Safety Tips - Chipper Machine Safety & Practices

Chipper Machine Safety & Practices

Chipper machines cut tree limbs into small chips. Hazards arise when operators get too close to, or make contact with, the chipper. Contact with chipper operating components (blades, discs or knives) may result in amputation or death. Operators may also be injured by material thrown from the machine. To minimize these hazards, use appropriate engineering and work practice controls, including operator training.


  • Operators making contact with or being pulled into the chipper.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Face, eye, head or hand injuries.

Safe Work Practices

  • Never reach into a chipper while it is operating.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing around a chipper.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety instructions.
  • Wear earplugs, safety glasses, hard hats and gloves.
  • Workers should be trained on the safe operation of chipper machines. Always supervise new workers using a chipper to ensure that they work safely and never endanger themselves or others.
  • Protect yourself from contacting operating chipper components by guarding the infeed and discharge ports, and preventing the opening of the access covers or doors until the drum or disc completely stops.
  • Prevent detached trailer chippers from rolling or sliding on slopes by chocking the trailer wheels.
  • Maintain a safe distance (i.e., two tree or log lengths) between chipper operations and other tree work or workers.
  • When servicing and/or maintaining chipping equipment (i.e., “unjamming”) use a lockout system to ensure that the equipment is de-energized.