Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-23-14, 02:49 AM   #1
slickrcbd
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is a hard-shell bike helmet an acceptable emergency substitute for a hard hat?

This is not really about bicycle safety, but using bicycle safety equipment for something else.

My mother has some dead branches on a tree, and needs me to come use the chainsaw to cut them off.
However, my late father only owned one hard hat, and I don't own any.
There is a danger that I'll misjudge a branch and have it fall and clunk me or her on the head, as she needs to hold the ladder steady while I'm cutting on the unstable ground beneath the tree.

Would my bicycle helmet be an acceptable substitute for a hard hat for this one-time use trimming a tree? It seems that logical that something that something designed protect my head from impacting the pavement should be able to protect it from a falling tree branch.

Not that I plan to get hit, but accidents happen and it's better to be safe than sorry. This should all be academic, but will it do the job?
slickrcbd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 04:29 AM   #2
CB HI
Cycle Year Round
 
CB HI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Bikes:
Posts: 13,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 884 Post(s)
Not if a smaller attached branch goes through a vent.
__________________
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.
CB HI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 08:18 AM   #3
italktocats
Senior Member
 
italktocats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 808
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
i wouldnt even bother grabbing a helmet but okay.. is it a EMERGENCY substitute? depens on the emergency, a piece of wire can be a substitute for a broken chain if youre 45min away from home....
italktocats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 08:19 AM   #4
italktocats
Senior Member
 
italktocats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 808
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
id be more worried about flying pieces of wood from the chainsaw
italktocats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 09:06 AM   #5
gsa103
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Bikes: Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)
Posts: 4,069
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Yes and no. If you flip over a hard-hat, you'll see that there's suspension system designed to cushion blows directly from the top. A bike helmet won't have remotely the same level of cushioning or protection.

I've used a bike helmet exactly like you're describing though. While not nearly as good as a proper hard hat, the helmet will definitely offer some protection from falling branches.
gsa103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 10:02 AM   #6
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 34,974
Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3400 Post(s)
No.

There are two basic classes of helmets, and the design and construction vary according to the purpose.

Some helmets are designed to protect a stationary head from moving objects, and others to protect a moving head from stationary surfaces.

Bike helmets are the second category, and the design focus is on reducing the G-force of a head strike. They have a thick styrofoam crush zone and a thin shell whose purpose is mainly to keep the styro together.

Hardhats are the opposite, and aren't designed to reduce G-forces, but to prevent penetration of moving objects or projectiles.

A bike helmet might protect you if a sheet of plywood falls into you, but a dropped bolt is coming straight through without slowing.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 10:31 AM   #7
walrus1
Senior Member
 
walrus1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Bikes: Schwinn World Sport Jamis Ventura
Posts: 476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd just go to your nearest hardware store and buy a hardhat. As others had said a bike helmet won't provide adequate protection.
walrus1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 11:26 AM   #8
Null66
Senior Member
 
Null66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Garner, NC 27529
Bikes: Built up DT, 2007 Fuji tourer (donor bike, RIP), 1995 1220 Trek
Posts: 2,103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Worrying about the wrong thing.

The chain saw is the risk.

You can tie it off to another part of the tree... so if it, or you falls.

But have to ensure that the tether causes it to swing away from anyone...
Null66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 02:20 PM   #9
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
...Some helmets are designed to protect a stationary head from moving objects, and others to protect a moving head from stationary surfaces...
It depends on the frame of reference as to what's moving and what isn't, no?
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 02:35 PM   #10
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 34,974
Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3400 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
It depends on the frame of reference as to what's moving and what isn't, no?
Yes, but the general frame of reference would be the earth. It's a question of inertia, are trying to prevent the moving brain from contacting the inside of the skull when the skull suddenly stops, or are trying to protect the skull from fast moving, comparatively low mass projectiles.

Of course there are in between scenarios, such as someone swinging a baseball bat at your head, so life isn't always black and white.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-14, 11:24 PM   #11
slickrcbd
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've only had short-term temp jobs since April of last year, and am going broke. I was hoping to save some money by using what I had on hand, but if its too dangerous, I'll have to get a hard hat. It's a shame for a one-time job that shouldn't take more than an hour. Although maybe I can convince my mother to spring for the hard hat on the grounds of safety. It's her house and tree, though a part of me still thinks of it as my house since I grew up there.
slickrcbd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 12:09 AM   #12
seeker333
__________
 
seeker333's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Bikes: yes!
Posts: 3,318
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
Worrying about the wrong thing. The chain saw is the risk....
+1

Make sure you and the saw are above the limb you're cutting. NEVER use the saw with it above about waist high. If you try to cut with the saw raised up, if you get any kickback it is very easy for the saw bar to pivot back dangerously close to your face/head/shoulders/arms.

A secondary (or equally important) safety issue is to not fall off the ladder (especially onto your Mom).

