Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever ®

Downeast Lakes Land Trust Hosts Chainsaw Safety Workshop

November 13, 2014

Steve Lawyerson demonstrates how to cut an open face notch

Steve Laweryson demonstrates how to cut an open face notch

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust was pleased to host Steve Laweryson from St. Peter Safety Services in Jackman, ME for a full day workshop on chainsaw safety.  Arborists, foresters and weekend chainsaw warriors all attended to refresh their skills or learn for the first time how to handle and maintain their chainsaws safely while avoiding injury.

Laweryson described the merits of numerous pieces of personal safety equipment and instructed attendees in how to assess their equipment’s serviceability. “If your hard hat has already taken a blow, or is so sun-damaged that it’s brittle, it’s not going to be able to do its job.” explained Laweryson.  After demonstrating how to properly hold a chainsaw to maximize control, Steve directed participants’ attention to safety features found on all chainsaws such as chain catchers, stop switches and throttle locks.

As well as demonstrating how to properly sharpen a chainsaw, Laweryson went into careful detail about avoiding kickback incidents. Following classwork and lunch, attendees braved a bitter November rain by repairing to Billy Brown Field to observe safe chainsawing techniques in action.  “You need to be looking as you approach a tree.  How are you are going to work with hazards you identify? You need to be assessing the lean of the tree, and finding your escape route.” explained Laweryson.  On a downed tree, Laweryson showed attendees how to shave spring poles, and thus minimize the risk of the released pole striking the operator.

The afternoon was wrapped up by Laweryson using the open face notch and bore cut techniques to fell a medium sized birch tree. “I feel a lot less trepidation about what I’m doing now,” said one participant, “I know now what sorts of behavior put me at risk, and I’ll be watching myself much more carefully to avoid things like improper grip and over reaching.”

The DLLT regularly hosts speakers, community forums, work parties, and workshops and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters.  Visit our website to discover what is happening next!