The aim of the brochure is to:

  • Draw your attention to the dangers involved when felling trees and cutting firewood
  • Inform you about safety rules and safety measures
  • Encourage you to think about your own capabilities and limitations
  • Motivate you to pursue further training

The authors have deliberately omitted any precise descriptions of working techniques. These are best learnt in practical courses. Every type of tree and every situation is different and requires an individual approach. Only when taught by a qualified instructor will you learn how to assess specific situations correctly and to apply the safest working techniques. The normal working techniques and methods are described in the documentation distributed during courses of this type.

The brochure is not intended as a replacement for a tree-felling course. However, it briefly describes and shows what is of particular importance for your safety and your health when felling wood.


The brochure contains the following chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Preparing for work
  3. Working with a chainsaw
  4. Extracting timber
  5. All about firewood
  6. Miscellaneous

The main sources of accidents

A look at the accident statistics reveals the following main points:

Sources of accidentsCauses of accidents and their consequences
Felling trees:Accidents resulting from tree-felling affect the chainsaw operator, his helpers or third parties present. They often result in invalidity or death.
Using a chainsaw to debranch and crosscut logs:The main causes of accidents are:
  • Failure to recognise tension or compression in branches and logs
  • Wrong positioning of chainsaw operator
  • Incorrect sawing technique
  • Inadequate personal protective equipment
Extracting timber with a winch and a tractor:The main causes of accidents are:
  • Unsuitable and inadequately equipped winches and tractors
  • Presence of other persons in danger zones
  • Poor communication
Splitting logs with a splitting machine:Injuries: Jammed and/or crushed fingers and hands
Cause: Splitting machines that allow the user to reach between the splitting tool and the log
Sawing firewood with circular saws:Injuries: Cut off and/or crushed fingerscircular saws
Cause: Circular saws that allow the user to reach into the area of the saw blade
Woodchipping:Injuries: Limbs cut off, crushed and/or broken
Causes: Woodchipping machines that allow the user to reach into the infeed rollers or blades

You can recognise a professional by his equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory for all chainsaw users. It is decisive that you always wear this equipment when working with a chainsaw. The equipment should consist of:

1Safety helmet 
2Hearing protection 
3Eye and face protection 
4Protective jacket in a highly visible colour 
5Protective nonslip gloves 
6Protective trousers/leggings/chaps 
7Rugged footwear with antislip soles 
8First-aid material