Working Safely with Miter Saws
Miter saws are powerful tools but can be dangerous when used incorrectly. Following routine safety procedures safeguards operators from the risk of minor, as well as life-changing, industries.
Keep a Clear Working Area
Your working area should be well-lit and clear of debris and clutter and, of course, a child-free zone. Having adequate lighting means you can see potential hazards. Never keep gas cylinders in the same place as you are using your tools as a spark of electricity could cause a fire or explosion.
Remember Your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Sometimes we can neglect our personal safety when working but when you’re using a miter saw, it’s not a time to cut corners. You need to wear safety glasses or goggles, ear protection, a dust mask and avoid loose fitting clothes.
If your saw is corded, it should be plugged into a grounded outlet and should only be used with the cord and plug that it came with. Cordless saws will have battery packs which should be stored correctly. You should never let the saw become wet or carry it by its cord.
Keep the Saw & Wood Stable
The saw should come with a table guard to keep the saw stable when working. Long pieces of wood should be supported and stable to ensure they don’t move around when you’re cutting.
Keep a Cut-offs Bucket
When cutting it’s easy to forget about the small pieces of wood which drop to the floor. If you’re not careful, these will become trip hazards which could cause you to fall and injure yourself. If you’re holding the saw when this happens, the results could be disastrous. To avoid this keep a bucket or box near your workstation and regularly tidy up the cut-offs.
Protect Your Hands
It may sound simple, but remember to keep your hands away from the blade. Before you turn the saw on, take a second to check where your hand is. If you’re working on a small piece of wood, use a clamp to hold it in position – never your hand!
Never Remove the Guard
Some people can be tempted to remove the saw guard so that they can get a closer look at a cut, but this is incredibly dangerous. Keep the guard where it is so it can do what it was designed to do, i.e., guard you against injury.
As complications can arise in treating saw injuries, operators who experience problems following treatment should enquire about compensation claims (the the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk website is a resource with information on claims requirements).