Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,017 Posts
Don't be misled that only small sections can go flying. I had an employee 6' and over 200 lbs that got a full sheet of ¾" ply caught. It flew back at a slight angle, hit him in the stomach, and drove him back off his feet. The saw was a 3hp Unisaw. He had some bad bruising, and the wind knocked out.






.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
"It just gets in the way"...the number one excuse for not using (or even removing!) the safeguards on machinery... leading to high incidences of injuries, hospitalization and and even deaths. In the workplace, deliberate removal of guards & other safety devices is a serious offense and punishable by fines, in the event of an OSHA inspection finding. Sadly, in the home environment, OSHA has no say over how we use our home shop power tools - I wonder if insurance companies raise premiums when (if?) they find out a homeowner was injured by improper use of their tools...;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
While i understand the thinking of 'it has never happened', I also know it takes just one moment of distraction. For me I just remember Murphy has it out for me so when I can I leave all safety devices on. My TS had all removed by someone else and i've been trying to find inexpensive replacements for them.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,017 Posts
From the tablesaw accident stats, I don't remember if there was a distinction made if the safety devices were removed...primarily the blade guard. I can't say that all accidents are operator error. If the cause of an accident can be attributed to some unforseen condition or circumstance, then I say it would have been better for it to be forseen. Well, that takes it back to the operator, doesn't it.





.
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
29,960 Posts
it's about the physics and proper operation

Most kickbacks occur because the piece loses it's contact on the fence at the rear of the blade, rolls up and over the blade and is "returned to sender"....you the operator. By applying pushing force inward towards the fence you will reduced the possibility of a kickback.
Placing a curved edge against the fence or a twisted board will also increase the likelihood of a kickback.

Removing the blade guard which is usually part of the splitter will increase the possibility of a kickback and there will be no cover over the spinning blade, an added risk. For those who are inclined to take those risks, that is certainly a choice. In my case I can't make a partial depth kerf with the splitter attached. That cut does not expose the blade fully either, and for that reason, it's safer.

A board that closes down at the rear of the blade because the internal stresses have been released will also kickback. A splitter or riving knife in the kerf will reduce that possibility.
Here's a great video:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
I've gotten into the habit of standing off to one side instead of right in line with the blade...that way I hopefully avoid a kicked back piece...it definitely helps to push both against the fence as well as forward. My saw has some spring - loaded backwards-facing "jaws" attached to that piece that sticks up right behind the blade path(can't remember what it's called)that prevent the piece from moving backwards as you feed it thru the saw.
 

·
Old School
Joined
·
24,017 Posts
I've gotten into the habit of standing off to one side instead of right in line with the blade...that way I hopefully avoid a kicked back piece...it definitely helps to push both against the fence as well as forward.
Putting yourself in an uncomfortable operating position can be a cause for poor operator technique.

My saw has some spring - loaded backwards-facing "jaws" attached to that piece that sticks up right behind the blade path(can't remember what it's called)that prevent the piece from moving backwards as you feed it thru the saw.
Usually called "anti-kickback pawls".






.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Thx...gotta remember the name ;).

You're right, working in an uncomfortable position can take your focus away from the cutting and make one think more about the crick in his side instead of where he's putting his fingers when pushing stock thru the saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Ok, bear with me on this one guys; we are all entitled to our rants. ;)

I work with a very old Atlas table saw. I bought it from the company I used to work for many years ago. It was placed in storage from my shop at that company because it was not practical to upgrade it with a guard; replaced it with a nice Unisaw with a Uniguard. The reason we clamped down on the requirement to have guards on all equipment is that a guy in the shop just next to mine lost two fingers on a table saw without a guard. When a table saw grabs a piece of work you do not know exactly what it is going to do, it happens far too fast and very often there is lots of blood involved.

Now I have that old un-guarded Atlas in my home shop, I found an old splitter that I think I can adapt to it and plan to shortly. In my opinion a splitter is more important that the overhead guard but a good overhead guard, like the Uniguard, has enough flexibility to not be cumbersome.

I don't know about in the USA but in Canada there is a legal obligation of the employer to ensure guards are employed on equipment designed with guards. The law goes as far as holding individuals personally liable for their actions. In other words if I allow my employee to work without guards and there is an incident I could be criminally charged personally as well as the company.

Don't misunderstand me, I get the whole guard in the way thing. Like I said, I still don't have one on my personal saw. But having mopped up blood from the table saw to the first aid room there is a lasting respect for decent guards. I know, the operator has to know what he is doing with or without a guard, but a good guard does work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,758 Posts
Yea, he's an idiot alright. First of all I think those type of push blocks are dangerous and prone to let the wood slip anyway but he was pushing down hard and turning the wood into the blade. Kickbacks happen to anyone regardless of how experienced they are but the more experienced person will keep their hands where with kickback won't draw their hands into the blade. I remember one time picking a guys thumb up off the floor and rushing it to the hospital after the shop owner rushed the guy there. He had been cutting a used board that had a staple sticking down and when the staple hung on the saw table the guy reached behind the saw to lift the board up. When it kicked back it drew his hand right through the blade.
 

·
Sawdust Wrangler
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
We don't have safety features on any of our equipment, it just gets in the way.
I may be wrong but doubt it very seriously. If the day comes that an employee loses a digit or more in your shop and it is documented that you, as an employer took the safety gear off of the equipment, your employee will own your shop from that day forward. It's one thing if the employee circumvents the safeguard, it's another thing, entirely, if the employer does.

from OSHA

The employer is responsible for safeguarding machines and should consider this need when purchasing machinery. Almost all new machinery is available with safeguards installed by the manufacturer, but used equipment may not be.

If machinery has no safeguards, you may be able to purchase safeguards from the original machine manufacturer or from an after-market manufacturer. You can also build and install the safeguards in-house. Safeguarding equipment should be designed and installed only by technically qualified professionals. If possible, the original equipment manufacturer should review the safeguard design to ensure that it will protect employees without interfering with the operation of the machine or creating additional hazards.

Regardless of the source of safeguards, the guards and devices used need to be compatible with a machine's operation and designed to ensure safe operator use. The type of operation, size, and shape of stock, method of feeding, physical layout of the work area, and production requirements all affect the selection of safeguards. Also, safeguards should be designed with the machine operator in mind as a guarding method that interferes with the operation of the machine may cause employees to override them. To ensure effective and safe operator use, guards and devices should suit the operation.

I hope it never happens in your shop but you cannot ever be sure. The one thing you can be sure of, though, is that you took every precaution to keep your employees out of harm's way by using or installing guards on the machines...
 

·
Old Methane Gas Cloud
Joined
·
3,500 Posts
Steve,
Tom is a very honest and straight forward type of guy and by no means an idiot.

What Tom tried to accomplish was to make all of us aware of the hazard of kick backs. I think that Tom has done that job very well. We are discussing it.

Tom's only mistake was to use a piece of plywood for the demonstration. A piece of Styrofoam insulation would have been a better choice. As I've said earlier the Styrofoam makes a very dramatic demonstration.

Please give Tom credit for trying to make all of us safe.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top