Chainsaw Maintenance

8 Most Common Chainsaw Injuries – Tips & Safety Stats

Chainsaw injuries pose a significant risk to both professional chainsaw users and amateur gardeners. These versatile tools, while essential for cutting and trimming, can cause severe injuries, such as lacerations, broken bones, and in severe instances, amputations.

Chainsaw safety should never be compromised. Neglecting maintenance, not using proper protective gear or a single lapse of attention can transform routine tasks into serious accidents.

For example, someone is pruning a tree in his backyard. One misstep or distraction could lead to a major injury. Despite the availability of safety guidelines and educational resources, chainsaw-related injuries continue to occur at an alarming rate.

How many chainsaw deaths per year?

Chainsaw deaths per year: According to recent data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 250 fatalities occur each year due to chainsaw-related incidents.

These unfortunate incidents often stem from chainsaw kickbacks during operations. It’s essential to bear in mind, though, that this figure represents a relatively small proportion when considering over 3 million new chainsaws hit the market every year.

Related: Are Chainsaws Dangerous?

This discussion aims to jump into the most common chainsaw injuries, their causes, and prevention strategies. So, understanding these common injuries is a crucial step in reducing their occurrence and promoting the safer use of chainsaws.

most common chainsaw injuries and how to avoid them

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the subject – the most common chainsaw accidents. Or where do most chainsaw injuries occur? Let’s find out;

Chainsaw Kickback


Hands down, the most common chainsaw injury is due to something known as a kickback. Just imagine – you’re out there, feeling like a bona fide lumberjack when all of a sudden your chainsaw hits a solid knot in the tree. In a blink, the saw is thrown back towards you. That, my friend, is kickback.

I once knew a guy, Earl. Earl was a chainsaw operator in my street, having been doing it for years. One day, he hit a particularly stubborn knot, and – wham! – the chainsaw kicked back. Luckily, Earl walked away with just a few stitches on his arm, but it could’ve been much worse.

To avoid kickbacks, never use the tip of the chainsaw to cut, and always maintain a firm grip with both hands.

Pull-In and Pushback Injuries


Other common chainsaw injuries are pull-in and pushback. You know the drill – one minute you’re cutting through timber like butter, the next your chainsaw gets yanked forward or pushed back with force.

Keep a firm stance and be aware of the chainsaw’s movement at all times. Prepare for unexpected shifts.

Cuts and Lacerations

And then we’ve got your run-of-the-mill cuts and lacerations. They might not sound as dramatic as kickbacks and pull-ins, but they’re common and can be severe.

My neighbor, Jim, learned this the hard way when he was clearing a particularly stubborn tree stump. One misstep and the chainsaw skidded across his leg. Luckily, he was wearing thick jeans and only suffered a minor injury, but it could have been much worse.

Note: It’s necessary to wear protective gear, including chaps, gloves, and sturdy boots to safeguard against accidental slips.

Strains and Sprains

Don’t forget about the less obvious injuries like strains and sprains. Operating a chainsaw is physically demanding. If you’re not careful, you could end up hurting yourself without the chainsaw ever touching you.

Tip: Rest and rotate tasks. You’re a human, not a machine.

Legs and Knees

Most chainsaw injuries occur on the legs and knees. Joe, a logger, has cut enough trees to call it a day. He decides to trim one last stubborn branch but loses his grip on the chainsaw.

It slips and swoosh! down to his leg. Pain sears through him. He’s lucky, though; he’s wearing protective gear. He’s hurt, but he’ll heal.

Hands, Fingers and Arms 


Next on the list are hands and fingers. These injuries often happen during kickback – when the chainsaw unexpectedly flies back toward the operator. Sally, an enthusiastic DIYer.

Read more: Can a Chainsaw Cut Through a Person

She’s cutting firewood for the first time. She’s having fun until the chainsaw kickbacks. In a split second, her hand is injured. It’s a tough lesson learned: chainsaws demand respect and attention.

Arms usually get injured during a chainsaw kickback or when a chainsaw jumps during an operation. Think about Fred, a tree service veteran. One day, while climbing a downed tree, his chainsaw jumps. Despite his experience, he can’t react in time, and his arm takes the hit.

Chainsaw Leg Injury/Feet


Feet injuries might seem unlikely, but they can occur if a chainsaw slips or falls. Emma, a homeowner cutting down a diseased tree in her yard. She’s almost done when the chainsaw slips out of her hands and drops onto her foot. 

Thankfully, her boots protect her from a severe injury, but it’s a reminder that anything can happen.

Read more: Can a Chainsaw Kill You? 

Note: Using a chainsaw requires your full attention. It’s not a time to be daydreaming or multitasking.

