Professional Chainsaw Operator Safety Training (PCO)

Specialty Services Agency offers this Chainsaw Course as the first step for anyone wanting to use a chainsaw. This course applies to the cottage owner cutting firewood, a bush worker felling trees or to a forest fire fighter cutting a helipad to access a fire. The core training is 16 hours in class & field. Course may be extended to three days for additional cutting practice in the field.

At the end of this comprehensive course in safe and efficient chainsaw use, participants will know how to effectively handle, maintain and sharpen their chainsaw as well as receive basic felling, bucking and limbing technique information under a variety of forest conditions. They will also know how to identify and deal appropriately with a variety of hazardous conditions associated with professional chainsaw operation including judging direction of fall related to lean, crown weight, wind speed & direction.

Critical part of the SSA chainsaw course is moving from the classroom to the woodlot, participants will practice the principles of how to sharpen, maintain and operate a chainsaw competently. Building their skills through supervised practice in actual felling, bucking, brushing and limbing operations, they will also learn the best way to hold, start and handle a chainsaw.

The course elements, modules and adapted areas of the training and curriculum are useful for safe chainsaw operation training of operators who are not employed in logging. If requested by the client this course can be tailored to meet the pre-employment classroom training requirements for the logging industry.

The course’s four modules consist of: Chainsaw Sharpening and Maintenance; Safe Chainsaw Handling; Felling and Limbing; and Field Practice. The courses four modules consist of:

Module 1
  • Safety devices on a saw
  • Regular inspection and cleaning of saw (plus hands-on dismantling & cleaning)
  • The dangers of kickback and how to avoid
  • Proper sharpening of saw chain (plus hands-on sharpening)
  • Carburetor settings and troubleshooting
Module 2
  • Personal protective equipment and choosing the right saw for the job
  • Proper starting, cutting and carrying of saw
  • Proper grip and stance (for best control and safety in the event of a kickback)
  • Tension and compression in the wood (how not to get a saw pinch)
  • Danger zones and legal requirements (including forest fire prevention)
Module 3
  • Precut survey of area for felling concerns and hazard
  • Choose direction of fall
  • Notch, (backcut and hinge requirements)
  • -Limbing and buckling techniques
  • -Using felling aids and special felling techniques
  • Dealing with hazards and problem trees
Module 4
  • Field Practice
  • To determine area hazards and direction of fall
  • Starting and carrying chainsaw and minor maintenance as needed
  • Notch and fell properly in the right direction using proper techniques of safe limbing, topping and buckling of trees
  • Removing hazard trees (chicos, spring poles, free standing trees, etc.)

Specialty Services Agency has six (6) Ontario Workplace Safety North (OWSN) (formerly Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association (OFSWA)) qualified instructors.

Please download the Application Form to apply.

Mail completed application form & payment to
Specialty Services Agency
Site 124 Box 32, RR 4
Dryden, ON P8N 0A2

Whether you are a Corporate Client, First Nation Community or you just want more information, please contact Murray Macquarrie.