A table saw is probably the most widely used power tool in any woodshop. But it can be dangerous causing more debilitating injuries if not used properly.
Data shows that 720,000 accidents occur per year which are associated with woodworking, Among them, 42% happen due to improper use of the table saw.
Table Saw Safety Rules 2022 – Don’t Ignore! But don’t need to be afraid.
You can keep you from harm’s way, by following proper safety rules before and during using a table saw.
Here are some must-follow table saw safety rules that you shouldn’t ignore.
Most Essential Table Saw Safety Rules
Must- Follow Safety Rules before Using A Table Saw
#1 Read the Manual Carefully
Don’t forget to read the instruction manual. It’ll help you to understand the assembly process and use of the machine. Learn the location of each table saw parts of the specific model. Reading the manual is essential to learn the proper application and limitation of the unit.
Moreover, it’ll help you to know the general safety rule for general safety precautions.
#2 Follow a Habit-Forming Checklist before Start Sawing
- Place the unit in a well-lit, non-congested place.
- Eliminate all the scrap materials, debris, other tools and fasteners from the table of the saw. Make sure that the 2-inch perimeter is clear and clutter-free all around the saw.
- Use the saw blades that suit best to the materials. For example, avoid using a crosscut blade for ripping and vice versa. Make sure that the blade is sharp enough to get the job done.
- Cautiously check out the tightness of the arbor nut. Check the blade for crack, chipped teeth, and other defects. You must do all these with the unit unplugged.
- Adjust the blade height following the safety measures.
- You can extend the flat-ground blades but no more than ¼- inch above the wood. On the other hand, you can raise the planer or hollow-ground blades to avoid binding.
- For proper operation, you must check the table saw safety accessories such as anti-kickback device, splitter, blade guard, riving knife. Make sure that these table saw safety equipments are working correctly. Inspect these points before you plug on the unit.
#3 Check that the table saw blade guard is easy to move up and down to accommodate it according to different wood thickness.
#4 You may need to switch off the switch on the emergency situation. So, recognize the location of the turn on/ off button or paddle. Also, double check the condition of the switch.
# 5 If you use a corded- electric table saw, re-align the electric cord to avoid tripping over it.
#6 Align the rip fence parallel to the blade. Make sure that the fence is locked in position after you set your desired width.
#7 Visually inspect the workpiece for any foreign materials. Screw, nail, staple or a loose knot in the workpiece may be dangerous if it comes in contact with the running blade. If possible, use a metal detector for checking these foreign objects
Must- Follow Safety Rules While Using a Table Saw
#1 Have the necessary PPE. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes. If the materials tend to chip, to avoid flying over the dust use a full-face shield. Also, wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears from the loud noise produced during table saw running. Wear non-slip protective boot/ footwear when needed.
#2 Use the blade guard that comes with the unit or any other designed to use with the saw.
#3 When pushing the workpiece through the blade, hold it firmly down on the table surface and against the fence.
#3 If your projects involve working with the large workpiece, ensure that you have adequate support to hold the board or plywood. You may use roller support, stand, outfeed or extension table at the back or side of the unit. It’ll make the ripping process easier to finish.
#4 Push through the workpiece into the blade against the direction of its rotation.
#5 When making a cross cut, move the fence out of the way.
#6 Use a push stick, splitter or push show when ripping short or narrow stock (less than six inches). It’s safe to use push stick to take away the cut piece from the unit.
#7 Make sure that your push stick is handy enough for any cuts. Keeping one more push stick near your hand is convenient.
#8 Keep your hands and fingers out of the line of the blade.
#9 Use the right clearance inserts to keep safe your fingers from being close to the moving blade.
#10 Avoid free-hand sawing. Your cuts must be incorporate either miter gauge or rip fence.
#11 While working, stand on by keeping your weight equally balanced on both feet.
#12 Maintain a safe standing position while you’re working with your table saw. Never stand directly behind the workpiece or in front of the blade. Stay a little bit side of the machine out of the line of the possible table saw kickback.
Some More Table Saw Safety Tips
- When you’re tired or feel anxiety, don’t run your table saw. Also, stay away from working with a table saw when you’re on medication.
- Pay attention while you’re working with your table saw. Don’t rush and make a plan for your cuts.
- If you need to cut repeatedly, take a break after working some times to avoid boredom.
- Never reach around or over or try to make any blade adjustment over a running blade. Disconnect the power cord first.
- Never try to cut warped or water damaged boards as these may cause the workpiece to kickback.
- Never use the miter gauge and fence together.
- Avoid wearing hand gloves while working with your table saw.
- Never try to push the workpiece faster than the machine can accept.
- Never leave your running table saw unattended. Power off the switch and make sure the blade stops completely before you leave the workplace.
- Lower the blade below the table surface and disconnect the unit from the power source when not in use.
- Use the effective dust cleaning system.
- Be careful enough when cleaning, waxing or servicing the table.
- Unplug the unit before doing anything on the table.
To sum up, you must operate your table saw with extreme caution.
Hope, the above-discussed table saw safety rules would be helpful for operators and supervisors in the industry.
Follow The Safety Tips, Stay Safe And Work Efficiently!
Thanks for reading.