Article published by : Michael Foley on Monday, May 07, 2018 - Viewed 237 times

Category : Tools and Equipment

10 Simple Ways to Improve Wood Chipper Safety



Wood chippers are used to turn full logs into smaller, more manageable chips. The machine may be used to help clear a location of debris such as fallen branches and dead tree limbs which frequently happens after adverse weather incidents such as typhoons and storms. You might also use a wood chipper to scrub a yard of overgrown trees and brush.

Implementing a wood chipper can save you a good deal of work and time compared to having an axe or a chainsaw for cutting every piece into smaller pieces. All that power requires a lot of responsibility on the client's function, however. Failure to adhere to a few safety guidelines may cause serious injuries or even death.

Whether you're a newcomer to wood chippers or a veteran user, it is crucial that you educate yourself regarding the proper and safe functioning of a wood chipper. Listed below are a few safety tips.

1. Read the guide

Before anything else, you want to read and understand the operator's manual. The guide should include all you need to know about the machine: technical specifications, operational constraints, machine parts and safety directions.

A wood chipper has a great deal of moving parts so it's extremely important to know each part, its appropriate use and possible risks posed by each element.

2. Wear appropriate clothes

Wear tight-fitting, short-sleeved clothes when working with a wood chipper. Make sure that your shirt and pants are tucked in and remove whatever may get snagged from the machine such as straps, belt, jewellery, ties and other dangling items.

Standard safety equipment when working with a wood chipper includes a hard hat, safety goggles, ear protection, heavy-duty cuff-free work gloves and steel-toed boots.

3. Inspect for use

Make it a point to inspect every part of the wood chipper prior to use. Do not use the machine if you detect any visible signs of damage like fractures, worn hinges and destroyed hood latches.

Make sure all bolts and screws are tight. Assess all safety controls and devices to confirm they are in proper functioning condition.

4. Zone of security

Clear the area before starting the system. Secure the worksite and make sure an area of 10m in every direction is indicated as a restricted zone. Use warning devices such as signs and barricades to imply that this perimeter is restricted. Switch the unit off if you see somebody or something coming.

5. Clear the area

Remove all obstructions and tripping hazards near and around the wood chipper. Keep the region around the machine clean and free for unobstructed and easy motion.

Do not allow the wood chips to pile up, and switch off the machine once the heap has gotten too large so it might be removed and stored somewhere off at the chipper. This may diminish the danger of slipping and falling around the system.

6. Minimum speed first

Whenever starting a wood chipper, run it at the lowest setting first. Listen to the sounds coming from your chipper. If you notice some strange sounds, there may be loose or broken parts inside and you have to turn off the device immediately.

7. Lighten the load

Feeding the wood chipper too broad or enormous pieces of wood can increase the likelihood of accidents occurring, potentially injuring people and damaging the machine.

Simply load wood that falls within the constraints of your wood chipper. If needed, cut the wood to size before feeding it into the chipper.

8. Do not come too close

Do not linger near the wood chipper and step away once the machine accepts the wood you just added. This reduces the likelihood of you getting entangled with the wood you just fed.

9. Situational awareness

While you need concentrate on the task at hand whilst using a wood chipper, you still have to be aware of your environment. Check whether there are animals or people coming or if the weather has turned for the worse.

Instantly switch off the device once the situation has shifted to a point where it might negatively affect safe and proper functioning.

10. Wood only

Verify the wood you feed the chipper does not possess any foreign objects like glass, stone or other items that could shoot out or get caught in the gears.

A wood chipper is working at a heightened speed and power and whatever shoots from it is a projectile danger. Do not feed the wood chipper any non-wood product.

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By: Michael Foley

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