Chainsaws are potentially dangerous machines which can cause fatal or major injuries if not used correctly. Home gardeners and other occasional users may not be fully aware of the hazards.
Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive show that most fatal and major injuries involve chainsaw operators taking shortcuts and not following good practice guidance. Usually the reason is to save time.
People such as foresters and landscape gardeners, who use chainsaws as part of their work, are required by law to undergo adequate training relevant to the work they undertake and to wear appropriate chainsaw protective clothing.
The same procedures and precautions taken by professionals would help keep non-professional users safe. Simply reading the operating instructions for using your chainsaw is a sensible first step.
More information is available from the HSE website, including a handy downloadable PDF leaflet. The Arboricultural Association also has helpful advice about tree management and competent tree surgeons and advisors.