Saws are quite popular and handy tools for cutting wood and other materials. They come in many types, are used in various industries, and have different uses. Regardless of the kind of saw you have, handling it with proper care is necessary.
If improperly used, saws could lead to cuts, abrasions, electric shock, or amputations. Moreover, the machine might also kick back and cause a fatal accident. Therefore, one must be careful with this tool.
Some of the safety measures you should take when using a hand, electric, or battery-operated saw are:
1. Check Your Saw Before Using It
Before using any saw, inspect it first. For instance, if you buy a new belly saw or any other type, you should first check if there are any missing, loose, or improperly mounted parts. If you identify any of these issues in your machine, it may be best to return it to the store and request an inspection or replacement.
It’s also crucial to check your saw even though it might not be new. Ensure all parts are present, functional, and none are damaged or loose. If you find any issues with your saw, don’t use it before it’s inspected or repaired by a professional. Also, make sure no one uses it by labeling it unfit to operate.
When examining an electric-powered saw, ensure it’s not plugged into a socket. If you’re using a battery-driven one, take the batteries out during an inspection. These steps will ensure you don’t switch on your saw unintentionally while examining it, preventing an accident.
2. Don’t Operate A Saw While Intoxicated
It’s advised that one shouldn’t operate any machinery after taking alcohol, drugs, and some medications. This should also apply when using any saw.
This is essential because drugs could cause impaired thinking, whereby you might not know right from wrong. This could be dangerous when handling a saw because you might unintentionally hurt yourself or another person.
Some medications like opioids could cause drowsiness. Operating a saw in such a state increases the possibility of an accident. You might cut yourself or someone else. If you’re using a table saw, it could be worse. Your clothes might get stuck in the blade, and you’d be pulled into the machine. This accident could cause severe injuries or become fatal.
Operating any saw while drunk can be quite hazardous. This is because alcohol might affect you in various ways. For instance, the drink is thought to be a depressant. This means it could slow down your brain.
Alcohol might also affect some brain parts that control inhibition, causing impaired cognitive performance. As a result, you might make poor decisions. Besides that, the drink could also cause warning signals or reflexes that should come into effect when sober to fail.
3. Only Use Sharp Blades
Regardless of the type of saw you may be using, it’s advisable to use sharp blades only. A blunt saw could:
- Make cutting difficult
- Give you rougher finishes
- Damage your material, causing wastage
- Cause the saw’s motor work harder than required to move and push its blade through a material, making it overheat
- Lead to stalling, binding, or kickback
As seen, it’s essential to ensure that your saw blade is sharp before using it. Here are some signs that tell you your saw may be dull:
- If the quality of cutting has reduced over time
- If the motor is too noisy
- If the engine gets too warm
- If you’re using more energy to cut through material
Some situations might require replacing an entire blade rather than sharpening it. Examples are if there’s a broken tooth, rust, or your saw is severely damaged from cutting the wrong materials.
4. Wear Safety Gear When Using A Saw
It’s also essential to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with any saw. If you’re an employer, it might be necessary to provide safety gear to your workers, depending on your state. Therefore, ensure you comply.
PPEs are essential because when using a saw, there are always splinters flying around from the wood, metal, or any other material you might be working on. Therefore, it’s vital to have goggles on to protect the eyes.
Since dust might also be produced as you work with a saw, it may be harmful to your lungs. Hence, a respirator is essential. Moreover, hearing protection is also necessary because some saws may be noisy.
Besides wearing safety equipment, you should also have the right clothes when working with saws. For instance, jewelry, ties, and loose-fitting garments are highly discouraged. These could get trapped in a blade, increasing the risk of an accident.
Saws can be handy tools to own. However, handling them with care is necessary. This way, you avoid damaging the machine, injuring yourself, or hurting someone else. Some of the safety measures you should consider when using a saw are inspecting it and ensuring it’s sharp before use.
Also, it’s recommended not to operate the tool without protective gear. Additionally, using a saw while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications like opioids that cause drowsiness is discouraged.