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Chainsaw Chaps

Last updated: September 26, 2018

What Does Chainsaw Chaps Mean?

Chainsaw chaps refer to a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn by employees in the logging industry or by forest workers. This type of PPE protects the employees’ legs and should be constructed from cut-resistant material.

Leg protection worn by forest workers should cover the full length of the thigh to the top of the boot on both legs. This will protect against contact with a moving chainsaw.

Safeopedia Explains Chainsaw Chaps

The United States Forest Service has developed a set of requirements, 6170-4F, that consists of design and material specifications for chainsaw chaps. This specification establishes design and performance requirements for protection from a running chainsaw, as well as flame/burn-resistance. Alternatively, chainsaw chaps can be manufactured to meet the commercial standard, ASTM F 1897-2008, for chap performance.

OSHA does not have any specific requirements for the manufacturing of chainsaw chaps. However, as per OSHA's Logging Operation Safety Regulation, 29 CFR-1910.266, chainsaw users shall wear leg protection made from ballistic nylon, a thick, tough nylon fabric, or other cut-resistant material. Typically, the material will stop the chain from moving or force the chainsaw to cut the chaps rather than a worker's leg.

Chainsaw chaps do not always prevent a chainsaw injury from occurring; rather, their purpose is primarily to minimize the extent of the damage if an injury does occur. Chainsaw chaps will stop a chain running at 2,750 feet per minute. A chainsaw running at full throttle, however, can run as high as 4,000 feet per minute, depending on its brand and model.


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