In this job, you have to get involved in all sorts of different things and have to have loads of skills. I am a great believer in training and safety (all important when you are on your own with power tools).

To this aim, I have just completed a chainsaw course. This may seem a little strange as I have been using chainsaws for years and never really thought it necessary, however with Health and Safety legislation and insurance companies looking to not pay out if there is an accident, it is important to get proper training – especially when using tools like chainsaws.

I have always had a very health respect for tools that can Mame or kill you – chainsaws are not very forgiving and every accident is a nasty one. I take safety very seriously and always use Personal Protective Equipment (referred to as PPE ) but its amazing how many people don’t. When using dangerous equipment or entering into dangerous tasks I always do a risk assessment to ensure both my safety and anybody Else’s safety (or property) is not in question. It not worth taking that short cut – EVER!

The main thing about a training course like this is that it shows you what bad habits you have developed over the years – its quite enlightening to say the least. I do have a few criticisms about the course and the assessment you have to go through, but I did get a lot out of it too. The course itself was 2 days with a 1 day assessment (a bit overkill!) with a pass rate of 95%. I would say this is an ideal course for novice users, even though its a bit expensive (approx £400!!).

I was on the course with a couple of young farm hands and a boat yard owner. As expected, the farm boys produced a chainsaw which should have been condemned about 10 years ago. There were bits hanging off it, the chain was completely knackered and I think it was probably run on diesel! Needless to say we all had a laugh at their expense when the instructor made them take it all apart and replace all worn and dangerous components (almost the cost of a new saw!).

During the assessment one of the lads could not get this ancient thing started. I thought I was going to have a heart attack with laughter – it was like the sketch off Fawlty Towers when Basil couldn’t get the car to go….hilarious!! I lent him my saw to do his assessment in the end as we just couldn’t stand laughing any more.

I am pleased to say we all passed the course, despite the farm lads chainsaw incident.

On a serious note, anything to do with tree removal, limb removal or clearance is dangerous and jolly hard work – it’s both physically and mentally draining – so don’t believe its a walk in the park and never attempt it yourself without training.

Its not worth the risk to life, limb or property – call me for a quote instead!