All powers tools carry a heavy weight of danger, circular saws are no exception and the highest degree of safety should be deployed to minimise the risk or occurrence of serious injury. Harm which results from the use of a circular saw is commonly due to the operators neglect or carelessness. Incidents from powered and non-powered cutting tools are of the highest rate for ‘struck by’ accidents in construction. Utilising the correct equipment and ensuring safety can go extremely far in terms of preventing accidents.
There should be multiple safety measures implemented with a circular saw, these include: clutch, brake, safety latch and sawdust ejection. The operators must ensure they understand how these features can be utilised.
Before Using a Circular Saw:
- Operators must have proper training for usage.
- Ensure that the correct type of blade is being used and has been installed correctly once the blade is of the correct type.
- Check for the signs of damage or wear on the blade before beginning to use the saw.
- When maintaining the saw or making any adjustments to it, ensure that the power is off and the device is void of any power, unplugging it is best practice.
- Wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital.
- The guard should be in the proper position before the saw is utilised.
- Provide support to the material that is being cut, ensuring that it is secured before being cut.
Additional Considerations During Use:
- Make sure that the saw is at full power before cutting, on top of this one must avoid the use of excessive force – cutting slowly and steadily is the best method.
- Always move the saw to the material, not the other way around.
- Always add support to the wood which is being cut.
- Ensure that the saw is not damaged or vibrates to an unreasonable degree when in use.
- Avoid placing the saw blade deeper than ½ inch deeper than that of which you are cutting. Exposure to the blade is reduced by doing this.
- Do not force the saw blade back on line if it were to ever move off the cut-line. This can result in pinch points and even make the blade bind or jolt back.
- Never carry a saw that is running and do not place your finger on the trigger whilst moving with the saw. Additionally, always ensure that the power is off before moving to a different task.
- Avoid pinning back the guard/wedge, it must return to it’s original position after the cut is made.
Download your free Circular Saw Safety Poster at: HSE