In construction and public works, any worker who uses a chainsaw must master the techniques of felling and shaping trees, as well as the rules of hygiene and safety. Presentation of the safety devices provided on the machine and the prevention measures on the construction site: personal protective equipment (PPE), safety perimeters, safety rules before and during slaughter.
Date of update: 17 Sept. 2020
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Landscapers, pruners, responsible for maintaining roads and railways, installation or maintenance of high voltage lines. : the use of a chainsaw to carry out felling or pruning work presents risks for the safety of workers on the construction site (risks of projection, cutting, amputation, crushing following a tree fall. ).
The employer has the obligation to ensure that the workers have the necessary skills to carry out these felling works according to the rules of the art (in accordance with the Labor Code, article L4142-1 and 2, and with the Decree on forestry works of December 5, 2016).
The “Chainsaw Permit” – a non-mandatory European certificate obtained after training – is offered by some private actors. Objectives: to master the basic techniques of felling and shaping trees, as well as the rules of hygiene and safety. Several levels according to the needs: ECC 2 (small diameter trees), ECC 3 (large diameter trees), ECC 4 (difficult cutting techniques).
Safety devices on the chainsaw
Check the refills (gasoline and lubricating oil), the tension of the chain (engine stopped) and the sharpening of the chain (to avoid jamming during the work).
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
To be avoided: floating clothes (unbuttoned jacket, neck warmer, etc.).
The fall direction takes into account the planned work plan, the natural inclination of the tree, the wind direction and the environment (terrain accidents, various obstacles such as power lines. ).
The security perimeter is determined, around the tree to be felled, by a distance equal, at least, to 2 times the height of this tree.
Before crossing the security perimeter in which a worker is located, any other worker or authorized person must inform him of his presence and ensure that he has interrupted his work and allowed him to enter it.
If the work requires the simultaneous intervention of more than one person within the security perimeter, specific safety rules are defined: course of work, distribution of tasks, respective position of the operators, mode of communication between them, etc.
During the slaughter
Before the fall
No one should be in the security perimeter, let alone in the fall zone of the tree.
If the tree falls on another tree (fouled tree)
A circular from the Ministry of Labor dated December 12, 2013 sets out the requirements to be respected during pruning work near power lines.
Three cases are to be considered :
Minimum distances between the vegetation and the conductors by keeping the line energized during the work (cases 2 and 3)
Continu : >120 to ≤ 1,500
Additional preventive measures
>1,000 to ≤ 50,000
Continu : >1,500 to ≤ 75,000
Additional preventive measures
>50,000 to ≤ 150,000
Continu : >75,000 to ≤ 225,000
>150,000 to ≤ 250,000
Continu : >225,000 to ≤ 375,000
Continu : >375 000
The responders who use a chain saw have, within their reach, equipment allowing them to stop or limit profuse bleeding. They are instructed in its use.
Workers working on a construction site have received first aid training.
The access roads to the construction site are left free of any clutter.
Mobile phone coverage in the construction site area: in case of absence of network on site, search and identify the nearest point served by mobile telephony.
The employer provides a first aid kit in an identified place on the construction site. This one includes a tick puller.
To find out more, download the Chain saw Felling work prevention sheet.
The employer must ensure that the workers assigned to forestry and forestry sites have the necessary skills to carry out the work according to the rules of the art (article R717-78-7 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code).
In addition, before the start of the work, he must communicate to the workers the site sheet (provided for in Article R. 717-78-1) and all useful information for safety with regard in particular to the organization of work on the site.
In addition, he must give them instructions on how to behave in case of bad weather and unforeseen weather phenomena.
During the work, he must ensure at all times that these instructions are implemented and that the work is carried out in compliance with the rules of the art, in particular with regard to the felling of trees (article R717-78-8 of the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code).
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