Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chop Saw Safety!

Good morning I.D.I. employees: This article is about a common tool that is used almost everyday at one job site or another. Below contains our I.D.I. best safe practices to help prevent an injury while using a chop saw. 

Chop saws are used to cut a variety of materials, but we most commonly use a chop saw to cut metal studs and track. Chop saws are operated by manually lowering the saw blade into the material from an overhead, hinged position. Chop saw blades turn toward the operator from the top, and the blade can spin at thousands of revolutions per minute. The user must hold the stock/materials at times, creating an amputation hazard. Use holding devices if the saw was provided with them. Verify that hands, fingers and all body parts are out of the line of fire with the chop saw blade.

Never use a chop saw with a missing or defective blade guard as shown in the photo immediately below.

The photo below shows a crew that knows what they're doing.  The blade guard is in place, face shield protection, fire extinguisher and a spark wall.  Great job crew!
·         Use the correct blade for the materials being cut.
·         Ensure the blade has a higher R.P.M. rating than the chop saw does.
·         Ensure blade is not cracked as the blade can explode.
·         Always turn off and unplug the chop saw when performing maintenance or blade changes.
·         Always ensure the chop saw has a working non-defective blade guard.
·         Always wear safety glasses when using a chop saw or working nearby a chop saw.
·         A best practice is to use a face shield in addition to safety glasses for face protection against sparks and flying debris.  Required by many general contractors.
·         Wear hearing protection when using a chop saw more than 2 hours in an 8 hour shift.
·         Always where gloves when handling metal studs or track.
·         Always have a fire extinguisher in your cutting area.
·         Ensure the chop saw’s electrical cord is in safe condition for use.  No cuts in the outer insulation, no exposed wires, etc.
·         It’s best to use the chop saw up off the ground so you are placing your body in good posture and not bent over for long periods of time.
·         Don’t wear loose clothing or jewelry such as necklaces that can get tangled in the blade. 
·         Keep hands, fingers and all body parts out of the line of fire of the chop saw blade.