Article published by : Michael Foley on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - Viewed 569 times

Category : Gardening

9 Wood Chipping Safety Tips



Wood chippers are often utilized to process wood into smaller bits. The machine may be used to clean an area of debris such as fallen branches and dead tree limbs, which can be particularly common after weather events like a storm. You might also use a wood chipper to clear a neglected yard of overgrown brush and trees.

Employing a wood chipper will save you lots of time and effort when compared with independently chopping each piece to size with an axe or a chainsaw. All that raw energy also takes a lot of responsibility on the consumer's part. Failure to prepare and follow security guidelines could end in a grisly injury or even death.

Whether you're new to wood chippers or an experienced operator, then it pays to educate yourself regarding the safe and appropriate operation of a wood chipper. Here are a few safety tips.

1. Read the manual

Before anything else, you should read and understand the operator's manual as well as the wood chipper. The manual must contain all you need to know more about the machine: technical specifications, operational constraints, machine components and security instructions. A wood chipper has lots of moving parts and it is worth it to know the usefulness and possible hazards posed by each component.

2. Wear appropriate clothing

Wear tight-fitting, short-sleeved clothing when operating a wood chipper. Make sure your shirt and trousers are tucked in and remove anything that might get caught up in the machinery like jewellery, belts, straps, ties and other hanging items.

Standard safety gear when operating a wood chipper comprises of a hard hat, safety goggles, ear protection, heavy-duty cuff-free work gloves and steel-toed boots.

3. Inspect before use

Make it a point to inspect every part of the wood chipper. Do not use the machine if you see any cracks or flaws such as worn hinges and cracked hood latches. Make certain all screws and bolts are tight. Test all safety controls and devices to confirm they are in proper working condition.

4. Zone of safety

Clear the field of bystanders (especially children) and animals before starting the system. Establish a safety perimeter of at least 10m in all directions around the wood chipper, and make certain that the perimeter is obviously marked with warning devices such as cones, barricades and signs. Immediately turn off the machine if you see someone approaching.

5. Clear the area

Eliminate all obstructions and tripping hazards near the wood chipper. Keep the area around the machine clean and free for easy and unobstructed movement. Don't permit the wood chips to pile up, and switch off the machine when the heap is becoming too big so that it could be emptied and saved somewhere far from the chipper. This will help lower the danger of falling and slipping around the machine.

6. Lowest speed first

When you are about to begin operation of the wood chipper, run it at the lowest available rate first. Listen to the sound from the chipper. If you hear any unusual sounds, then there could be loose or broken components inside and you've got to immediately turn off the machine.

6. Lighten the load

Feeding the wood chipper excessively big or wide pieces of wood could increase the probability of injury to the employees and harm the machine. Simply load substance that falls within the limits of your wood chipper. If needed, cut the timber to size prior to feeding it into the chipper.

7. Don't come too close

Do not linger near the wood chipper and step away when the machine has caught the timber you just added. This lowers the chances of you getting caught up together with the timber and ground up into little pieces along with it.

8. Situational awareness

While you have to focus on the machine when working a wood chipper, you should also be aware of your surroundings. See whether there are some people and animals approaching, or when the weather has turned for the worse.

Immediately turn off the machine when the conditions have changed to a point that it could affect safe and proper functioning.

9. Wood only

Ensure that the wood you feed in the chipper is free of stones, glass or other items that could shoot out or get caught in the gears. An operating wood chipper is operating at a high power and speed and anything that shoots out of it is a projectile hazard. In the same way, don't nourish the wood chipper any non-wood hard objects.

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By: Michael Foley

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