This week's safety topic, “use an open hand,” is a helpful reminder when feeding wood into a chipper. When feeding horses, we are taught to use an open hand because, if you don’t, you could easily lose a finger to a horse that has no intent of biting your finger but does so because it’s in the way.
When feeding a chipper with pieces of wood, we should incorporate the same practice of:
- using an open hand
- standing to the curb side of the chipper while supporting the piece of wood with the palm of our hand
- keeping our hand in an open position so when the piece of wood contacts the chipper infeed wheels, it is able leave our hand in any direction without causing harm to ourselves
This should be practiced with smaller diameter pieces of wood at first and gradually increase the diameter, allowing the operator to become familiar with the wood's reaction as it contacts the infeed wheels.
We notice a more abrupt or violent reaction with larger diameter wood, so extreme caution should be used when handling these pieces. Other options include using a push stick or another piece of wood to push the piece to the infeed wheels.
By talking with the property owner, we may find out that they don’t want their wood chipped but would like it for firewood. This option has the potential to save us time by not having to chip the wood & also save us space in the chip box.
Your input & feedback are needed, welcomed and appreciated.