American River Watershed Institute
Fire Safety Project | Homeowners Equipment Safety Manual

Bucking, Brushing, and Limbing

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Follow these basic steps:

  1. Never buck a tree that is considered unusually dangerous.
  2. Consider bucking hazards, including overhead hazards.
  3. Anticipate the log's reaction when it is severed.
  4. Select the bucking cut location very carefully.
  5. Beware of other logs, branches, or rocks immediately behind the area where you are bucking, brushing, or limbing for possible kickback potential or rocking of the chain.
  6. Remember that touching any object with the tip of the chain and bar can cause a kickback.
  7. Know where the tip of the bar is at all times.

Brushing and Brush Piling

Personal Protective Equipment

The following PPE is recommended for brushing and brush piling:
  1. Hardhat.
  2. Eye protection.
  3. Hearing protection (85 dB and above).
  4. Long-sleeved shirt.
  5. Gloves.
  6. Leather lace-up boots with 8-inch (204 mm) minimum tops and nonskid soles.
  7. Clothing and equipment for chain saw use as set out in previous section.

Standard procedures for brushing and brush piling

  1. Keep cutting tools sharp. Guard or sheath tools when carrying them.
  2. Exercise caution when: climbing or descending cut banks along roadways; moving across steep side slopes, wet grass, downed brush, snow cover, and downed timber; moving through heavy brush or low branches.

Site Clearing

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE recommended for roadside and land clearing includes:
  1. Industry-approved hardhat.
  2. Gloves.
  3. Face and eye protection.
  4. Hearing protection (85 dB and above).
  5. Leather boots with 8-inch (204 mm) minimum tops and nonskid soles.

Safety Practices

  1. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for machine use.
  2. Review safety-handling recommendations for chain saw operation.
  3. Inspect all equipment before use.
  4. Monitor equipment during use.
  5. Turn off machines before inspecting them.
  6. Provide guard(s) to protect equipment operators from cut or flying debris.
  7. Make sure everyone involved in the site clearing operation agree on an appropriate distance to be maintained during the cutting operation.