University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is presenting chainsaw trainings designed to educate Georgia’s landscape and tree care workers on the safe use of chainsaws.
The trainings will be offered between September and December at locations across the state.
“A chainsaw is the most dangerous implement that you can buy in a store that does not require any training or a license. You don’t even need to read the manual to operate it,” said Ellen Bauske, public service associate with the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture. “(These) trainings are for people working in the tree care and landscape industry. Tree care workers are often dangerously comfortable with chainsaws. The landscape worker usually doesn’t use a chainsaw. Invariably, they’re inexperienced when they have to. These trainings are designed to get rid of bad habits and establish safe practices. ”
The trainings are taught by North American Training Solutions, one of a handful of companies specializing in chainsaw safety training. The classes are approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and funded through their Susan Harwood Training Program. There are four different trainings, each tailored to a different skill set when handling a chainsaw.
“A surprising number of people cut down trees from ladders, which is extremely dangerous because you can’t get away from the tree or branch when it falls. We have a chainsaw and ladder safety training,” Bauske said. “We have chainsaw safety and working in the right-of-way. If you’re felling a tree in an urban area, you are invariably felling them around electrical wires. Electrocution is the No. 2 cause of death among tree care workers.”
Other trainings focus on aerial lift operations and tree felling.
The trainings are free, and lunch will be provided for a small fee. The next training is slated for Aug. 11 in Douglas County. It will focus on technical tree cutting and small tree felling.
Other trainings include one in Chatham County, Sept. 1-2; in Brunswick on Sept. 3; in Troup and Spalding County, Sept. 24; in Fulton County, Sept. 30; in DeKalb County, Oct. 8; in Douglas County, Oct. 13; in Gwinnett County, Nov. 12 and Dec. 9 and Lowndes County (Dec. 10).
“We are working on more trainings, so call your county agent to find out about the trainings near you.,” Bauske said.
To find your local UGA Extension office visit. extension.uga.edu.(Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)