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A Wood Chipper Safety Checklist for 2024

Wood chippers are a brilliant way to clear branches, tree stumps and cuttings, making waste more compact and easier to transport. Wood chippers have powerful blades that are able to quickly and easily slice through wood and branches in seconds. This saves time as the machinery does all the hard work.

Whilst they are incredibly powerful and useful, wood chipper safety also needs to be considered.  

Please note; this wood chipper safety checklist is not exhaustive. The Health and Safety Executive has a leaflet covering practices that should be followed when operating a wood chipper. This helpful leaflet can be used to help identify controls to put into practice when operating your wood chipper.

Wood chipper safety tip #1: Wear protective equipment

Consider wearing correct protective equipment (PPE) when operating a wood chipper. Wearing protective goggles help keep eyes safe from stray wood chips.

  • As wood chippers can be very noisy, it is important to wear ear defenders to protect ears from excessive sound.

  • Wearing sturdy, slip resistant footwear can also help.
  • Long hair should be tied back, and no loose or baggy pieces of clothing should be worn to prevent them getting caught in the machinery and causing an accident.
  • A safety helmet should also be worn at all times when operating a wood chipper.

Using a safety stick to push wood into the chipper can also help. It is recommended that if you have awkward or bulky pieces of wood to be chipped, then they should be pushed in with a designated stick to ensure that hands do not go near the chipper.

Wood chipper safety tip #2: Operate in an open space

Operating a wood chipper should be done in a large open space in an area that prevents other objects and people coming into contact with the wood chipper, ensuring the health and as safety of everyone around. To prevent the wood chipper from rolling away or jolting unexpectedly, it should be placed on a level surface, avoiding sandy or gravelled areas (these are uneven and could cause the machine to tip).

Wood chipper safety tip #3: Service your equipment

It is vital to ensure your machinery is well maintained so it is working safely and effectively. The Forest Industry Safety Accord suggests reading the manufacturer’s handbook to see how and when your equipment should be serviced.

Here at Vermeer, we offer a thorough wood chipper service check, to ensure your equipment is working to its fullest potential. Our expert team participate in the Vermeer service technician certification programme, to make sure they have the correct and current knowledge.

Wood chipper safety tip #4: Train your operators

Preparing both yourself and your equipment before use allows you to get a good understanding of the wood chipper, its uses and capabilities. Reading the manual or handbook is important to ensure you know are fully aware of all the safety precautions to need to take, and this makes you and your operators aware of risks and potential issues.

Inspect the chipper before each and every use. It is best practice to check the machinery for any issues and signs of damage.

We suggest using the chipper on the lowest or least powerful setting when you are first getting started. This helps you identify if there are any issues before using it on full power.

Wood chipper safety tip #5: Take things slowly

Do not overload your wood chipper; take things slowly. Overloading the machine may be detrimental to its performance and lifespan.

Some wood chippers operate using a pulling motion when chipping. There have been numerous occasions where people have sadly been killed or suffering from severe injuries after falling into wood chippers or getting too close to them. Wood chippers are powerful pieces of machinery and precautions should be taken in order to avoid wood chipper accidents.


Why not explore Vermeer’s full range of wood chippers?  If you would like more information on our products or servicing, contact our expert team on 01933 274400, email us at, or complete an enquiry form where our team will be able to help you out.

Vermeer Corporation delivers a real impact on the way important work gets done through the design, manufacture and support of high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment that helps connect people to the necessities of life, manage natural resources and feed and fuel communities. With a reputation for being built tough and built a better way, that equipment is backed by localized customer service and support provided by independent dealers around the world. To learn about Vermeer Corporation, products, the dealer network, financing options and careers, visit





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