AXE Safety AXES Using axes, and improperly used, they can cause serious injuries. Proper personal protective equipment (shin guards, etc.) shall be worn when using an axe. Always keep the axe sharp. A sharp, well honed axe is safer to use. A dull axe may glance off wood and strike the user. Make sure the handle is clean and free of cracks or splits and the axe head is securely fastened to the handle. Before swinging the axe, check the surrounding area to ensure that overhanging brush, limbs, trees, and other obstructions are clear of the swing path. Position feet firmly so you can swing the axe naturally. Maintain a firm grip on the handle with both hands. Be sure the follow through is not in line with feet or legs. Maintain a safe distance from other workers. Swing the axe like a baseball bat, not like a pendulum. Always swing away from your body and toward the cut. When limbing stand with the tree trunk between you and the limb being cut. Do not use the axe to pull logs. The axe is a cutting tool, with the blade designed to pull out of wood when the handle is pulled. It cannot do the work of a pickaroon. When carrying the axe grasp the handle directly behind the head and carry it with the blade pointing down or away from the body. Never carry the axe with the blade on your shoulder. When the axe is not in use place it in plain view a safe distance from the work area with the axe blade protected by a sheath or metal guard.
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