Oregon OSHA

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At full throttle, the chain speed on a chain saw can reach 45 mph. At that speed, you don’t have much time to react to one of the most common chain saw hazards: kickback. Kickback can occur when the tip of the guide bar touches an object, or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Either of these reactions may cause you to lose control of the saw. Before using a chain saw, always read the owner’s manual and make sure you understand and follow the manual’s safety precautions and warnings.