Wood Chipper Safety (considerations for man and machine)

Wood chippers, like any other machinery, pose the risk of injury to the operators. The equipment has moving parts which are the major cause of harm to users. For the electrically powered ones, there is an additional risk, which is the possibility of occurrence of electric shock. For these reasons, safety is a significant concern in the design of such machinery.

The manufacturers must consider safety for the user in every design decision. Additionally, protection must extend to include the machine and its parts. If that consideration is absent, the equipment will break down.

This article seeks to reveal the common wood chipper safety mechanisms. The focus is both on the operator and the machinery itself.


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Safety of the operator

Under the operator safety section, the highlight is on things the user should do. These outlined dos will enhance your security and of those around you. Though they are simple, they deserve a high level of seriousness.

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Protective clothing

Whenever you intend to operate the equipment, the first step is to put on safety attire. The reason for such clothing is to protect specific body parts. These are body segments considered to be most at risk. Thus, they must require shielding so that in the case of an incident, they will be sheltered. The head should be under the cover of a hard helmet which will prevent injuries to the skull. The feet and hands should have gloves and safety boots for protection. In the case of loud machines, ear protection will is a must to reduce the effects of the noise on the ears.

The user’s manual

From the manufacturers’ side, there is a requirement to be met, which is to supply a user’s manual with all equipment. The publication must be in an understandable language. Moreover, it should be simple and easy to understand. Images are encouraged to make the procedures more understandable.

Whenever you rent a wood chipper you might want to ask the rental company for the manual.

Once the manual is available, the responsibility shifts to the user; it is now upon them to consult the manual before running the machine. That way, they can operate it appropriately. That in itself is one way to avoid injury resulting from wrong procedures. Further still, it helps preserve the machine from damage.

Fitting clothing

Those who intend to work with a wood chipper must observe some specific clothing guidelines. These rules concern the size of the clothing. Loose clothing, such as freely hanging sleeves or baggy overalls, should be avoided. Together with that, hanging articles of clothing are not to be worn when operating the device. This group includes scarves, necklaces, and dangling bracelets. The primary reason behind this is to prevent injury from clothing getting caught in machine parts. Once that happens, serious harm could occur, even escalating to death.

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Machine positioning

There are ways that are preferable when placing the chipper during operation. The first rule calls for the use on a flat surface. The idea is to avoid the chipper moving when it is being operated. When placed on a slope, it may start to move downhill. Additionally, the brake must always be engaged when using the chipper; this is a further mechanism to prevent movement. The other rule is rather basic and it requires that the machine be away from children and animals. They could out of curiosity become seriously injured or even killed.

Safety of the equipment

Protection of the user is paramount, but safety of the wood chipper is equally essential. It is a way to prevent damage to machine parts. Nobody wants to spend more time and money on repairs instead of doing the work that needs to be done. So, there are means to ensure device safety, which need to be applied.

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Nature of the input

The most important selection is the kind of material that goes into the chipper. The wrong input is a cause for both operator injury and machine damage. The chipper is designed to chop wood and twigs into smaller chunks. Therefore, the input items should be wooden. In other words, inorganic material like metals and plastics should not be fed into the wood chipper.

These rock-hard objects become prospective projectiles when they come to the chipping section. Once ejected, they can travel at very high speeds and could seriously injure someone. Even more, they could damage the blades and render the machine useless.

Apart from the nature of the material, size of the material being fed into the chute must be a factor in the safety equation. Each machine has specifications as to the diameter of the wood that is acceptable. Some take smaller chunks while the heavy-duty versions are designed to accommodate bigger loads. Ignoring the restrictions is a sure way to destroy the chipper and affect its performance and durability.


Even when proper operating techniques are observed, there is still a need for maintenance. A regular and in-depth maintenance should not be avoided. It is the most efficient way to prevent the machine from breaking in the future. Prevention has always been better than cure; in this case, maintenance has always been better than repair. Proper maintenance will do away with a majority of repair needs. This will not only save on costs, but also on time.


A regular routine of inspecting the chipper before any work is a necessity. The purpose of such an undertaking is to confirm the condition of the machine. It involves checking oil and fuel levels. It goes further to include test runs to establish any faults beforehand. Simply put, it is advisable to ensure a working condition before getting started; that way, potential difficulties can be figured out way before they happen. They can also be solved before they evolve into real problems.


Wood chipper safety is a matter of great concern, and this is true for both user and machine safety. As outlined above, the two are equally essential. Each has outlined steps that when followed, prevent accidents from happening. Ignoring the proper manner and procedure of operation can, in the end, turn out to be costly. Thus, the established safety measures are crucial.