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Use caution when cutting trees, branches during yard cleanup

Cutting trees and trimming branches are part of routine yard maintenance for many homeowners, but these tasks can be dangerous when using chainsaws.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 36,000 people are treated for chainsaw injuries annually, with approximately 250 fatalities. The average injury requires 110 stitches, and medical expenses from chainsaw wounds total over $350 million a year.

“Even if you’ve used a chainsaw a hundred times, don’t get complacent,” cautioned Dana Fisher, VFBF Farm Safety Advisory Committee chair. “Chainsaw accidents happen quickly, and just one moment of inattention can have devastating consequences.”

Safety experts warn that most chainsaw injuries are caused by kickbacks—the rapid, unexpected upward motion of the chainsaw’s guide bar. Kickbacks typically happen when the chainsaw’s top front portion is used for cutting, or if the chain is pinched between the material it’s cutting.

“Beware of the kickback area,” said Da...

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