In the June issue of our safety enewsletter, we wrote on 12 Ways to Avert the Dangers of Using Power Tools, giving precautions that should be used when working with any kind of power tool.
In this issue, we’re providing safety tips specifically for the use of circular saws. Circular saws have been used for well over a hundred years and are essential in the work of home building. But there’s no refuting that circular saws can cause serious injuries, including amputation, if safety measures aren’t practiced.
While there are more than a dozen types of circular saws used today, the basic safety precautions are similar. The following guidelines should be reviewed with your staff during daily safety talks and should be monitored during use.
Remember, only designated, highly-trained persons should be allowed to use circular saws for any work with your affiliate, whether on the job site, ReStore or any other construction-related work.
Before using a circular saw:
- Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (along with safety glasses or goggles)
- Wear an approved respirator or dust mask to avoid inhalation of harmful or nuisance dust
- Use appropriate hearing protection equipment
- Check the retracting lower blade guard to make certain it works freely
- Ensure that the blade you have selected is sharp enough to do the job—sharp blades work better and are safer
- While the saw is unplugged, set the depth of the blade and lock it at a depth so that the lowest tooth does not extend more than about 0.3 cm (1/8″) beneath the wood.
- Check the saw for proper blade rotation
- Be aware that circular saws are designed for right-hand operation; left-handed operation will demand more care to operate safely
When the circular saw is in use check the retracting lower blade guard frequently to make certain it continues to work freely. It should enclose the teeth as completely as possible, and cover the unused portion of the blade when cutting.