Staying Safe During Storm Cleanup

A guide on avoiding catastrophic injuries when using dangerous tools.

The recent storms that we have experienced resulted in many fallen trees and limbs that have called into action the “ weekend warriors.” Unfortunately, chain saws and wood splitters, which are very handy tools to use for such clean ups, can be very dangerous lethal weapons that can cause mutilation and amputation injuries.

Several local hospitals have seen a recent increase in tool related mutilations of extremities. Doctors caution that the improper use of chain saws, log splitters, wood chippers and other potentially dangerous tools have landed numerous individuals in the hospital with amputated fingers, hands, crush accidents and other catastrophic injuries.

There are a great number of tips that experts have given to safeguard you from harm when using these devices, which include:

  1. If you can afford to hire an expert to perform this work, especially if it is outside of your comfort zone or if you have never done it before, please do so;
  2. If you are going to use these potentially dangerous tools be sure to read and follow all instructions, especially safety warnings, regarding their use;
  3. Do not involve children in helping you out as the risk of injury is far too great;
  4. Always wear protective gear including eye protection;
  5. Be hypersensitive to what you are doing, do not place your hands near the machinery, do not rush, after you turn the machine off double check to make sure nothing is still moving or can restart;
  6.  Be very careful in the storage, use and dispensing of gasoline; and
  7.  Above all, use common sense when using these tools that under certain circumstances could result in ultra-hazardous situations.

Although the advice given by experts is basic and obvious, the potentially fatal and oftentimes catastrophic injuries that may result merit stressing this important information, especially at this time.

Save yourself the heartache, pain and the disability that may result from the misuse of these dangerous tools and be ever mindful of the fact that your life, or the life of a loved one, can change in a fraction of a second. Be vigilant and be safe.

Richard P. Hastings is a Connecticut personal injury lawyer at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP, with offices throughout the state. He has been named a New England Super Lawyer and is the author of the books: "The Crash Course on Child Injury Claims"; "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut" and "The Crash Course on Motorcycle Accidents." He has also co-authored the best selling book "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing- What Your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You to Know and Won't Tell You Until It's Too Late!" He can be reached at 1(888)CTLAW-00 or by visiting www.hcwlaw.com.

Lisa Buchman November 29, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Thanks for posting this, Richard—we just bought our first chainsaw after being blocked in at home after Sandy, and these are great reminders.


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