Articles for pruning and felling trees

Secure the felling of trees with a chainsaw (or chain saw)

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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S245-Securing the felling of trees with a chainsaw (chain saw)

Chainsaw: the safety measures you need to know

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

  • Crankcase: it encloses the drive and the chain (except the cutting area).
  • Toggle key: to give the throttle. The chain stops as soon as it ceases to be operated (device of the “dead man”).
  • Locking key: it prevents an involuntary actuation of the gases.
  • Stop key: it can be operated with the thumb without letting go of the handle.
  • Handles with vibration dampers: they can be heated.
  • Hand guard: against which the rejected chain comes to rest during a break.
  • Emergency stop caliper: it triggers a rapid braking as soon as it comes into contact with the hand holding the handle, when the chainsaw is thrown upwards.
  • Chain with chip thickness limiters.
  • Waterproof tank cap.

Chainsaw maintenance

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)

  • Safety helmet: with a narrow visor (so as not to obstruct the view), with hearing protection and face protection (against splashes of wood particles).
  • Anti-cut safety pants specific to the type of chain saw used.
  • Anti-cut lumberjack gloves, filled in cold periods.
  • Non-slip safety shoes, steel shell (SB), anti-perforation (P), waterproof (WR), thermal insulation (HI/CI). Standard NF EN 20345.
  • Complete fall arrest harness and connection device (working rope with self-locking system) for felling work on steep slopes.

To be avoided: floating clothes (unbuttoned jacket, neck warmer, etc.).

Safety perimeters around the slaughter areas

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.

Safety rules for felling trees

Before slaughter

  • The client or the employer records on a site sheet the specific safety measures that he communicates to the intervening companies.
  • Ensure favorable weather conditions and good light: do not start felling work if these two conditions are not met (strong wind, darkness, thick fog. ).
  • Clear the area around the tree to be cut down and the setback area that may be needed.
  • Make sure, beforehand, that no one is in the security perimeter; failing that, send back the people located in this area.
  • Felling in a public domain: set up temporary signage adapted to the type of construction site (regulatory obligation) and wear a class 2 retroreflective vest.

During the slaughter

  • Be in stable balance: spread your feet well apart in both directions, bend your knees to lower the center of gravity of the body, always hold the saw with both hands.
  • Limit the rebound of the saw or its effects: hold the front handle, always placing the thumb under it, avoid using the end of the chain guide.
  • Start the chain saw: activate the starter once the saw is on the ground and firmly held with the foot (low capacity saws are held by hand).
  • Make the steering notch correctly: depth equal to a quarter of the diameter of the shaft, the two saw lines joining as exactly as possible.
  • Execute the felling stroke slightly higher than the bottom of the notch, to prevent the tree from cracking during its fall.
  • Provide a hinge several centimeters thick between the steering notch and the felling line, so as to maintain the orientation of the fall.

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)

  • Put him down immediately.
  • Never cut down the tree in which another tree is fouled, or cut down other trees on an already fouled tree, or work under a fouled tree.

Safety rules for pruning in the environment of overhead power lines

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 :

  1. The vegetation overhangs the conductors; in this case, the power off by consignment is necessary.
  2. The vegetation is overlooked by the conductors; the work can be carried out by keeping the line under tension but respecting the safety distances (from 2 to 5 meters depending on the tension of the line).
  3. The vegetation is located laterally relative to the conductors; the work can be carried out by maintaining the voltage and subject to respecting the safety distances and the implementation of complementary measures.

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

Organization of relief

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.

Regulations applicable to forestry and forestry work

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).

Written by webseopl2022 on .


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