ACC: Safety first with chainsaws
Chainsaw-related injuries are on the rise in South Canterbury.
The latest figures show claims for chainsaw-related injuries in the region cost the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) $10,707 last year.
That figure is a steady increase on the past two years.
In 2010 claims amounted to $6527 and in 2011 $7418.
ACC is now urging people to take extra care as the cleanup from this month's wind storm continues.
The use of chainsaws was a particular area of concern for ACC, community injury prevention specialist Alisa Davies said.
"It's already a busy time for farmers, many of whom are in the midst of lambing and calving.
"The temptation is often ‘I'll just whip the chainsaw out while I'm in the paddock'," she said.
However, it only takes a second for something to go "horribly wrong" if safety procedures are not put in place, she said.
Rules and regulations must be met when using a chainsaw in commercial and industrial settings, but their use at home is not regulated.
ACC encourages anyone using a chainsaw to wear safety chaps, ear muffs and glasses.
"Felling and cutting wind-damaged trees carries extreme risk, yet often when we're doing a quick cleanup of fallen trees in the garden, or on the side of the road, we don't even consider the need for protection."
There were 259 claims for chainsaw-related injuries in the wider Canterbury area last year, which cost $194,478.
There were 1775 chainsaw-related claims throughout the rest of the country, with costs totalling $1.7 million.
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