Hallie Dozier, Coolman, Denise | 1/27/2006 1:42:38 AM
Louisiana residents can learn how to operate chainsaws more safely through workshops offered by the LSU AgCenter.
The information is brought to residents through chainsaw safety workshops taught by LSU AgCenter faculty members such as Dr. Cornelis deHoop and Dr. Hallie Dozier. Dozier says the workshops are beneficial to everyone, even those people who already have a little experience operating a chainsaw.
"People can learn the basics of using personal protective equipment, as well as maintenance and care of the machine, plus a few techniques for cutting safely," Dozier said. "They can also learn when to determine if a job is too big for them to do and they need to call a professional."
The workshop rose out of a task force meeting following the devastating hurricanes that hit South Louisiana this year (2005). Dozier said members of the task force realized that, with the clean-up people needed to do after the hurricanes, a chainsaw safety workshop could help reduce accidents among novice saw users.
"A chainsaw can be a dangerous piece of equipment," Dozier said. "The workshops were organized by local LSU AgCenter agents. Dr. deHoop and I went to various locations and taught people how to use chainsaws effectively and safely."
Each workshop lasts about three hours, and these workshops are free to the public. During the workshops, information that people can take with them is provided, Dozier said, adding that they plan to teach the workshop in various locations in 2006.
Anyone interested in having the workshop taught in their area can call their parish LSU AgCenter office for information. Dozier urges everyone to take advantage of this opportunity.
"Some people believe that folks who live in rural areas know how to safely operate chainsaws more than folks who live in the city," Dozier said. "This is not necessarily true.
"People who live in rural areas may not know about using personal protective equipment, or they may have developed bad habits. This workshop is ideal for anyone who has a job to do that is too big for a handsaw and too small for a professional."
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture