Power saws have revolutionized the construction business, but not without risk. Injuries can be minor, such as nicking your finger with a jigsaw, or they can be major, such as amputating that finger with a table saw. Severity varies massively from one case to the next, but almost any injury can be very detrimental to construction workers who make a living working with their hands.
To reduce the odds of injury, use these tips:
- Always keep your eyes on the job. Even glancing away for a split second can lead to injury.
- Wear tight clothing that can’t get caught in a saw or other device.
- Clear scraps from the saw with a tool, not your hands.
- Make sure blades are sharp and in good condition. This reduces the odds of kickback.
- Do not cut materials the saw was not intended to cut, like nails.
- If you’re transporting a portable saw, do not touch the trigger while carrying it.
- Use safety gear, like push sticks and rip fences.
- Run blades at the proper depth, even if that means resetting them with every new job.
- If you have to do maintenance on a saw for any reason, always unplug it or take the batteries out first.
Of course, even these tips won’t prevent all injuries. For instance, perhaps you wanted to use a push stick with the table saw to keep your hands clear of the blade, but your employer refused to provide one. You tried to do the job as safely as you could, but you were injured in the process. It’s important to know all of the legal options that you have.
Source: American Society for Surgery of the Hand, “Power Saw Injuries,” accessed Jan. 26, 2018