How to Stay Safe While Using a Wood Chipper Machine


Wood Chipper SafetyVirtually everyone has seen a wood chipper before. Most of us see them in the fall when highway road crews thin out the over brush on roadsides across the United States. Sometimes it’s  a reliable instrument of destruction for revenge seeking gangsters in mobster movies but we’re going to focus on the intended purpose of use and the safe ways to use these resourceful, yet potentially dangerous machines.

Intended Use of Wood Chippers

Chippers are used to dispose of tree trimmings and wood debris. The wood trimmings are fed into an open, powered feed mechanism with sharpened blades on a revolving disc. The feed rollers grab the branches and force them into the blades the rotate from 1,000 to 2,000 revolutions per minute. These machines operate on internal combustion and are extremely powerful. So powerful that the branches are turned into mere shredded wood as they fly out of the discharge chute and into the back of a dump truck.

Safe Work Practices

In order to ensure safe operation of wood chippers, employers and employees should be trained to understand and detect hazards associated with the use of chippers. Provisions for employees who speak or read little or no English should be made, otherwise they’re to avoid using the equipment. Employers are to closely supervise employees who are inexperienced with using chippers, provide regular safety talks and unannounced site visits. Employees who engage in unsafe practices should be corrected immediately with refresher instruction and disciplinary measures.

Top 14 Wood Chipper Safety Tips

  1. One or more employees should be positioned by nearest emergency shut-off device while material is being fed into chipper.
  2. Stand to the side of in-feed chute when feeding material into chipper.
  3. Push material into chute with a long branch or piece of lumber to provide safe distance.
  4. Keep hands and feet out of chute area while machine is operable.
  5. Feed branches into chipper butt-end first, not twigs and leaves end.
  6. Smaller branches should be tossed into nearest trash.
  7. No standing, sitting or climbing in, on or around chipper while it’s running.
  8. Shut down and remove ignition key when chipper is unattended.
  9. Ensure there’s no objects in feeder before starting the chipper.
  10. Use correct locking pins to immobilize the disc cutting wheel when attempting to clear clogged chipper.
  11. Wear hand protection. Gloves without cuffs.
  12. Use appropriate eye and face protection such as safety goggles. Ear plugs are essential to maintaining hearing.
  13. Protective helmet required.
  14. Wear close-fitting clothing to keep branches from catching on clothes and pulling you in.

Inspection and Maintenance of Wood Chippers

Employers should inspect and test the chipper at the beginning of every workshift to ensure parts and safety devices are functioning properly. Look for broken parts, worn hinges, missing parts, etc. Repair of faulty equipment is mandatory, so take notice of these things before starting the next shift.

Where To Rent Wood Chippers and Forestry Trucks in Atlanta, Georgia

Serving the southeastern United States, Sagon Trucks & Equipment can supply you with bucket trucks, digger derricks, forestry trucks, dump trucks and more. Have any other safety question concerns? Feel free to contact us at our company contact page.

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