We’ve covered cutoff saw safety on this blog before (like here, here and here). This handout sheet, from Missouri Employers Mutual‘s Worksafecenter.com, is yet another resource in that vein. What’s nice about this one, though, is that it sums up a lot of major cutoff saw safety issues on one page.
Worksafecenter.com’s sheet has five different categories of safety tips:
- Training: Read your cutoff saw’s training manual and get trained in how to use it. Always remember that a cutoff saw is different from a chain saw, so your training on one kind of saw may not apply to the other kind.
- Hazards: Always keep in mind the numerous ways in which a cutoff saw can injure or kill you or affect your health, such as noise and vibration during cutting, silica dust when cutting concrete and other high-silica materials, shattering abrasive blades, flying debris and pinch points along unguarded drive belts.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear your PPE, which will give you some, but not total, protection from the above hazards. PPE should include eye, hand and hearing protection, filter masks or respirators and work boots or shoes that can protect your feet if you drop your saw.
- Inspection: Inspect your blade for wear, cracking, chipping and warping. Make sure your blade guard and belt are installed and properly adjusted. Refuel your saw while it’s cold; don’t take a chance dumping gasoline on a hot engine.
- Best Practices: Make sure your blade matches what you’re cutting and that your saw doesn’t exceed your blade’s maximum RPM. Try wet-cutting concrete to reduce dust and increase cutting speed. Don’t remove the blade guard, and only adjust it while the blade is running. Start your saw properly, while it’s resting on the ground. Never set down your saw or hand it off to someone else while it’s running. And the list goes on from there.
This sheet isn’t a complete list of safety precautions, especially in the Best Practices section, but it can serve as a good reminder after you’ve been properly trained. Just remember what Worksafecenter.com says on this sheet: “A tool with the capability to cut steel or concrete can most definitely injure an operator.” We really can’t add anything to that.
Worksafecenter.com, “Cut-off Saw Safety” (PDF)