Now that fall has arrived, it is time to trim your trees and chip their wood to put in your compost pile for next spring's garden. While you may be unsure about operating such a dangerous and powerful machine for the first time, you can safely use a wood chipper as long as you take care to follow some simple guidelines. Follow these tips to ensure your safety while using a wood chipper for the first time:
Outfit Yourself for Safety
Before starting your wood chipping project, make sure that you are properly outfitted in clothing for the job. Since there are many moving parts in a wood chipper, you should not wear any loose-fitting clothing or jewelry when operating one.
To stay safe while feeding branches into the rented wood chipper machine, wear the following:
- leather gloves
- eye protection
- hearing protection
- long-sleeve shirt
- work boots
Since there will be a lot of sawdust in the air, you should wear goggles for eye protection, and you may want to wear a mask to keep from breathing the sawdust into your lungs.
Chock Your Trailer Wheels
When you rent a wood chipper, it will be on a small trailer that allows you to easily bring it to your home using only a trailer hitch. However, the trailer's wheels present a hazard because they can roll when you run the wood chipper and are feeding tree branches into it. To prevent movement of the trailer, make sure that you chock both sides of the wheels with cement blocks or large pieces of split firewood. You should never operate the wood chipper without the wheels securely chocked.
Never Reach Into an Operating Wood Chipper
A common wood chipper injury occurs when their operators reach into the chipper to move or retrieve a stuck branch. If you reach into the chipper, a branch can free itself and easily pull your hand and arm into the chipper's rotating blades. Since getting your hand caught inside of the chopper will result in major injuries, never reach onto an operating machine. Instead, turn off the power, use a lockout system, and then unjam the wood chipper.
Use a Lockout System When Unjamming the Wood Chipper
Finally, when you rent a wood chipper, ensure that it comes with a lockout key. The lockout key is a simple plastic key that fits into a circuit and prevents the machine from being able to start. This is a necessary second layer of safety to protect you from someone accidentally turning on the machine when your hand is near one of the blades.
If your yard needs a tree removed or trimmed, visit Corner Landscaping & Tree Service.