Saws: hazard identification

Risk management strategy for saws.

The following table is a risk management strategy for saws.
  • Band saw
  • Panel circular saw
  • Beam saw
  • Cross cutting saw
  • Multi-cut saw
  • Bench circular saw

Risk management identifies hazards that can expose a worker to the risk of injury, and records the measures used to remove or reduce the level of risk.

Risk management strategy

Hazard identification

Risk factors

Risk control measures

1

Cutting, laceration

  • Operator reaches into the cutting area
  • Exposed section of blade
  • Premature start-up of the saw
  • Guards and riving knife are correctly installed, maintained and used
  • Where possible blades retract when not in use
  • Push stick is available and used to move the timber through the saw

2

Crushing from transmission driven or associated equipment

  • Access to internal area of machine
  • Potential jam requiring access for clearing
  • Timber falling from machine
  • Fixed guarding encloses all transmission and associated moving parts

3

Object being ‘thrown’ by the saw

  • Using wet or green timber
  • Work piece is lifted off the work table during cutting
  • Inspection process for selecting timber
  • Work piece is clamped in place before cutting
  • Ensure the cutters are sharp and clean with a regular maintenance program
  • Safety glasses are worn by the operator
  • Push stick is available and is used to move the timber through the saw

4

Manual handling

  • Variation in material size, shape, weight
  • Poor work height due to fixed height of work table
  • Provide a standing platform for the operator to work at a safe and comfortable height
  • Use conveyors to support long timber pieces
  • Break down the size of the materials to reduce weight
  • Store raw materials at appropriate height to remove the need for bending or twisting
  • Use a second person to guide work piece
  • Use materials handling equipment to eliminate the need to move materials manually

5

Slips, trips and falls

  • Obstructed or cluttered work area around the machine
  • Slippery and uneven floor surface
  • Maintain a clear work space in and around the machine
  • Provide non-slip floor surfaces that give a firm foothold

6

Airborne contaminants (e.g. dust and vapours)

  • High speed sanding
  • Ventilation/extraction system poorly maintained
  • Provide and maintain local exhaust ventilation
  • Wear protective personal equipment (PPE) such as face masks
  • Regularly vacuum dust and sawdust
  • Note: DO NOT use compressed air to remove dust from skin or clothing

7

Noise from machinery operation and production processes

  • Different woods creating varying noise levels when being processed
  • Various machines in the area operating simultaneously
  • Local acoustic dampening to reduce noise levels
  • Hearing protectors used by all people accessing the workshop
  • Warning signs displayed in the workshop

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