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Author Topic: Chainsaw mishap (pics)  (Read 6800 times)

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Offline grweldon

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Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« on: August 13, 2012, 02:01:50 pm »
OK, I'm posting this just as a reminder to those who might think that they are careful enough with a chainsaw and think that they don't really need chaps to protect their legs.  I used to think this way.  No longer.  I was not going to post these photos and save myself some embarassment, but I figured that if at least one injury might be prevented by my experience, I can deal with a little embarassment.  Below you will find images of my injury about 10 minutes after it happened and a week after being sewn up.  Thankfully it did not bleed much.  I was on my property, about 30 miles from the nearest Emergency Room.  I live alone so I drove myself in.  I did have a cell phone on hand and was wearing a belt in case I needed to use it as a tourniquet.  Praise God that I didn't need it...  The large gash was about 1/4" deep and about 1/4" wide... about the width of a saw chain...

Funny, I just now noticed the items in the background...  Exotic figured hardwood next to Jack Sobon's book "Timber Framed Construction", curly maple stock to the left of my leg with a strip of thin eastern red cedar laying on top of it.  No... I don't have sawdust fever... really, I don't...

 

I ended up with 10 stitches... here it is a week after treatment...

 

I took the stitches out a day after the last picture, taken 4 days ago.  Looks even better now and I really don't even know I'm injured, except when something brushes against the area...

I was extremely fortunate.  It could have easily been much, much worse!
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Offline jdtuttle

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 02:06:07 pm »
After taking a chainsaw safety class I bought my chaps & wear them.
Also wear hearing, eyes & head protection.
Be safe, Jim
Have a great day

Offline grweldon

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 02:18:03 pm »
Yeah, my chaps are due to arrive today.  $75.  My ER deductable was $100.  I have no idea what my copay will be for the treatment.  To anybody listening, buy the chaps, even if you need to charge them!
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Offline Riggs

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 02:25:48 pm »
Very happy it was not worse. It's amazing how fast and easy it can happen.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 04:39:46 pm »
Glad you are OK.  I agree with wearing the protective gear. 

Can you tell us how it happened.  The chaps may have prevented the significant skin laceration, but what would you do differently with regards to saw position, hand-hold, height of the log, etc., etc, to prevent the injury in the first place?  There may be a safety lesson there too.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 04:45:08 pm »
After using a chainsaw for prolly 20 years, I bought chaps when I met with a young chap who cut all the tendons above his knee with a chainsaw. Surgery was long and laborious as the tendons were not just cut, but shortened by the width of the chain. It ended his wood cutting/logging career.

After wearing the chaps for a year, I had the saw turn back (handle caught on a stub) and the chain at full throttle catch me just above the knee. Saw clutch bound up instantly with kevlar and ruined the chaps. But it didn't ruin my 2 wk elk hunting trip that I was leaving for on the following day - fortunately. 

Now I won't pick up the chainsaw without the chaps on. Didn't relish the pics, but appreciate you posting them.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 04:46:51 pm »
Thanks for the reminder Glen.  And to think that there is an active "Chap" thread in the Ask The Forester board.
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Offline Warbird

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 04:54:51 pm »
Thanks for sharing.  It's good to be reminded now and again.  Glad it wasn't any worse on you.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 09:57:14 pm »
Someone here said a pair of chaps cost at much as a co-pay in an ER. Glad you are OK.
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Offline WildDog

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 04:41:44 am »
Good to see you heeled nicely. :) Thanks for the pics, I for one need reminding how mishaps can happen and pics of injuries certainly do the trick.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 07:43:01 am »
Many many years ago, back in the early eighties, I was cutting firewood for a living. And I had a chain saw that wasn't tuned right and wouldn't idle correctly.
To keep it running once started I'd have to keep pulling the trigger to give it a little gas so it wouldn't stall.
In doing that, of course, the chain would spin.
While walking from on spot to another, with the saw running, and chain spinning from time to time, my left foot got caught on a branch.
I had to lift it up over the branch and when I did I lifted it right into the spinning chain.
I had on long pants and not chaps.

The chain cut the pants but in my pocket was a leather business card case. And it was between me and the saw chain.

I didn't get cut, but it was very close.

I took the saw to the saw shop to get it tuned up right.

When I walked in the saw shop tech saw my pants and said "what the hello is that.....?"
I told him the story above.

He took out a pair of chaps and made me leave with them.

I told him I couldn't afford any chaps, at the time. He told me I couldn't afford the doctor bills either. And that he'd put it on his clothing allowance and I could pay him $5 a week until I paid him off.

