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Power Tool Safety: When a blade is not just a blade!

Power Tool Safety: When a blade is not just a blade!

 

Recently, an employee was attempting to cut a piece of galvanized angle with a MITRE saw, similar to the one pictured below, when the employee became injured.  The 16 gauge 2”x2”x24” piece of galvanized angle was secured upside down (V-shape down/angle up) by hand against the back stop of the MITRE saw. The craftsperson’s left hand was securing the material as the saw blade was lowered with their right hand.  As the saw blade attempted to cut through the galvanized angle, the blade became bound causing the angle to roll, striking the three middle fingers of the craftsperson’s left hand.  The result was a tuft fracture to the middle finger and bruising to the left hand and additional fingers.

            Four common themes frequently appear from power tool injuries: 1) having the right/appropriate tool for the job, 2) improper or misuse of the tool, 3) not putting enough effort into the best use/application of the tool, 4) not knowing the limitations of the tool.

 

Factors to consider at your site and/or project include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Preplanning is key when performing work activities.  If preplanning would have taken place, then it would have be known that the blade was incorrect for the type of material being cut. 
  2. Familiarize yourself with the equipment being utilized and don’t operate until you feel comfortable.  This paticular MITRE Saw did not have the correct blade installed for cutting galvanized steel, also known as a Ferrous Metal.  The correct blade for cutting ferrous metals would be an abrasive cutting wheel.  Non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, tin, cooper, zinc and brass could have been cut with the blade located on the MITRE saw at the time of injury per manufacturer’s recommendations.
  3. Proper training and identifying hazards prior to work could have prevented this injury from occurring.
  4. Proper training and identifying hazards prior to work could have prevented this injury from occurring.

 

Consider this example as you complete today’s work activities.

Safety Flash Action Items:
  • Date Contractor Safety Flash posted for all employees to review: _______________
  • Safety Talk meeting date: _______________
  • Full employee attendance and participation at safety meeting to review this incident (documentation required).
  • Employees understand urgency in protecting themselves and others.
  • Supervisors and Employees are clear which items shared in this Safety Flash are mandatory.
  • Employees/Supervisors will focus on recommended actions during future work activities of a similar nature.
Contract Firm Management Rep Signature____________________
Date____________

THINK about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.

 

If you have questions about this CONTRACTOR SAFETY FLASH, please contact admin@cs-share.com

  

(This Safety Flash has been previously issued and is to be used for reference purposes only)

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