We all recognize how important our hands are to our employability. However, every year hundreds of fingers and hands are lost to table saws. Much of this is a result of getting used to operating a table saw and then losing respect for it. That is why it is so important that we review the common safety rules pertaining to the operation of a table saw.
Guide for Discussion
Two common types of saws:
Table saw; miter box saw
General Operating Rules:
- Never operate without all guards in place, especially the blade guard.
- Be sure you stand in the correct position—always allow for kick back.
- Maintain good footing.
- Never allow other workers to work or rest when they are exposed to kick back.
- Maintain good housekeeping in the saw area.
- Never use your hands to run lumber through the blade or to clean off sawdust. Get a push stick and a brush.
- Never use a saw with a dull blade. (Note: When you go to change a blade, make sure the power is disconnected and you control the switch.)
- Don’t crowd (i.e. pinch) a blade especially when cross-cutting.
- Don’t wear loose clothing around a saw.
- Always wear eye protection.
- Be wary of warped lumber.
- Be wary of “fly back” (also called kick back) when ripping.
- Keep the blade set so it just barely makes the desired cut.
Remember: The use of table saws can greatly increase productivity. But if improperly used, they can greatly handicap the user.
NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Tool Box Talks. Should any question arise that you cannot answer, don’t hesitate to contact your Employer.