How to Be Safe When You're Using a Chainsaw

July 21, 2017
Photo of a chain saw cutting into a large log. Photo by I Stock.

MANSFIELD, Ohio — When it comes to using a chainsaw, there are things you want to cut, like any of Ohio’s millions of still-standing dead ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer pest, and things you don’t want to cut, like … anything not a tree.

A class offered Aug. 3 in Mansfield will help you keep them straight.

Chainsaw Safety: CSAW Level 1 offers 8 hours of training by experts from the Zanesville-based Ohio Forestry Association. Topics will include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw maintenance, and the reaction forces acting on a chainsaw’s chain and guide bar.

Those reaction forces, if not accounted for, could cause a chainsaw to kick back and injure the person running it.

Learn how to fell a tree, and actually get to do it

The class’s outdoor sessions — hard hat required — will cover how to fell a tree, including preparing a five-step pre-felling plan, the open-face and hinge-and-bore felling methods, and a felling demonstration by an instructor.

At the end of the class, under the guidance of an instructor, you’ll fell a tree yourself. The tree will be provided.

“CSAW” stands for Chainsaw Safety Awareness That Works, a program the forestry association started in 2008.

The forestry association is presenting the class in partnership with the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, part of The Ohio State University.

The stewards program is run by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — and specifically, its Ohio State University Extension outreach arm.

On wooded Mansfield campus

The class is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in 25 Ovalwood Hall, 1760 University Drive, on Ohio State’s regional campus in Mansfield. The campus is mostly wooded.

Registration is $100 for members of the forestry association, $150 for nonmembers and is due by July 31. The cost includes lunch and materials. Details and a link to register online are at

Participants may be eligible for continuing education credits through the International Society of Arboriculture.

For more information, contact or 614-688-3421.



Kurt Knebusch


Kathy Smith