Spot the Safety Violation: Circular Saw Classic
You may have seen this classic “what was he thinking?” image before, and if you’re at all like me, your first inclination was to focus on what the worker was doing unsafely or just plain wrong.
But when this image came across my desk again recently, I had another thought. What safety, managerial, or procedural shortcomings lead this guy to think that his best option for a work platform was his own leg?
While you should certainly use this image as a training tool for your crew, share it with other supervisors, leads, and others overseeing workers and their safety. Use it to start up a conversation about possible shortcomings in safety policies, managerial processes and communication, and procedural shortcomings the employee in this picture, and your employees face while they are trying to get the job done.
Back to the circular saw in the image…
Warn your workers not to use portable circular saws, or any other portable powered cutting tool for that matter, unless they:
- Wear safety glasses to protect their eyes from dust and wood chips—those eyeglasses aren’t doing the worker any good dangling from his shirt.
- Use hearing and head protection; and
- Use a proper platform to cut the object—legs don’t count as a proper platform!
3 Reasons to Pay Attention
Let your workers know what’s at stake by making the following three short but powerful points:
- Each year, over 10,000 workers suffer serious circular saw injuries.
- Almost all these injuries are preventable.
- The one thing that would have prevented the most injuries: using the saw properly.
3 Hazards to Watch Out For
Having captured the audience’s attention, point out the common hazards posed by operating a handheld circular saw and the steps they can take to protect themselves:
- Point of Operation Hazards: You can get hurt if your hands slip or you get too close to the saw during cutting.
Prevention strategy: Keep your hands out of the line of the cut.
2. Flying Particles: Wood chips, splinters, and broken saw teeth may be thrown off by the blade’s cutting action.
Prevention strategy: Use proper eye and face protection.
3. Kickback: When the blade catches the stock, it may be thrown back toward the operator.
Prevention strategy: Keep the blade sharp, use the saw at the speed the manufacturer recommends and properly support the stock being cut—remember, using your legs is not a proper means of support!