Unguarded bench-type firewood saws pose extreme safety risks and should never be used.
Fixed guards or safe feeding arrangements must be used to prevent hands or other parts of the body from inadvertently coming into contact with dangerous parts of saws or benches.
- Provide operators with appropriate personal protective equipment including:
- close-fitting work clothing to avoid entanglement
- eye and face protection (e.g. goggles, safety glasses, face shields) to guard against wood chips and sawdust
- hearing protection
- foot protection (e.g. sturdy work boots with non-slip soles)
- hand protection (e.g. gloves or mittens to protect against cuts and abrasions when handling offcuts, and to keep hands warm in cold weather).
- Disconnect the saw from the power source before making any adjustments.
- Ensure power cords or cables are protected with a residual current device (RCD) that is regularly tested.
- Keep saw benches and the surrounding area clear of debris and sawdust build-up.
- Use sheet metal or mesh guards to fully enclose belts and pulleys.
- Guard power take-off (PTO) drive shafts and belt-driven saws mechanisms to eliminate entanglement and trapping points.
- A guard should extend at least 50mm beyond the front edge of the saw teeth in the non-cutting position.
- The opening in the guard for the passage of the saw blade should not exceed 50mm (it becomes exposed as a tilting type table is tilted).
- Only the upper quadrant of the saw blade (forward of the vertical centre line) should be exposed during the cutting operation.
- The table and guard should be spring-loaded or fitted with counterweights to automatically return and enclose the saw blade on completion of the cut.
- For sliding-type tables, a guard enclosing the upper half of the saw blade should form part of the sliding table.