S for Saw Safety    


This month we look at Saw Safety in and around the workshop. No matter whether our involvement with wood is turning, joinery, cabinet making, carving or any other way of working with wood we invariably use saws in the preparation and machining of that wood.

The principal hazard areas when sawing are the work area, the area around the machine and the kickback area.

The most common hazards associated with saws are personal contact with the running blade i.e. contact with the moving teeth, the flinging out of cut off pieces or knots and kick back of the workpiece.

Powered saws are generally noisy and create significant quantities of fine sawdust, therefore the user will be subjected to the residual risks associated with hearing and dust generation. Hearing protection should be worn when sawing and a dust extractor drawing air from both the blade housing and the crown guard area should be used.

The chainsaw is potentially the most dangerous member of the saw family. Chainsaws can be widely bought at most hardware shops or garden centres. There is no requirement to have had any training in how to use them properly or to use safety equipment when using them. We then proceed to use our foot to steady a piece of wood while we attempt to cut it with our chainsaw. Is it any wonder that people get hurt?


When using powered saws we should remember the following:


Always take care to keep your hands away from the moving saw teeth - a mitre saw will cut through 4in by 2in wood in a second - it takes even less time to cut through a finger.