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Wood Chipper Safety

How to Safely Use a Chipper Shredder

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Chipper Product Expert

Watch what a wood chipper can do to a tree branch, and you'll know why safety precautions are extremely important. While wood chippers are very helpful machines, they are also very dangerous when used improperly. Follow all safety guidelines, stay out of the hopper, and learn how to stop or reverse the machine in the case of an emergency. Here are some ways to stay safe while using a chipper shredder.

Stick to Lighter Loads Feeding excessively large pieces of wood and debris into a chipper increases your risk of injury. The high speed of the wood chipper can cause materials to discharge backwards. Overloading the chipper with large bits of wood can cause larger materials to be ejected, resulting in blunt force trauma.
Tuck It In Wearing loose clothing increases your risk of getting caught up in the chipper and pulled in. Wear tighter fitting clothes, and make sure you don't have any baggy cuffs, dangling jewelry, belts, straps, ties, or anything else that could get caught in the machine. Also, if you sport long hair or a large-sized beard, it's a good idea to tie it up. Tuck hair in a hat and consider a beard net for your chin.
Wear Protection Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from small particles being thrown around by the blades. In addition, wear ear protection to protect your hearing while working around the high volume noise being produced by the chipper. Always make sure to wear a hard hat to protect your head from the impact of high-speed splinters, chips and chunks of wood that may be thrown back at you by the blades. Finally, because you'll be carrying wood to the chipper, it's a good idea to also wear steel-toed safety boots to protect your feet.
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Feeding the Beast Use a long branch or pole (a broom stick is ideal) for pushing materials into the chipper. This prevents you from having to move your hands near the blades. Avoid the feed chute area and stay out of the hopper! There is no such thing as a minor accident when it comes to working with wood chippers. All accidents are detrimental! One moment's distraction could get you pulled into the machine, so stay focused whenever you're feeding materials into the hopper.
Be a Neat Freak As we've covered several times already, the chipper will create debris. That debris will pile up around the hopper where you're working. To avoid slipping or tripping in the debris, keep your area clean as you go. Don't allow debris to pile up. Sweep it away from the hopper.
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