Safety Tips Machinery Power tools

Safely operating a circular saw

When working with a circular saw, one moment of distraction or carelessness is all it takes for tragedy to strike. A list of circular saw injuries on OSHA’s website includes cuts to the hand, severed toes, cut lips, lacerated legs and amputated fingers. To avoid injuries, OSHA recommends a number of do’s and don’ts, including:


  • Wear personal protective equipment, including safety glasses or goggles, faceshields, and hearing protection.
  • Ensure all safety guards are in good working order before starting work.
  • Ensure the saw’s blade is sharp. Sharp blades are safer and work better.
  • Keep cords away from the cutting area.
  • Know that circular saws are designed to be used by right-handed operators. If you are left-handed, the saw will require more care to use safely.
  • Check to be sure the retracting lower blade guard returns to its starting position before laying down the saw.
  • De-energize your saw before changing or adjusting its blade.
  • Keep the saw clean.
  • Maintain good footing when using the saw.


  • Put your hand under the saw’s guard.
  • Operate a vibrating saw.
  • Force the saw when cutting.
  • Hold or carry the saw with your finger on the trigger switch.
  • Use the saw without first checking for materials, such as a nail or screw, that may cause an obstruction.