Causes of chainsaw accidents and how to prevent

Causes of chainsaw accidents and how to prevent

In the United States alone, over 30,000 gas and electric chainsaw injuries are reported every year. The cause of most of the injuries is carelessness while others are caused by poor product design and operating procedures that are poor.

Statistical overview

  • Chainsaw accidents in the United States over 25% are because of kickback.
  • In 2012 only, over 31000 chainsaw injuries were treated in emergency rooms within hospitals.
  • The reported injuries most of them needed 110 stitches according to NEISS report.
  • Every year, more than 350 dollars are spent to cover up chainsaw injuries medical expenses.
  • Wearing chainsaw chaps and covering your hands reduces chainsaw injuries by 75%.
  • Most of the chainsaw accidents 40% affect legs and 35% are injured on left wrist.

Key causes chainsaw accidents.


Chainsaw kickback can occur in two circumstances. One is when you are moving a chain at the tip or when the nose of the guide bar strikes an object.

Another scenario is when the saw chain is pinched inside a cut. These two types of situations cause the guide bar to move upwards or backwards making the user to lose control over the chain.

Some of the factors that increase the chainsaw kickback risk are the following:-

  • Poor saw maintenance.
  • Chain that is dull.
  • Loose chain tension.
  • Chain parts that are not installed correctly.
  • Rivets that are loose.
  • Cracked or bent saw components.
  • Excess chain depth.

It is also important to note that when the guide bar nose increases, kickback risk also increases.


Pull-in mostly occurs when a saw if put in a small space while the chain is in motion. It can also occur when you saw lands on a block of wood or any other solid material.

These two circumstances result in an abrupt chain font pulling and this makes the person operating the saw to lose control.


The cause of pushback is a sudden stop of a saw chain because of a foreign object that is inside the wood. This usually makes the saw to get pushed back towards the direction of the person operating the saw. To avoid pushback, it is important you purchase a chainsaw horseso that you can place your wood on it.

Preventing chainsaw accidents

Below are some of the steps that you can follow in order to avoid chainsaw accidents.

  • Once you purchase the best chainsaw, make sure you read all the operator instructions i.e. saw manual.
  • Do not use chainsaw when tired, not feeling well or under influence of any drug.
  • Remain cautious when cutting tree branches because kickback occurs when the bar nose strikes a log.
  • You should not cut branches of a tree that are above your shoulders.
  • Avoid putting the chainsaw bar tip on a wood when felling or making cross-cut because this will result in a kickback.
  • Check if the chain brake is working before you can use the saw.
  • Always pay a lot of attention to how the nose of the saw is positioned.
  • Choose the right chainsaw that is less vulnerable to kickbacks.
  • To ensure you are safe from kickback use bars with narrow nose for example Oregon guard bars.
  • Make sure you have the right gear on when working with a chainsaw.


Safe chainsaw operations involve a lot other than buying a chainsaw. You need to be very cautious and should have the right gear while working. We cannot completely get rid of saw accidents but we can minimize them.