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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chain saw accidents increase

Spring-like weather is here, and homeowners who remember how many leaves they had to rake and push into disposal bags are out trying to cut down a few trees in their yards. And with major natural disasters occurring, there are untrained people out with chain saws trying to clear away downed trees and debris.

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This means accidents from chain saws will increase. When using a chain saw, always have two or three people working with you to monitor the situation. Never work for more than 45 minutes per job so as not to become fatigued and careless. Have a phone, emergency kit, and transportation available.

Recently, an accident occurred in Marietta, Ga. The person was cutting trees in the front yard. Not feeling the cut, the victim didn't realize his leg was severed until he noticed his pants were sheared in two places.

The accident required the victim undergo eight stitches in the emergency room, antibiotics, a tetanus shot, and pain medication. Fortunately, this was a clean cut, for many accidents result in gnarled skin, muscle tears, and cut limbs.

Dr. Charles Moore, the emergency room doctor at Kennestone Hospital, said, "This one was not as bad as some we've seen." Dr. Moore, who uses a chain saw on his own farm, suggests that chain saw chaps be worn to lessen risk of leg injuries. He said he has seen some chain saw wounds require up to 140 stitches.

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Cutting down trees should be left to experts who sometimes do not wear proper attire.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that "approximately 36,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from using chain saws" each year.

Anyone operating a chain saw should wear the following protective clothing:
hard hat, cut-resistant legwear (such as chain saw chaps) that extend from the waist to the top of the foot, safety glasses, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, and boots which cover the ankle.

According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, more than 36% of chain saw accidents involved injuries to legs and knees.

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©2011 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

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