Toolbox Talks: "Portable Saw Safety" September 3, 2015

Remember these safety tips when using a portable power saw:

*Inspect ALL tools before use.

*Wear overalls or long pants to protect your legs. Do not wear shorts.

*Always wear gloves when handling a saw. Heavy-duty, nonslip gloves improve your grip and help to protect your hands.

*Good footing is most important in cut-off machine work. Wear sturdy boots with nonslip soles.

*Proper eye protection is a must. Always wear ANSI rated safety glasses or goggles and a face shield.

*Wear a hard hat to protect your head.

*Power saws produce high noise levels. Always wear hearing protection (ear plugs or ear muffs) to help protect your hearing.

*When wet cutting is not utilized, the operator should always wear a respirator approved by NIOSH/MSHA for the material being cut to reduce the risk of respiratory illness.

*Avoid loose clothing, jewelry and anything that could get caught in the saw. Tie back long hair.

*Use both hands on the saw and make sure you are in full control of it. Avoid cutting above shoulder height.

*Always make sure you are using the proper blade for the material you are cutting.

*Make sure the material is secure before cutting. Never hold material in your hand or across your lap.

*Double-insulated saws do not require a three-wire grounding cord and the user is protected in the event of an electrical short. Always make sure the cord is out of the way and not in the line of the cut.

*Always unplug the tool before changing blades.

*Beware of kickback when using a circular saw. This happens when the blade becomes pinched and the saw lifts up out of the material and toward the user. To prevent kickback, make sure the blade is sharp and clean; do not let it overheat; support large pieces so they will not pinch the blade; beware of knots or sap in the wood and never remove the blade from the material while it is cutting. Release the switch immediately if the saw stalls or binds.

When refueling a cutoff saw, turn off the saw and allow it to cool. Refuel in a well ventilated area.

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