A chainsaw is possibly the most dangerous tool used in the woods, moving at 55-60 miles per hour or about 88 feet per second. Did you know that if a chainsaw user slips and severs the femoral artery (the main blood vessel supplying blood to your lower body in your upper thigh), the user can be dead within 90 seconds. However, with the correct protective equipment, any user can be kept safe.
Chainsaw Trousers Safety Standards - What are they?
There are certain standards for what is legally required for protective chainsaw clothing based on local jurisdictions, but regardless of the law certain safety equipment should ALWAYS be worn in the arb industry as it will save your life and limbs.
Broadly speaking there are two global chainsaw protection standards: ISO 11393-2:2019 and ASTM F1897 American ASTM F3325-20 Canadian. In terms of ISO 11393-2:2019, leg protection is available in three forms: Design A, which covers only the front of the legs, protection starts at a maximum of 5 cm from the bottom of the leg and ends at a minimum of 20 cm above the crotch. Design C, which has protection on the front and back, creating all round (360°) protection for the leg.
In addition, our chainsaw trousers as classified as Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3, relating to the speed of the chainsaw, our blocking material has been tested against:
Class 1: up to 20 m/s
Class 2: up to 24 m/s
Class 3: up to 28 m/s
The North American ASTM F1897 - standard outlines the requirements for leg protection, which can be viewed here. These standards require a chainsaw cut test with a standard gasoline powered chainsaw with standard clutch mechanism, and a minimum length of 700mm (28’’) covering from the crotch to 7.5cm (3’’) above the hem with an extra 0.524 rad (30°) or 100mm (4”) wrapping around to the left of each leg.
How do chainsaw trousers actually work?
Chainsaw trousers are packed full of super-strong ballistic fibres known as ‘’Aramid’’ fibres, which enhance the ability to absorb the energy of the chain.
When the chainsaw meets the outer layer, these fibres are drawn out of the trousers and into the drive sprocket by the chain, resulting in blocking chain movement of the chainsaw, the teeth act like hooks which drag these fibres out and get tangled around the sprocket, choking it. The chainsaw will then stop and prevent any more damage being done to the user.
The Arbortec Forestwear UL Rated Chainsaw Pants for Chainsaw Users in America
Each year approximately 36,000 people are treated in emergency departments for injuries caused by chainsaws. For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that when working with a chainsaw, users should wear a helmet for head protection, a visor and/or goggles for eye protection, ear defenders for hearing protection, protective chainsaw pants and jacket, gloves and steel-toe boots.
Our UL Rated chainsaw pants conform to the ASTM F1897-20 leg protection standards for chainsaw users in the USA and ASTM F3325-20 leg protection for chainsaw users in Canada. These pants feature an incredibly resilient and abrasion-resistant panel on the front and ankle of the pants. The material is woven with Kevlar® fibres, which makes the pants extremely tough when getting bashed and scraped on trees and debris every day. View our UL pants collection here.
So, the perfect pair of chainsaw pants depends entirely on each user's circumstances, but you should always be aware of the particular hazards you may encounter to ensure that you are fully protected. You should be aware of the standards depending on your country of residence that govern your choice for your protective chainsaw gear and only purchase products that comply with that.
At Arbortec, we believe that you should view your protective chainsaw gear as an investment in your safety, and not as a cost. There is no ‘’best’’ in chainsaw protection, but there is a best choice for you and your work environment. You can read more about Arbortec chainsaw trousers including forms of leg protection and the different features for each of our chainsaw trousers here.