Chain Saw Safety Policy


The objective of this policy is to reduce the risk of injury or fatality from use of chain saws for felling, cutting or trimming trees or wood by UF employees, students, volunteers and contractors under direct UF.


This policy sets forth the requirements for work with chain saws by University of Florida personnel.


By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice-President for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities. Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environmental.


Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

EH&S has the primary responsibility for the development and administration of the Chain Saw Safety Program.


Departments have the primary responsibility for purchasing work equipment, tools and personal protective equipment that meets current recognized standards.


Supervisors have the primary responsibility for ensuring safe use of chain saws, tree trimming and tree removal operations including:

Conducting hazard assessments and developing site safety plans for particular operations.

Supplying the necessary safety equipment that is maintained and meets current standards.

Ensuring the employees are trained on the policy and procedures included in this section.

Assuring that safe work practices are utilized and prohibit the use of poor of forbidden practices.


Employees have the primary responsibility for following supervisory direction, abiding by the prescribed work practices and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment described in this section and inspecting tool before and after use.



Chain saws are among the most hazardous power tools used.  The unguarded blade, difficult terrain upon which one must often work and stresses applied to the materials to be cut creates high potential hazard.  The use of proper operating procedures, personal protective equipment, safeguards on saws and proper work planning and execution can greatly reduce these potential hazards.  Note: safe use of a chain saw requires an alert operator.  Do not operate a chain saw if feeling fatigued or are taking prescription medication or non-prescription drugs that cause drowsiness or may otherwise impair the ability to function.

Required Saw Components

  • All chains saws used by University of Florida employees or students must be equipped with the following safety components:
  • Chain catcher to prevent a broken or dislodged chain from striking the operator
  • Throttle/Throttle interlock which will stop the chain when pressure on the throttle is released
  • Muffler to reduce engine noise
  • Hand guard minimizes chain saw kickback for saws placed into service before February 9, 1995     OR 
  • Chain brakelever to stop the chain if disengaged,for saws placed into service after February 9, 1995