BCHW Lewis County Saw Certification program


Working with the US Forest Service the BCHW has a new saw certification program.  There are now about a dozen BCHW members that have been approved to certify BCHW volunteers to use chain saw and/or crosscuts on Forest Service work parties.


In addition the change on who can certify, the certification grades are now different then in the past.  The size of log restrictions based on the certification grade of A, B or C has now been replaced with just two grades of A and B with no size restrictions.  Class C is for instructor /certifier sawyers.  Class A is an Apprentice level. As stated above there is not a log size restriction for class A sawyers but they are required to work with a B or C sawyer.  A class B sawyer is qualified to work as the only sawyer on a saw team but a saw team must include as least two people, one can be a sawyer and the other could another sawyer or swamper (they pick up the mess made by the sawyer) or another able bodied volunteer.  Sawyer may be certified for chain saw and/or crosscut use.   


Every BCHW certified sawyer is required to know and be aware of some basic saw safety information.  We have prepared a hand out that covers much of the required information.  Also there is a bunch of information posted on the BCHW web site.  You can find the site by going to www.bchw.org and clicking on the Tech Tips link (lower left) and then the saw certification link.

Click here of the BCHW Saw Certification Page


Some of the basics are:

The BCHW Chain Saw and Crosscut Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)

The required Personal Protective Equipment for chain saw and/or Crosscuts

Know the allowable methods of starting a chainsaw

Know the safety items required on a chain saw

Know how to perform a situational awareness on each log and when to WALK AWAY.

Be aware of the kickback potential of a chainsaw and how to prevent it.

Know the five basic types of bind a log and what methods to cut a log with any combination of binds.

Know how to identify a spring pole and how to safely release the stress.

Know that you must always assess your situation during the cut and make adjustments your the plan as required.

Be aware what can happen when things go wrong.


Jim Thode

Tony Karniss

BCHW Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Instructor Certifiers