First Aid for chainsaw workers and foresters

First Aid for chainsaw workers and foresters.

First Aid for chainsaw workers and foresters. Chainsaws are potentially dangerous and can cause fatal or major injuries if not used correctly. The vast majority of chainsaw users work responsibly and with care, but accidents do happen. It has been a long day and you’re tired, if the weather is wet and cold slips are more likely, the job needs to be finished today so cutting corners becomes very tempting.

+F first aid for chainsaw workersBetween 2002 and 2011 there were 19 fatalities in forestry (HSE Forestry Statistics), 5 of these were directly caused by contact with a chainsaw. These do not include the numbers of other types of non fatal injuries that occur during felling, pruning and other related work.

Work done by HSE’s investigations shows that most fatal and major injuries are caused because chainsaw operators took shortcuts and the reason for this was to save time. The HSE has produced case studies of some of these incidents.

To prevent injury chainsaw operators must have received adequate training and are required to wear appropriate chainsaw protective clothing. They are also required to carry a personal first aid kit, which should contain at least a large wound dressing and a pair of plastic gloves. Plus have a larger worksite first aid kit at a central location. This is often kept in a vehicle.

What you need to do if some has a major blood loss from a chain saw wound –

If the worse should happen there some important quick steps to take to stop the bleeding quickly.

  • Place a large bandage directly over the wound and apply lots of pressure
  • If a large bandage is not available use something absorbent like a fleece jacket or tshirt instead
  • If direct pressure will not stop the bleeding, and it is in a limb, you can try using an improvised tourniquet by wrapping a belt tightly around the limb to slow down the blood flow.

You can learn more about tourniquets and clotting bandages from our blog – Dealing with major blood loss haemostatic agents tourniquets.


You can learn these techniques on first aid course. First Aid Training Co-operative can deliver EFAW+F or FAW+F courses for you at your chosen venue or if you are a smaller operator you can send staff on one of our public EFAW+F courses.

+F is a generic term mean ‘+ Forestry operations’. These courses are also relevant to many outdoor workers employed in the agriculture or horticulture sectors, landscaping and grounds maintenance, gillies and stalkers, plus fencing and machinery contractors.

Our First Aid +F courses build on the skills from Emergency First Aid at Work or First Aid at Work first aid training to provide scenario based, practical first aid skills and knowledge. These courses are some of the best in the industry and include dealing with catastrophic bleeding, crushing injury, Lyme disease, hypothermia and Emergency Action Planning. These courses have been developed to comply with Forestry Commission +F as per the “First Aid at Work – Forestry Commission Policy” and fit with FISA best practice.


Digital outdoor first aid manualFirst Aid Training Co-operative has also developed a digital first aid manual, which can be downloaded to your phone or tablet so it is available to you where ever you are. This is a specialist first aid manual for those working in outdoor remote environments and is included as part of any of our first aid courses.

If you operate in remote locations this means your first aid manual is always in your pocket.