But like all great tools, a chainsaw needs to be treated with respect. So, let’s dive into avoiding chainsaw injuries.


How to Prevent Chainsaw Injuries? [Explained]


Proper Attire Is a Must

Before you fire up that beast, consider what you’re wearing. Shorts and flip-flops? Nope, not on my watch! We need sturdy clothing here, folks! Heavy-duty pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves can protect you from flying debris.

Invest in Protective Gear

Chainsaw chaps or pants are a must-have, my friends. Made from cut-resistant material, they can protect your legs like nothing else. Gloves? Absolutely! They provide grip, reducing the chances of a slip. Your hands will thank you.

Protect Your Peepers and Ears

Safety glasses or goggles can shield your eyes from flying wood chips or dust. And let’s not forget ear protection. Chainsaws are loud, real loud. Protect your hearing with earmuffs or plugs.

Sturdy Boots and Hard Hats

A hard hat can protect you from falling branches. And let’s talk footwear, folks. Sturdy, steel-toed boots can save your toes from an accidental chainsaw drop.

Inspect Before You Start

Give your chainsaw a once-over before you start. Look at the chain – sharp and correctly tensioned? Check the handles – clean and free from oil or fuel? Is the throttle trigger – working correctly? These checks could make a world of difference.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is your chainsaw’s best friend. Clean it after use. Regularly check and replace worn-out parts. A well-maintained chainsaw is a joy to use and much safer, too.

Rest and Refresh

Tired or under the influence? Please, step away from the chainsaw. Operating a chainsaw requires your full attention. Be rested, hydrated, and alert.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to the chainsaw world, practice with smaller projects first. Get a feel for the machine, understand its kickback.

Always Read the Manual

And lastly, don’t be a hero! Read the manual. Every chainsaw is different. Knowing yours inside and out is crucial.

How To Treat A Chainsaw Wound? proper guide


Life is funny, isn’t it? One minute you’re enjoying a lovely day out in your backyard, revving up your trusty chainsaw to trim some overgrown branches, and the next, you’ve got a gnarly gash that looks like it’s straight out of a horror movie. Fret not, friend.

We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive right into how to manage a chainsaw wound. Keep in mind, this isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice.

Safety First

Remember ol’ Jim from down the street? Yeah, the one who always tried to fix things himself, no matter how dangerous. Don’t be like Jim. Put that chainsaw down immediately and switch it off. The last thing you want is more injury.

Apply Pressure to the Wound

Much like when Cindy spilled her famous cherry pie at last year’s 4th of July party when you’re dealing with a chainsaw wound, things can get pretty messy.

Grab a clean cloth or bandage and apply direct pressure to the wound. This will help slow down the bleeding, which is key to preventing shock.

Call 911

Remember, this ain’t no paper cut we’re dealing with. Chainsaw wounds are serious business. Dial 911, let them know you’re injured and need help. Be as detailed as you can while remaining calm.

Keep Calm and Stay Still

You know when you’re watching the big game, and your team is down by a point with just seconds to go, and you can hardly stand the tension?

Well, this is a little like that, only the stakes are much higher. Stay calm.

Try not to move around too much. You don’t want to increase your heart rate and cause more bleeding.

Step 5: Elevate if Possible

If the wound is on an arm or a leg, try to raise it above the level of your heart, just like when you prop your feet up after a long day at the county fair. This can help reduce the bleeding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do most chainsaw injuries occur?

Most chainsaw injuries happen on the legs and arms, as these body parts are more exposed during cutting activities.

What is the most common injury from a chainsaw?

Cuts and lacerations are the most common injuries from chainsaws, often requiring immediate medical attention.

How many stitches does it take to fit a chainsaw injury?

The number of stitches for a chainsaw injury can vary widely, depending on the injury’s depth and length—some may require only a few, others dozens.

Is getting cut by a chainsaw a nasty wound?

Yes, a chainsaw cut typically causes a nasty wound, often deep and irregular, which can lead to significant blood loss and risk of infection.

How many injuries are caused by heat exposure each year?

Every year, heat exposure causes numerous injuries, including heatstroke and dehydration, with figures fluctuating based on climate conditions and occupational risks.

Final Statement

  • Prioritize Safety: Emphasize the necessity of safety measures to prevent common chainsaw injuries.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Highlight the importance of protective clothing, including chaps, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Maintenance is Critical: Stress regular maintenance and proper chainsaw handling to minimize risks.
  • Injury Statistics: Remind the audience of the sobering statistics — over 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries occur annually.
  • Preventive Measures: Encourage adherence to safety protocols to reduce injury rates.
  • Emergency Readiness: Advice on the importance of knowing how to respond to chainsaw wounds.