Jim Olive here. Being a chainsaw safety trainer for the last 25 years has been a rewarding, challenging and life changing experience. It has taught me much about life in the woods and relating to people.
As a young boy, my family lived and worked in the heart of the Nicolet National Forest in Northern Wisconsin. My father was a logger and he was the first one to teach me about chain saw usage. No matter how safe you try to be, accidents do happen. In my mid-teens I was hit by a tree and received a scar on my hand from a kick back off an aggressive cutting chain. You will find when you talk to people who have been using a chain saw for years, many have had bad experiences.
In the late 1990’s I began attending safety classes offered by FISTA (Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance). These were designed to help loggers become safer and more productive, which was beneficial to me in my logging business. In 2001 a “Safety Trainer” position became available and I was hired.
To be a “Safety Trainer,” I first had to break some of the bad habits accumulated up to this point in life. A common bad habit that I had was not wrapping my thumb around the handle bar when using a running chain saw. Securing your hand this way makes it less likely to come off the handle bar so you don't lose control of the chain saw during a kickback.
The other side of being a trainer is the ability to communicate your knowledge and skill to another individual. Every class has different skill levels from the novice to the expert. The challenge is to work with each person according to their degree of experience.
A change in direction with FISTA has given me an opportunity to form this new chain saw safety training company. Now I am able to share with you some of the newer and safer techniques that are currently being used. (See Proper Notching.)
Many participants in past programs have asked me, “Why hasn’t someone shown us these techniques before?” All I can tell them is, “Now that you have used the techniques today please continue to use them and share your knowledge with others.” It is very rewarding to have an attendee tell me he took the class on the recommendation of a former trainee.
I look forward to working with you and your group demonstrating chain saw safety techniques and giving you the opportunity to refine your skills. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to discuss setting up a chain saw safety training session.
PROVIDING QUALITY SAFETY TRAINING...