Priority on saw safety - never mind the daunting noise

She's come straight from big-city beauty salons to farming, so it's fair to say Jodie Vaughan has had a few things to learn.

The former Aucklander has been on an Atiamuri farm for only a matter of weeks after she and partner Rhys Williams moved down to take over farm management roles on the family property.

On Thursday Miss Vaughan was one of more than a dozen women who took part in a chainsaw safety workshop run by Stihl New Zealand as part of Chainsaw Safety Awareness Week, which finishes tomorrow.

Miss Vaughan said she'd used a chainsaw for only the first time recently, chopping up firewood under the guidance of her partner.


"Because it's all new it means I'm learning the good habits straight off the mark."

She said safety was such a huge part of the job and while they had a strong focus on safety already, the course had reinforced how important it was.

Miss Vaughan said she had worked with dangerous machinery in the past but she found the noise of the chainsaw quite daunting.

Another attending the workshop was Nicole Maandonks, who said while she'd grown up on a farm, she hadn't spent much time with the practical aspects of farming.

In fact, she said, she'd always sworn she'd never go farming, but life took a different turn - her partner was a farmer and she was now studying agricultural science.

"Now I know how to somewhat use a chainsaw. I'm not completely useless. Considering I didn't even know how to start one, I've gone from not knowing the front to back to being able to chop something."

Stihl marketing co-ordinator Sarah Gujer said the company decided to run the courses after seeing the number of injuries from chainsaw accidents was on the rise, with more than six people on average injuring themselves each day.

ACC statistics show individual claims have increased year on year from 2011 to 2013.


The total spent on chainsaw claims was decreasing, meaning fewer serious accidents were taking place but chainsaw accidents in general were still happening more frequently.