Lumiform Mobile audits & inspections
Get App Get App

Maintain your wood chipper with a wood chipper safety checklist

Use a wood chipper safety checklist to ensure employee safety and prevent accidents. Find out what you need to include so your workers will stay as protected as possible

What is a wood chipper safety checklist?

Wood chippers are dangerous machines that need to be handled with utmost care, as their engines have the power to grind tree limbs, branches and trunks into wood chips and a torque powerful enough to pull in 20 inches of wood per second. Operating a wood chipper manually involves pushing the wood through the hopper collar or infeed chute, which needs to be done carefully, since wood chipper blades will take hold of anything exposed including arms, fingers, rope, or jewellery.

Without a wood chipper safety checklist, you’re much more vulnerable to accidents. A wood chipper safety checklist helps avoid the potential dangers of operating these machines.

Table of contents:

1. What goes into a wood chipper safety checklist?

2. Supervisor’s wood chipper safety checklist

3. Digital software for a wood chipper safety checklist

What goes into a wood chipper safety checklist?

Your wood chipper safety checklist needs to make sure that workers are following best practices to avoid accidents. Any checklist should include these items, so you can better protect your employees:

  1. Check the tension belts
    Check the tension of the belts before using the wood chipper for the first time. After running the chipper for 10 to 15 minutes, check the tension belts again to make sure they have not loosened. It’s important to check the belts before each chipping session.
  2. Safety gear
    Make sure workers are wearing eye and hearing protection whenever they are working with or near a wood chipper. They should also wear close-fitting clothes and a helmet or hard hat. Avoid pants and gloves that have cuffs, and wear steel-toed boots as part of your PPE. Never wear jewelry, and make sure any long hair or beards are tied up in order to avoid injuries.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the machine
    Ensure everyone using the wood chipper has read the operating manual. They need to understand the safety controls, start, and shutdown processes. If there’s an emergency, make sure it’s possible to stop or reverse the wood chipper before turning it on.
  4. Inspect the machine before each use or at the start of each shift
    Before using the wood chipper, make sure the infeed chute is not blocked by anything that could damage the equipment or harm anyone. Make sure the bolts and pins are not loose and inspect all parts for signs of wear.
  5. Check the guards
    Make sure the guards are not missing, as many wood chipper accidents are caused by missing guards or malfunctioning safety devices . OSHA requires wood chippers to have one or more guards in place that can protect workers from flying debris.
  6. Check the discharge chute
    Make sure the discharge chute is facing away from people and traffic.
  7. Pay attention to the emergency shut-off
    Make sure there is someone near the emergency shut-off switch when the machine is running. The operator may not be able to reach the emergency switch in case of an accident. Always have a safety buddy assisting operations.
  8. Avoid foreign objects
    Make sure the wood you insert into the machine does not contain foreign objects. Materials other than wood must never be thrown into the machine. Only insert correctly-sized wood, and don’t feed the wood chipper with pieces that are too large.
  9. Positioning
    Always stand to the side of the infeed chute.
  10. Feeding the infeed chute
    Use a pushing device or long branch to push wood into the infeed chute and never use your hands to do so. Immobilize the disc or roller before changing the chipper blades or clearing the infeed chute.

Modern wood chippers already have engineering controls that make them safer to use. There are feed tray extensions, feed control bars, rubber curtains, panic bars, emergency pull ropes, and more. Make sure to train workers on the use of these safety features as part of your wood chipper safety checklist.

Fire Wood

Supervisor’s wood chipper safety checklist

Staff trainings are vital for supervisors, employers, or safety and health coordinators. It is your duty to make sure your employees are safe when they are working with a wood chipper. Among your wood chipper safety procedures:

  1. Train your employees to properly start, operate, and shut down the wood chipper. The training must include how to use safety devices, winch lines, and how to feed wood to the machine.
  2. Make sure operating and maintenance manuals are available to and understood by your employees.
  3. Supervise new hires or wood chipper operators to make sure that they follow safety protocols when operating the machine. Perform regular safety talks and site visits. Unsafe work practices require immediate corrective action, such as disciplinary measures and refresher training.
  4. Know what kind of PPE is required for operating a wood chipper. Provide safety gear such as gloves, helmets, hard hats, steel-toed boots, pants, and close-fitting long-sleeved shirts. Never allow jewelry or loose clothing.
  5. If your wood chippers have winch lines, train your employees so that they can avoid “pinch point” hazards.
  6. Make use of the buddy system and have at least one person stand by the emergency shut-off devices and feed handle while the main operator uses the wood chipper. Check the manufacturer’s manual for recommended precautions.

Digital software for a wood chipper safety checklist

With Lumiform’s checklist app, you can easily create and provide your employees with a detailed wood chipper safety checklist they can use wherever they are. This way, they can perform self-checks before using machinery, whether online or offline. Digital checklists help you collect data on your equipment in the field and reduce errors at the same time.

  • Our flexible checklist and form builder helps you create intuitive and customizable safety checklists in just a couple of clicks.
  • Lumiform also offers over 12,000 ready-made templates that you can select, adjust and use immediately.
  • The app is designed to be as intuitive as possible. This way, you and your team can perform wood chipper inspections with ease, save time, and stay healthy.
  • Our automated analyses feature helps you identify threats fast and effectively, keeping your employees as safe as possible.

Try Lumiform for free

Wood Logs
Share this content:

Your contact for all questions concerning Wood Chipper Safety Checklist

You have questions or would like to schedule a personal demo? We are happy to help you!