Method Statement: Use of a Chainsaw

Staff or volunteers employed in these tasks on behalf of the local council need to apply their training, manufacturers instructions and the outcome of any risk assessment before undertaking work.  The following method statement is to be seen as general advice only.

West Berkshire operates a street works permit scheme and anyone carrying out works in the road will legally need to apply to West Berkshire Council for permission, in advance of the works.

All works on the public highway must comply with the signing, lighting and guarding requirements of Section 65 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

Any traffic management requirements, including any Portable Light Signals, must be applied for with the permit for the works, giving at least seven days notice, unless of an emergency nature, and including a legible plan depicting each layout and sent to the Streetworks Team.

Resources for Activity

  • Chainsaw
  • 2 stroke oil mixture
  • petrol
  • combi can
  • operative
  • high visibility clothing (chainsaw safety trousers, chainsaw boots, chainsaw gloves)
  • First Aid kit

Recommended Work Sequence 


1. All operatives must be appropriately trained (NPTC or similar) in the use of chainsaws and in risk assessment.

2. Upon arrival at site carry out a site specific risk assessment (SSRA). Amend the SSRA as required during the day's activities.

3. Implement the outcomes from the risk assessment document. This should include the following general recommendations as well as any other specific obligations.

4. Where required set up appropriate traffic management for work or use pre-arranged traffic management set up. This will previously have been agreed with West Berkshire Council Highways.

5. Understand all of the manufacturer's instructions before you use the Chainsaw. Operate the machine according to your training and manufacturer's instructions.

6. The Chainsaw is designed to cut wood only. DO NOT USE IT FOR ANYTHING ELSE. Carelessness or misuse could cause a serious or fatal accident.

7. Plan your work area to avoid damage or injury from dust, sparks or other debris from the saw.

8. You must wear and risk assess:

  • Full Face Visor
  • Safety Helmet
  • Safety Boots
  • Hearing Protection
  • Chainsaw Gloves
  • Chainsaw Trousers

9. Check your chainsaw over, including blade, chain condition, oil, fuel levels and chain brake system.  Do not use anything found damaged.

10. Anybody who is working near to you will need to wear ear protection and face protection and always be within calling distance.

11. Protect other people from the noise and dust. Warn others to keep away while the chainsaw is in use.

12. Make sure the area is clear and safe and that no-one is near to you or could distract you, do not operate the chainsaw in a confined site.

13. Any maintenance to the chainsaw must be carried out with the engine switched off.

14. Make sure you carry out a regular visual inspection of the cutting blades for any imperfections. If there are any, report the damage. DO NOT CONTINUE TO USE.

15. Replace chain according to manufacturer's instructions and industry recommendations.

16. Make sure that the area is cordoned off to prevent the public from gaining access to the area being addressed.


17. Do not smoke when refuelling. Petrol is highly flammable. Take care not to cause a fire or explosion.

18. Fuel used is to be according to the manufacturer's instructions.

19. Stop the engine and let it cool down.

20. If possible move the machine away from your work area.

21. Use a funnel.  Do not spill any fuel on yourself or the machine.

22. Wipe any fuel off the machine.  Dispose of fuel soaked cloth carefully.

23. If you spill any fuel on your clothes, change them straight away.

24. Put all fuel caps back on properly, and move your fuel can to a safe, cool place.