Safety In The Use Of The Circular Saw

The circular saw is one of the most widely used tools in various work areas such as carpentry, masonry, construction, decoration, among others.

The use of this work instrument entails a set of risks that must be considered by the user. These risks must be known, as well as the respective security measures to minimize or eliminate them.

In this publication we will detail the dangers and precautions related to the use of a circular saw .

Risks involved in using a circular saw

These are the main risks that the user is exposed to while using the cutting instrument .

  • Projection of particles of the worked material.
  • Electric shock due to defects in the tool or its wiring.
  • Cuts and amputations, by contact with the cutting blade in motion.
  • Hitting from objects.
  • Abrasions
  • Entrapments
  • Overexertion due to repetitive movements or adoption of unusual body postures.
  • Environmental noise.
  • Dust generation.
  • Splinter incrustation wounds during wood cutting.


Circular saw

Preventive and safety measures when using the circular saw

There are several and diverse safety measures that must be implemented with respect to the use of a circular saw . We will describe these prevention measures in the different phases of use of the instrument, and the additional safety measures according to the type of circular saw that is being used.

Before using the tool

  • The cutting tool should only be used to do the job for which it was designed.
  • The user must know and become familiar with the work instrument before using it for the first time.
  • Particular attention should be paid to the information and warning plates on the tool .
  • The switch on and off the circular saw must be located within easy reach of the user, and in such a way that it cannot be accidentally pressed.
  • circular saw has protective elements that must be verified before starting work. In the event of any irregularities, the machine must not be used .
  • The conditions of the blade or cutting disc must be validated, before starting to work. In the event that the disc is defective, it must be replaced immediately.
  • Only use cut-off wheels that are suitable for the tool , and for the workpiece.
  • To mount the cutting disc, disconnect the circular saw , use protective gloves and take care that the disc is in the correct direction of rotation.

Cutting Blade of a Circular Saw

  • Check that the ground connection of the work instrument is active.
  • The power supply cable must have moisture protection and watertight plugs. It must also be in excellent condition.
  • Before connecting the tool to the electrical current, it must be verified that the voltage and frequency coincide with those indicated on the specification plate.
  • The material to be worked must be free of nails or metallic elements.
  • The work area must be kept orderly, clean, dry and away from flammable substances, combustible materials and electrical cables. Adequate lighting must also be provided.
  • A container should be available for cutting debris.
  • You must make use of personal protective equipment , such as a safety helmet, leather gloves, safety boots, a filter mask, anti-particle goggles or an anti-spray screen, and hearing protection.
  • Work if possible in a ventilated place.
  • Under no circumstances should the machine be used in the rain, snow, or in strong wind.

During use of the tool

  • It is recommended to work downwind. This way the wind will blow away the dust particles. Take care that the dust is not directed at other people.
  • The proximity of third parties should not be allowed while the cutting machine is being used .
  • Wearing jewelry, chains, or loose clothing is not recommended while using the tool .
  • To manipulate the piece of wood to be cut, the pusher of the circular saw must be used .
  • Never hold the piece to be cut with your hands or feet.
  • Do not use the electrical cable of the work instrument to transport, drag or disconnect it.
  • The electrical cable must be kept uncoiled and away from heat, water, oils, moving parts, sharp edges, pedestrian crossings or vehicles.
  • Sawdust produced should be vacuumed as you work to maintain visibility in the work area.

Portable circular saw with lighting

  • You should work on a firm, clean and level surface that allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor, in a balanced way.
  • The circular saw should not be used above the shoulder level, on stairs, in poorly accessible areas, or in positions tilted forward or to the side.
  • When working with large pieces of wood, you must take care of the balance of the work table.
  • In the event that the machine stops unexpectedly, stay away from it and contact specialized personnel for inspection. Disconnect the tool from the electrical current.
  • The circular saw should be held firmly with both hands and by the handles, without applying too much pressure.
  • The body should be kept to one side of the cutting wheel.
  • Hands should stay away from the cutting area, and the debris extraction chute while the machine is running.
  • It is not drunk to touch the lower or lower part of the piece that is being worked.
  • The power cord must remain behind the circular saw , and away from the cutting area.
  • The speed indicated for the job should not be exceeded.
  • You should not move away from the circular saw while it is in operation.

After using the tool

  • Once the work is finished, the tool must be disconnected from the electrical current.
  • The inside and outside of the circular saw should be cleaned with damp rags.
  • The working instrument must be kept in a safe place, out of the reach of children and unauthorized persons. The place must be clean and dry.

Additional Considerations for Table or Stationary Circular Saws

Table circular saw

  • Under no circumstances should the circular saw table be located less than three meters from the edge of the slabs, unless they are properly protected by means of finishers, railings or nets.
  • The location of the work table must be properly marked.
  • The guard located under the table of the circular saw , must prevent contact with the cutting disc.

Additional Considerations for Portable Circular Saws

  • You should not carry the tool while it is running, or with your finger on the ignition device.
  • The piece to be cut must be held on a stable surface.

Circular Saw – Clamped Workpiece

  • In case you work on scaffolding, you must verify that these are perfectly armed, that they comply with the corresponding security measures, and that they are clear. The work platform of a scaffold should never be overloaded.
  • You must be extremely careful when transporting the machine from one place to another. Especially when going down stairs or busy spaces.

By following these guidelines, you will be able to do effective and safe work with the use of the circular saw .

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