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Chainsaw Protective Clothing Standards

Chainsaw Protective Clothing Standards

Richard Tregoweth - Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We get a number of calls each week from people looking for information about NZ Chainsaw Protective Leg Wear Standards. Most are planning to buy chainsaw protective clothing on Trade Me due to the low prices being offered. A word of warning: check which Standard the protective leg wear complies with before you purchase.

Since 1988 Chainsaw Protective Clothing has been manufactured to the New Zealand Standard NZS 5840. In 1997 a joint Australian/New Zealand standard was issued, AS/NZS 4453, but it was never enforced due to technical difficulties encountered during the test process. As a result the original standard, NZS 5840, remained in force until late 2008.

Early in 2008 a test laboratory was established in New Zealand that was able to test to the AS/NZS 4453.3: 1997 standard. The test procedure involves, among other measurements, dropping a chainsaw with its chain rotating at 20 meters per second (72 km/h) into a garment placed on a dummy leg. in order for the garment to pass this test there must be no cut through of the protective material.

The Clogger chainsaw protective leg wear sold by Treetools is certified by Bureau Veritas NZ Ltd to AS/NZS 4453.3:1997. Product certification by Bureau Veritas means each garment is made to the same specifications as those garments originally submitted for testing. In order to gain certification status Clogger must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing testing as well as submit to regular audits to check documentation and manufacturing processes.

The 'cheaper' NZS 5840 alternatives on Trade Me probably look very tempting indeed but OSH and ACC might not be so accommodating when you put in your claim! Always check for AS/NZS 4453.3: 1997 before you commit.

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