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FAO offers guidelines for chainsaw safety

FAO’s new publication on working safely with a chainsaw is now available in three languages to help self-employed farmers, farm workers and contractors stay out of harm's way when using the powerful tools.

The guide – available online  in English, Albanian and Serbian – presents good operating techniques and safe handling practices for working with chainsaws. It includes guidance on related safety equipment, chainsaw maintenance, and tree-cutting techniques.

Since the first portable chainsaws became available in the early 20th century, the chainsaw has become essential equipment for the forestry and agriculture sector, enabling workers to quickly fell, limb and cut up trees for industrial purposes and firewood production.

The chainsaw has eased other everyday tasks as well – maintaining parks, gardens and farmlands has become more convenient.

While modern chainsaws are safer than their century-old forebears, a lack of training, experience or knowledge can lead to serious or even fatal injuries.

“Chainsaws have almost entirely replaced simple man-powered saws in forestry,” said FAO forestry officer Norbert Winkler Ráthonyi. “Guidelines on safe handling of the equipment are vital for everyone.”

Working Safely with a Chainsaw includes necessary information for beginner chainsaw operators, too, aiming to help them safely gain experience.

“For anyone using a chainsaw, it is important to be well informed and able to incorporate that knowledge on the job, Winkler Ráthonyi said, “but in the long run, experience is the best protection.”

“Chainsaws have almost entirely replaced simple man-powered
saws in forestry. Guidelines on safe handling of the equipment
are vital for everyone.”

Norbert Winkler-Ráthonyi
FAO forestry officer


The publication is part of a series of information materials that were developed under an FAO project in Kosovo* aiming to increase general knowledge in the field of forestry. The illustrated guide will serve Kosovo, but may also benefit chainsaw operators everywhere.

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

2 July 2018, Budapest, Hungary

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