The lower half of rotating saw blades on (especially older style) metal saws are exposed when they are in the resting position. Even though the saw is not cutting, the blade rotates at full speed. This can result in serious injuries if contact occurs. Injuries usually occur when the operator is cleaning away swarf or is reaching across underneath the saw for some other reason. Also, loose clothing can become caught on the rotating blade.
Some new saws are gully guarded. The problem here was to guard the existing ‘old’ saws.
The company developed a pivoting guard for the lower half of the older type saw. The handle on the saw and the saw’s guard are mechanically linked. When the handle is pulled down the guard opens and the saw blade contacts the material to be cut. As soon as the saw is returned to the resting position, the pivoting guard closes, fully covering the rotating saw blade to prevent accidental contact. The guard does not compromise an employee’s view of the cutting process.
Hierarchy of control:
- The guard prevents accidental contact with the rotating saw blade whilst it is in the resting position and ensures the safe cleaning of swarf or other waste from beneath the saw.