If the limbs aren't too high, then a rental power pole saw may be ideal for this job.

Best Gas Powered Pole Saws | Top 2 Stroke Gasoline Trimmers Reviewed l Best Pole Saw Reviews

Also, move the car a long ways away.

There's a surprising number of "tree cutting accidents" on youtube.

Compound fracture from tree cutting accident - YouTube

Sometimes it's better to be safe and pay someone to perform a job.
seeker333 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 07:40 AM   #13
Coal Buster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Carlstadt, NJ
Bikes:
Posts: 404
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to test safety gear including helmets many years ago. Besides the fact that there's an amazing amount of engineering going into design standards, different helmets have to meet different criteria. I don't remember the specifics of bicycle or construction helmet tests but I do know that one wouldn't have to meet the spec's of the other.
Coal Buster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 09:28 AM   #14
Null66
Senior Member
 
Null66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Garner, NC 27529
Bikes: Built up DT, 2007 Fuji tourer (donor bike, RIP), 1995 1220 Trek
Posts: 2,103
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
+1

Make sure you and the saw are above the limb you're cutting. NEVER use the saw with it above about waist high. If you try to cut with the saw raised up, if you get any kickback it is very easy for the saw bar to pivot back dangerously close to your face/head/shoulders/arms.

A secondary (or equally important) safety issue is to not fall off the ladder (especially onto your Mom).

If the limbs aren't too high, then a rental power pole saw may be ideal for this job.

Best Gas Powered Pole Saws | Top 2 Stroke Gasoline Trimmers Reviewed l Best Pole Saw Reviews

Also, move the car a long ways away.

There's a surprising number of "tree cutting accidents" on youtube.

Compound fracture from tree cutting accident - YouTube

Sometimes it's better to be safe and pay someone to perform a job.
Thanks for adding these.

Personally, though I've dropped a LOT of trees, I refuse to take a power saw up into one.
Instead, I'll either take the whole tree, or get a pro.

I saw a couple accidents happen and that was enough.

I used a pole saw a couple times limbing, but I get a bad vibe from those tools... So I won't do that unless there's no other way and I think I can get away with it safely.

Be careful, very careful.
Null66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 11:40 AM   #15
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp
Posts: 7,771
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
By asking this question, you should not be using a chainsaw, MHO. It can be very dangerous.
Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 11:54 AM   #16
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 27,785
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2785 Post(s)
Eye protection ,, And is the Helmet of the Ski-Bike-Skate type with a thick shell , or a light helmet with a very thin shell ..?? big difference..


Hire a professional tree surgeon Licensed and Bonded ..

you have seen the insurance company Ads of people cutting a Limb and crushing the neighbor's car or your own Roof?

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-24-14 at 11:58 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 12:22 PM   #17
yote223
Senior Member
 
yote223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: MN.
Bikes: A MTB and something else with 2 pedals.
Posts: 239
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
By asking this question, you should not be using a chainsaw, MHO. It can be very dangerous.
Roger That!! You're in over your head.
yote223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-14, 01:35 PM   #18
WVU_Engineer
Senior Member
 
WVU_Engineer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Southern Maryland
Bikes: Raleigh Venture
Posts: 113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
A helmet is for bump protection only, it can't do anything for you if a tree falls on you or you fall out of the tree.

The most dangerous part of the job is saw kickback, when I was a kid I unfortunately saw a guy turn himself into a Pez dispenser from saw kickback.
WVU_Engineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-14, 02:31 PM   #19
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,501
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 214 Post(s)
Agree with those who caution you against doing this job at all. Using a chain saw ON A LADDER is very dangerous and needs an experienced user. Think of the hazards:

Chain saw is very heavy, making your balance and safety on the ladder difficult.
Chain saw has a lot of rotating force when revved up - can throw you around
Kickback is not only dangerous - it is deadly. Can cut you bad, kill you or easily throw you off the ladder.
Even a minor kick or disruption of the cut can throw you off the ladder - EASILY
Branch or chainsaw can fall and kill the person below - it's CRAZY to have an inexperienced person on the ladder and an inexperienced person below in the kill zone if anything falls.

I wouldn't ever have someone hold a ladder below me if I were working w/ a chainsaw on a ladder, or even cutting by hand on a ladder, especially if both parties are inexperienced . I wouldn't ever consider using a chainsaw on a ladder (at my age and wisdom) and I've used a chainsaw a lot in my life. Maybe a very solid, fairly short ladder in a very controlled situation, but pruning a large tree, with my mother holding the ladder - never.

Rent or buy an extendable pruner like this.

They are remarkably efficient and are much safer, especially if you put a rope on the branch and pull it sideways or otherwise keep it from falling on you. In the amount of time it takes to safely set up a ladder and ropes on a branch for your plan, you could fairly safely cut through a 12" branch with one of these

Last edited by Camilo; 05-27-14 at 02:34 PM.
Camilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:15 PM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION