With Winter just around the corner, soon we’ll be needing warm fires to cozy up. A lot of us would probably want to keep some logs handy before the snow appears. Whether you’re using a log splitter for the first time or you’ve become a pro by now, your safety should always be the first priority.
Here are a few safety tips everyone using a log splitter should be aware of:
Read the User Manual
You may think this is unnecessary, but before you start using the log splitter you should always read the instructions that come with it.
If you purchase a new machine, it’s important that you are stay updated on how to use it and read all the guidelines and safety instructions that come with it.
Put on Safety Gears
One surefire way to stay safe is to ensure you are wearing protective clothing.
- Put on heavy work gloves when handling logs to avoid contact with any splinters and prevent callouses.
- To keep your legs and feet safe, wear full-length pants made of heavy fabric and heavy shoes or boots that will protect your toes.
- Safety goggles or glasses for your eyes are a must since there might be wood chips and debris flying in every direction as the logs split apart.
- Lastly, if your wood splitter makes a lot of noise, then you definitely need earplugs or proper ear protection.
Keep your workspace clean
- In order to avoid accidents, the workspace should always be free of any clutter or obstructions. The log splitter should be carefully placed in a clean and dry place, and the surface where it is placed should not be wet or slippery.
- It is not safe to have many people around when splitting wood and the only person operating it should maintain a distance of at least 10 feet. Most importantly, children should never be allowed near it to be absolutely safe.
Maintain a safe distance when handling
- The minimum distance you keep from the machine is 10 feet while it’s still running.
- As for other safety measures, you should always keep your hands and arms away from the end of the log and the ram of the log splitter when the machine is still working.
- When handling the log, hold it in the middle when loading the log splitter. Never hold it in the end to prevent serious injuries.
Limit weight handling and heavy lifting
Handling heavy logs all day is not a healthy option for anyone and may lead to serious back pain and even other severe injuries. Therefore, you should try to avoid any sort of heavy lifting as much as possible
There are plenty of log splitters these days that have features that allow you to adjust heights, lift things and are also easy to transport from one place to another. Therefore, instead of moving logs too much, you could move the log splitter instead.
If you absolutely can’t avoid carrying logs then the best suggestion would be to buy a log lifter or a horizontal/vertical log splitter for larger pieces of logs.
Always keep gas-powered wood splitters outdoors
You should never operate any machinery fueled by gas indoors. The fumes released from the gas-powered wood splitters contain a harmful gas called carbon monoxide. The poisonous fumes maybe odorless, but is very harmful if inhaled and may even be deadly.
Never adjust logs while splitting
- Not all logs can be split in the same way, and some will split in a different angle due to the nature of the wood or its natural shape.
- The best thing to do in such situations is to stop the log splitter at every step and adjust the log whenever needed so these don’t become a huge problem later on.
- However, you should never move or adjust logs while the machine is still running. In case you forget to make adjustments beforehand, it is wise to always switch off the machine before moving the log to prevent any damage to the machine or to your hands.
Circumstances to never operate under
- If you work outdoors, it is wise to operate while the sun is still up. Never operate under inadequate lighting or at times when there isn’t enough light.
- Similarly, if you work indoors then you should wait until the mornings or ensure that your workspace is well lit to prevent any accident.
- Also, it is very unsafe to operate your log splitter or any kind of heavy machinery while using decongestants and prescription medications or if you’re under the influence of alcoholic drinks. Doing so will make you lose focus and can lead to accidents.
I’ve been cutting wood since I was 8 years old with my father. I have been using log splitters for 7 years now and have a great deal of experience with them. Now I’ve got my own wood cutting & logging business and want to share my experience with my readers.