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FISA Backs Chainsaw Levels System for the forestry industry


  • How does the forestry industry gauge that the chainsaw operative can do the job safely and without risks to health?
  • How can the necessary enquiries be made about the competence of the chainsaw operative? 
  • Competence needs to reflect the right combination of skills, experience and knowledge?

The degree of competence required will depend on the complexity of the work. 

FISA Chainsaw Project WG (Chaired by Calum Duffy) and the FISA Steering Group support the proposal of a move to a ‘Competence Levels System’ for chainsaw operatives.  This proposed system ensures that a structure to support the development and recording of both the progression of experience and knowledge, as a crucial part of competency development, becomes a clear part of the role of a commercial chainsaw operative. 

As well as the levels system supporting the development of the chainsaw operative; it will crucially help those who engage chainsaw operatives in both pre-planning site works and selection of a competent operative matched to the level to undertake the work. 

The levels system is aimed at the commercial chainsaw operative, please see below the outline for the levels system and associated audit detail. 

Safe Forestry have run a successful pilot of the levels system and will begin roll out to the wider industry, for more information please contact: safe forestry at or visit the website

A levels audit system will typically look at the following: 

PPE Level Chainsaw Technician Level 1,2,3

  • Hardhat
  • Hand protection
  • Hi-visibility
  • Leg protection
  • Safety footwear
  • Whistle/radio 

First aid and emergency response plan Level 1,2,3

  • Personal first aid kit
  • First aid and emergency response plan 

Mental and physical well-being Technician Level 1,2,3

  • Mental and physical well-being 

Adverse weather conditions Technician Level 1,2,3

  • Adverse weather conditions 

Chainsaw maintenance Technician Level 1

  • Chainsaw Maintenance  

Chainsaw Crosscutting Technician Level  1

  • Chainsaw Crosscutting 

Chainsaw Felling Technician Level 1

  • Chainsaw Felling

Chainsaw Snedding Technician Level 1

  • Chainsaw Snedding 

Hung-up Trees Technician Level l 1

  • Hung-up Trees 

Chainsaw felling Technician Level 2

  • Chainsaw felling 

Chainsaw Snedding Technician Level 2

  • Chainsaw Snedding 

Hung-up Trees Technician Level l 2

  • Hung-up Trees 

Assisted felling Technician Level 2

  • Assisted felling 

Chainsaw felling Technician Level 3

  • Chainsaw felling 

Tree Climbing Technician Level 3 (Aerial Only)

  • Tree Climbing


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