Log splitters are extremely useful as they can take all the hassle and effort out of cutting up logs. It is an essential piece of equipment that is used to chop firewood or cut into sections. Although log splitters carry many advantages and are easy to work with, they need to be handled carefully or they can be potentially dangerous.
Safety should be a priority when operating a log splitter. If handled carelessly or casually, the advantageous tool can potentially become a safety hazard. After all, it is not uncommon to hear about those horrific accidents or fatal injuries.
The number of injuries due to this piece of equipment has only risen in recent years. It is observed that most of those accidents take place because of lack of knowledge or incomplete training on how to handle Hydraulic Log Splitters. Thus, before using the tool, it is essential to know how to use the log splitter correctly, safely, and effectively.
Here are some essential tips for those who use Log Splitters：
Log Splitter Safety: The Ultimate Guide
1. Wear the right protective equipment
The first and the foremost guideline to follow when working with a log splitter is to wear protective gear and clothing. Protective goggles will keep your eyes safe from serious injuries due to flying wood chips. Do not wear loose clothes or jewellery that can get caught in the machine. Keep your feet protected from falling logs by wearing boots with steel toecaps. It is a must to wear the gloves to safeguard your hands.
2. Annual service and maintenance
The gas engines of the log splitter must be serviced at least annually, and one should not miss it. Before the splitting season starts, it is essential to check if the fuel is clean and the spark plugs are in good working condition. Keep in mind that engine models need more maintenance as compared to the electric models. Those who are into the log splitting business year-round, must service the gas engines twice.
3. Keep the work area free of any clutter
Clutter always creates a problem in work area. The work area should be clear of any debris and left-over logs. There is a likelihood of getting into a severe accident if one trips over those logs or flying debris. So, maintain a clear work area to enhance the safety aspect.
4. Work alone and be alert
When operating the machinery, make sure that there is no other person and especially children should be kept away from the working area. Only one person should be in control for better and safe operations. Having too many people can only add to the risks.
5. Load properly cut logs
Loading logs of irregular or wrong shapes would result in more splitters flying about. And obviously, this can be very dangerous for the operator as well as those nearby. So, use only those logs that are cut correctly and in square shape.
6. Never allow children near the work area
Don’t let children be near or run the splitter and as kids are naturally curious, they would like to come and see the machinery. However, make it a strict rule for them to never go in the work area and explain to them it is a serious job and not a toy. They should not be allowed near the splitter, even under supervision.
7. Lock the wheels
Keep the wheels safe and secure with blocks as the forces generated with commercial log splitters can be immense. Loosened wheels can cause the machine to roll or move. Thus, one must ensure that wheels are always safe and secure before you start working.
8. A solid and firm base
Always position the log splitter on flat and even ground so that it remains firm and grounded. Working with the equipment on an uneven ground means that you raise the risk of the machine tipping over. And this can be dangerous for the person working with it.
9. Do not adjust logs with your foot
You are only inviting a disaster or the possibility of serious injury if you are in the habit of adjusting the log with the help of your foot, knee, or leg. Adjust the logs before you start the machine.
10. A locked beam
It is very essential to check if the beam is locked securely, especially when you shift between vertical and horizontal operations. You should always stop the machine if there is a need to make any adjustment or shift. Always double-check if the beam is locked in place correctly.
11. Go through the Manual
As there are different log splitters, it is essential to read and understand the instructions and guidelines given in the manual. Even if you have worked with different splitters, it is a must to read the Manual of that particulate log splitter you intend to use.
12. Inspect the hydraulic pipes
Before you start the machine, always check the hydraulic pipes as they can wear out with time and usage. Check to see if there are no leaks or any other faults with the hydraulic pipes.
13. Remove fuel
In case you are not going to use the log splitter for a while, it is always a good idea to remove the fuel from the tank. This is because the gasoline can turn into a sticky mess if it sits in the tank for more than 30 days and can even damage the engine.
14. Top up the oil
Most splitters carry an auto-off feature in case of low oil. However, as the operator, it is your duty to see if the oil is topped up, every time. And make it a habit so that you will never forget.
15. Keep the wedge sharp
If you want to get the best results, always sharpen the wedge so as to get clean and evenly cut wedges. The wedge tends to get blunt or may even bend when working on tough or knotted woods.
16. Do not overreach
When working with a log splitter, avoid overreach, or use the splitter as a step. If you are not careful about those aspects, you are only inviting risky outcomes.
17. Turn off the log splitter
When not working or moving the log splitter to another location, always switch off the unit. This is an essential step for safety precautions and if you want to avoid unwanted mishaps.
18. Don’t work under any influence
It would be a grave mistake to operate the log splitter under the influence of alcohol. As you can easily lose focus and the sense of awareness when using the machinery, it can lead to accidents. So, it goes without saying that the risk of serious injuries is grave when operating heavy machinery.
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