for hearing protection.

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Protect Your Head with a Safety Helmet

Prevent Vision Loss with Protective Eyewear

There are several options when it comes to choosing protective eyewear including:

Face shield

Face Shield

Attaches directly onto your safety helmet.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses

When selecting safety glasses, look for glasses with side shields or wraparounds for added protection. Additional features on safety glasses include scratch resistance, such as the Starlite model, or UVA/UVB protection, such as Scorpion-Mag safety glasses. 

Goggles

Goggles

Goggles can offer a lot of eye protection – particularly for those who wear prescription glasses. They easily fit over regularly sized glasses and allow for full vision in all directions.

Coverall eyewear

Coverall Eyewear

These coveralls fit over prescription glasses. The main US safety standard for protective eyewear is ANSI Z87.1+. The majority of Oregon’s protective eyewear products meet this standard.
 

Hearing protection

Hearing protection

There are two common forms of hearing protection used to block chain saw noise – earplugs and earmuffs. Regardless of which form of hearing protection you choose, be sure to look for the noise reduction rating (NRR). For example, Oregon’s protective earmuffs have a NRR of 21DB or 24DB.

Earplugs can be standard issue or come connected with a cord or band. Regardless of the type, earplugs need to be inserted correctly in order to provide the best hearing protection.

To ensure the best fit and greatest protection, follow these steps:
1. Roll the earplug into a small cylinder.
2. Pull your ear up and back to open the ear canal.
3. Push the earplug into your ear canal, holding it there for a few seconds until it fills your ear canal. This will provide the best fit and greatest protection.

Another hearing protection option are earmuffs. Earmuffs will provide you with the most protection from excessive noise. In addition to the NRR, you’ll also want to consider the weight of the earmuffs and how comfortable they are. Most protective earmuffs will have PVC cushions for added comfort.

For additional protection, you can wear both earplugs and earmuffs.

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Hearing protection

Use Chain Saw Chaps to Reduce Chainsaw Related Injuries


Chainsaw chaps are coverings worn over your pants to protect your legs from being cut. If your legs are accidentally struck by the chain saw’s chain and bar, the chaps stop the chain saw by jamming the fly wheel, which means the chain saw won’t cut through to the leg. While you may be bruised, you likely won’t need stitches. You’ll also want to make sure that your chaps meet international safety standards. Oregon’s apron and full-wrap chainsaw chaps conform to ASTM F1897-08 and are UL classified. If your chainsaw chaps have sustained saw damage, they should not be used again and should be replaced.


 

There Are Two Options Available for Chain Saw Chaps

Apron Chaps

Apron Chaps

Apron chaps only protect the front of your upper leg

Full-Wrap Chaps

Full-Wrap Chaps

Full-wrap chaps wrap around the lower leg to protect the rear calf region. To ensure your chaps fit properly, make sure the bottom of your chaps come down to the top of your work boots.

Reduce Foot Injuries with The Right Logging Boots

Reduce Foot Injuries with The Right Logging Boots

Not all logging boots protect against chainsaw cuts. Choose logging boots that have been specifically designed to protect you from chain saw injuries like steel toe logging boots that are cut-through resistant and help prevent impact injuries.

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Reduce Foot Injuries with The Right Logging Boots
Chain Saw Gloves

Chain Saw Gloves

Chainsaw gloves should always be worn while cutting to protect you from cuts and scrapes and to prevent contact with oils and fuels. 

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Chain Saw Gloves

FAQ

How long should chainsaw chaps be?

Precise measurement is an important step in ensuring that you get chaps that are the right size. If chaps are too short, your legs could be exposed. Chaps that are too long, however, are also unsafe since they could cause you to trip.

Chaps should be long enough to cover the tops of your boots. To know how long your chaps should be, measure from your waist (just below the belt where the chaps will sit) to the beginning of your foot. This length will provide full coverage and protection. 


How do I choose chainsaw chaps?

Before choosing chainsaw chaps, check to see that the chainsaw chaps comply with safety standards issued by international certifying bodies and that they have been tested by professionals to ensure the protection from contact with a chainsaw. Chaps are rated by OSHA and ASTM (the American Society for Testing and Materials) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and receive certification from UL (Underwriters Laboratories). In order for chaps to have an OSHA rating, they must be made out of cut-resistant material and provide coverage from the beginning of the thigh to the top of the boot on each leg. ASTM has two standards for chaps: a standard for the performance of chaps (ASTM F1897-14) and a standard for testing chaps (ASTM F1414). Chainsaw chaps with the UL label meet ASTM’s performance and testing standards. 

When evaluating the material of chainsaw chaps, research the number of layers as well as how thick they are. Each chap has a different number of layers – the more layers the better. Oregon’s Apron Chaps and Full-Wrap Chaps are made from eight layers of fabric. When evaluating the thickness of chap layers look for the term “denier,” which denotes how thick chaps are. Pay attention to sizing in order to maximize your protection from injury. The length given for a pair of chaps is the overall length – not the length of the inseam. For more information on how to find the right size, see the question “How long should chainsaw chaps be?” For even more information about chainsaw chaps, read our chainsaw protective gear instructional guide.


How do you wash chainsaw chaps?

In order to protect the material structure, you should always wash your chainsaw chaps by hand and then hang them to dry. 


How do chainsaw chaps work?

Remember, chainsaw chaps are not cut proof. What they do is prevent the moving chain from cutting your leg. The resistant material in the chaps tangle up in the chain, providing a few seconds to move your chainsaw away from you or shut it off completely. You will be protected if you should stumble and accidentally trip while walking.
 

Related Topics

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Cold Weather Cutting

Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaw Safety