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One of the most common hazards construction workers face is from saws. Saws can be used to cut a variety of materials such as wood, metal, and masonry. Whether working with a table saw, chainsaw or handheld power saw, these are incredibly powerful tools with the potential to cause devastating saw or cutting blade accidents. These types of accidents can lead to some of the most severe construction injuries imaginable, such as lacerations, amputations or even death.
In a recent incident, an apprentice was performing cuts using a drop saw which he thought the task would be faster if he held back the safety guard. He was severely injured when he bypassed the safety mechanism on a drop saw, resulting in it pulling him in and deeply cutting his arm.
We recommend a number of ways to control risks, and when work involves power tools, employers must:
- Undertake a risk assessment:
1. Identify hazards
2. Assess risks
3. Identifying suitable controls to eliminate or reduce risk
- Ensure all tools are maintained in accordance with manufactures instructions and are not modified
And when work involves power tools, employers must:
- Ensure apprentices are inducted on how to safely use power tools
- Provide instruction, training, and supervision
- Ensure safe operating procedures for power tools are developed and implemented
- Deliver a toolbox talk to ensure all workers are aware of safe operating procedures
- Ensure the correct PPE is worn relevant to the power tool
PPE When Using a Drop Saw
Safety glasses must be worn at all times in work areas.
Long and loose hair must be contained.
Hearing protection must be worn.
Sturdy footwear must be worn at all times in work areas.
Close fitting/protective clothing must be worn.
Rings and jewellery must not be worn.