Why Do Hand Held Circular Saw Injuries Occur - Expert Article

In this article, woodworking tools expert, Les Winter, P.E. provides an introduction to circular saw injuries and an explanation of why they occur.

Why Do Hand Held Circular Saw (“Skil Saw”) Injuries Occur?

Circular saws are the most common wood-cutting tools used in the carpentry trade. Although the saw is equipped with both an upper and a lower guard which surround the blade when the saw is not engaged in cutting, the lower guard opens as the saw is pushed into the workpiece, exposing the blade. The exposed blade is a laceration and amputation hazard. In order to prevent hand contact with the rotating blade, it is essential that operators utilize the saw’s front and rear handles. With two hands on the saw handles, neither can contact the blade. An additional advantage to utilizing both handles is the added control two-handed operation provides, thereby reducing the tendency of the saw to move suddenly and dangerously.

In order to achieve the proper two-handed operation of the saw, the workpiece cannot be supported by the operator. Modern saw instruction manuals, and correct accepted practice, requires that the workpiece be securely clamped to a stable table or other suitable support. Where this requirement is not complied with, and a hand or other body part is substituted for the support and/or clamps, the danger of laceration or amputation increases substantially.

Woodworking Tools Investigations

Our experts are regularly retained in casework involving lacerations, amputations, and deaths that are associated with the use or misuse of saws and other woodworking tools. The scope of our investigations can include equipment operation and maintenance as well as various safety features, such as guards, protective equipment, and flesh sensing technology units (sawstop).

For more information visit our Woodworking Tools practice page.

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