Used in many workshops, both professional and personal, table saws are not only exceptionally handy and often necessary tools, they are also extremely dangerous. In order to prevent potentially serious work accidents, it is vital to know how to use these tools safely.
Table saw accidents at work
Initial steps to prevent work–related injuries when using table saws consist of reading operating manuals and receiving training in the use of these tools. This is partially necessary to ensure that the right blade for the job at hand is selected and subsequently secured tightly in its correct position. Important pre-operation checks include:
- Ensuring blades are sharp to prevent kickbacks
- Ensuring blade guards function properly and, bolts and nuts are secure
- Ensuring fences and blade are square
Avoiding work injuries by table saw
To protect ears, eyes and limbs against accidental injuries, it is necessary to:
- Wear tight fitting clothing
- Remove jewellery
- Wear eye protection
- Wear ear protection
It is also recommended to check pieces of wood to be worked on for nails, staples, and knots, to prevent kickbacks or flying debris. Having done this, personal injuries while using table saws can be prevented by:
- Allowing the saw to reach its maximum RPM before commencing cut
- Keeping blade height sensibly low (high blades may cause too much friction or heat and cause kickbacks)
- Standing to the side to prevent kickback injuries
- Ensuring wood is supported on both sides
- Keeping wood firmly against side fences during cutting (if necessary, rollers, out-feed tables, or the assistance of other workers, should be used)
- Having push sticks at hand to keep fingers away from blades
Wood should be fed into blades carefully and with very little pressure, as forcing or pushing wood into blades causes additional friction and may result in kickback injuries. Table-saw operators should never over-reach and should avoid trying to cut pieces that are too wide or too long to be easily managed. If not cutting through the full length of a piece, it is important to allow the blade to stop fully before removing it from the wood.
If you were injured at work using a table saw sometime during the last 36 months and the accident was not your fault, you may be eligible for industrial injury compensation. Contact an Accident Advice Helpline adviser to confirm your claim eligibility and initiate your no–win, no–fee compensation claim. Claims are handled and often conducted entirely over the telephone by experienced legal professionals. Our Freephone number is 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
Date Published: January 28, 2014
Author: David Brown