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.