Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Knowledge Retention and Changes in Licensed Chainsaw Workers’ risk awareness

Haggstrom, Carola; Edlund, Bjorn


Work with chainsaws is hazardous and felling trees is the activity with the highest risks for injuries and fatalities. While industrial forestry is increasingly mechanized, manual felling is still the main work method for private, small-scale forest owners. During this work, the workers' safety heavily depends on their skill and safe practice, so training is presumably important for preventing injuries and reducing fatalities. Unfortunately, private forest owners have been difficult to reach with this kind of safety intervention. Moreover, target chainsaw users are not likely to repeat the training very frequently. Hence, the training must both be effective and be so for many years to come. This paper addresses the knowledge retention and self-reported changes in behaviour of 682 chainsaw users who passed the exam for the Swedish chainsaw licence 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 years previously. Acquisition of the licence resulted in a strong increase in 98% of the participants' risk awareness and safe work practices. Less than half (45%) of the participants passed a re-test equivalent to the theoretical examination for the chainsaw licence. Private forest owners performed somewhat better than employees did. The main indicator of retained knowledge of safe chainsaw handling was frequency of practice the previous year. After one year, the test results did not deteriorate with additional time. Based on those results, the best practice is to ensure regular usage of the chainsaw and refresher training when the chainsaw has not been used for a year.


Forestry; Occupational training; Safety intervention; Sweden; Tree felling

Publicerad i

Small-Scale Forestry
2023, Volym: 22, nummer: 1, sidor: 103-119