I still have those chaps, and I do where them when I'm out in the woods.

I really liked using chaps when felling trees as it was nice to have something soft to kneel on while making the felling cuts.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Buck

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 07:56:29 am »
Jim, I too have had the same experience. In my case my wallet saved my leg. I carry it in my front left pocket. I carried it for several years after that incident as a reminder and told the story with visual aids. There is no substitute for good saw chaps. Weldon, Im glad your injury has allowed you to recover in fairly short time.
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 09:56:40 am »
I shuddered looking at that. :o Am VERY glad it was not a lot worse. Many years ago being left handed I had a bad habit of drop starting a saw with my right hand. While on fast idle the bar and chain swung against my thigh, the only thing that saved my leg from destruction was a bulky key ring in my my pocket.
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Offline Cypressstump

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 10:19:40 am »
U got a hairy Leg...!  Luckily it's still there for such a comment about it.   :D

Glad you suffered such a otherwise 'minor' injury bud. A little deeper and that chain could grabbed the pants more and made for a very bad day.

Stump

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Offline beenthere

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 11:52:17 am »
Here are a couple reminders of where the inadvertent cuts can occur. The first cut was the left leg above the knee cap (right pair). Put an iron-on patch over it and bought a new pair. That new pair ended up with a small cut when the saw chain bounced off the knee cap. Shoe goo'd the cut to hold in the kevlar and bought another new pair. These old pair are for use when someone shows up without any chaps or for splitting firewood where the leg protection helps the wear and tear of the jeans.



 
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 04:02:04 pm »
Very timely reminder, as a lot of guys are heading to the woods to round off next years firewood pile before the weather turns.  I sadly am in the need to get chaps category.  I am going to get them in my possession before i use a power saw again.  I have been "lucky" for all these years of not using chaps, I think it is time I stopped rolling the dice, before my luck runs out.   No need to feel embarrassed, IMO, I am glad you still have full function of your leg, could have easily turned out differently.  Thank you for posting and reminding us all!!
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Offline martyinmi

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2012, 04:44:26 pm »
I'm going to pick up a new oil cap and air filter for my new (to me) Mac 610 next Tuesday. I've never owned a pair of chaps, but because of your pictures, I'm going to pick up a pair of while I'm there. Your misfortune is a real wake up call to me. I've made 38 years without a leg injury while cutting firewood. I'm going to shoot for another 38! I think I'll pick up some eye, head, and ear protection too.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. The first words that come to my mind are "Ouch", and "danG, that smarts"!

Thanks for the posting! My ten year old needs his dad around as much as his dad needs him. For once my method of learning is not going to be "by guess and by gosh". :P Glad you'll be fine.
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Offline muddstopper

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 08:20:16 am »
I shudder at the thoughts of how we used to log when I was growing up. Dad used to wrap his arms around me and help me hold the chainsaw. I'm 55 now, so you can say I have ran a saw most of my life. I feel very lucky I have never been cut with a saw, but My brother and father have both had similar cuts as the one in the pictures. While young, I never thought about safety gear, mostly because we never had any and never used it. I seldom run a saw anymore, except for a little firewood and an occassional blowdown tree on the railroad I work for. Its only been a couple of months ago I had a small, 6in dia tree that was partially blown over across the tracks . Before cutting the tree, I called for one of the members of my crew to come to where I was at. I didnt need his help, I just wanted him there in the case that something did go wrong. He made fun of me when he got to the sight for even asking him to come there. About 2 days later, another worker was sawing a tree, hundreds of miles from where we work, similar situation, but a bigger tree. The tree snapped and pinned the worker. It was several hours before he was found. He lived, but had broken bones and cuts. When this accident was read at our morning safety meeting, I told my worker that had laughed at me, that this incident is exactly why I had called him to come where I was cutting the tree. Not because I needed his help to saw the tree, but because I have seen what a chainsaw can do and know what can happen. I still cut alone at times, cant always have someone around, but if the cut is something I had planned on doing, I pretty much always make sure someone is around just in case I find myself in a position where I need a 911 call.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 05:12:01 pm »
A great reminder with a live example on the need to wear chaps when operating a chain saw. I don't let any cutters work on my logging jobs without them. I wear two chain saw scares that made me a believer years ago.
~Ron

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Chainsaw mishap (pics)
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 01:24:18 am »
Jim, I too have had the same experience. In my case my wallet saved my leg. I carry it in my front left pocket. I carried it for several years after that incident as a reminder and told the story with visual aids.

Sometimes these things really hit you in the wallet. Talk about cutting up your credit cards!
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