Chain Saw Kick Back
Chainsaws are an integral part of many logging operations. Chainsaw
related injuries are still reported frequently. Most chainsaw injuries are the
results of saw "kickback." Kickback occurs when the saw bar tip or the top
of the saw bar strikes an object and throws the saw in the direction of the
The most common injuries received while bucking are saw cuts to the
feet and legs. Many injuries are also caused by logs rolling onto
workers' legs and feet. Bucking should be done in as clear an area as
possible to avoid saw tip contact with other logs which may result in
• Use proper personal protective equipment.
• Plan cuts before starting the saw.
• Stand with legs well apart, braced, and with secure footing. Do
not get in an off balance position. Do not stand directly behind
the saw while bucking to avoid injury in the event of kickback.
• Keep legs and feet from under the saw.
• On steep slopes work on the uphill side. If a tree is in a
dangerous position, have a skidder or other proper equipment
move it into a safe position.
• Work from the butt to the top of tree. Never walk on a tree.
• Keep the saw bar tip clear and avoid using the extreme tip of the
saw for bucking, as this may result in a kickback.
• If using a bar chainsaw, start the undercut first.
• Bow chainsaws should have their top and bottom chain guards in
place at all times.
• Keep the chain out of contact with rocks, gravel, and the ground.
• Never leave a log partially cut.
• Make sure the chain is not turning and keep your finger off the
throttle trigger when walking between cuts.
• Maintain a safe operating distance between you and other
fellers, buckers, and logging operations.