A unique short course aimed at teaching people the finer points of chainsaw operation and safety is now open for enrolments at TAFE NSW Moss Vale.
The Statement of Attainment in Chainsaw Operations - Trim and Cut is being offered fee-free to eligible residents and offers expert tips and tricks to safely using the powerful garden tools.
The course will be held from May 20-21 May at Belanglo State Forest and enrolment spaces are limited.
TAFE NSW Forestry Centre Leader Dallas Goldspink said an average of about 1000 Australians were badly injured by chainsaws each year, urging locals to take advantage of the fee-free course to ensure they don't become a statistic.
"A chainsaw in untrained hands is a lethal weapon and it's critical users receive training on how to safely operate them," Mr Goldspink said.
"The first line of defence against serious injury is training under the watch of an experienced operator and this TAFE NSW course is both practical and very hands-on.
"Whether you're a farmer, a homeowner or a professional in the forestry industry and you use or plan to use a chainsaw, it's critical you understand the dangers.
"The short course is aimed at people of all experience levels and focuses on how to service, sharpen and safely use a chainsaw."
The course will be delivered by expert TAFE NSW teachers and utilise a Mobile Training Unit (MTU) - a specialist trailer fitted out with the latest chainsaw equipment.
Riverina Prolop Tree Removal owner Brett Deaton said the risk of serious injury was a constant companion when working with chainsaws, whether as an arborist or in the backyard.
"Kickback is the biggest risk and I've seen a lot of leg and arm injuries in my time," Mr Deaton said.
"I was trained at TAFE NSW and because I know and trust the course delivery I make sure all our staff are trained at TAFE NSW.
"Even if you don't work in the industry but still use a chainsaw , it's critical you know the fundamentals, like how to hold it and maintaining your chain."
National Coronial Information Service data shows more than 100 deaths occurred in Australia between 2000 and 2017 as a result of chainsaw use and tree felling,
The course is funded under the JobTrainer package and is open to anyone aged between 18 and 23, anyone who is unemployed, at risk of unemployment or working in a declining industry.
To find out more about enrolling in the course at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
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