If you’re looking to use a miter saw, it’s best to understand the potential hazards when using it. A miter saw is a circular saw with a fixed table attachment used for making precise cuts. When using a miter saw, the user is at risk of several types of injuries, such as eye and body injuries. When using a miter saw, it’s possible for pieces of saw dust or splinters to shoot out. To the inexperienced and unprotected user, this can result in severe eye injuries if the pieces get into the cornea. Dealing with a high speed, electrical saw, the user is at risk of body injuries. Anything from a cut finger or electrical shock. How you deal with your miter saw will help you prevent these types of injuries.
Read the Manual
If you’ve never used a miter saw or if you are working with a new miter saw, read the manual. This will help you know all of the safety features. Not all miter saws are the same, so it’s important to know what the specifics are. Know where the power button is, if there’s a safety switch, how often to switch the blade. If you know all about the miter saw before using it, you are less likely to be injured.
Store the Miter Saw Safely
If you have a miter saw in your home, it’s very important to keep the miter saw stored safely at all times. You do not want to risk your children or pets getting into the saw, its electrical wires, or blade. Make sure to unplug the miter saw and put it in the OFF position at all times. By unplugging you remove the risk of someone accidentally turning it on, pets chewing on the chords, or water damage causing electrical damage. Removing the risk makes the miter saw its absolute safest.
Wear Proper Protection
Eye injuries are the easiest to prevent, yet one of the most common injuries involved when using a miter saw. Always be sure to wear safety goggles when using a miter saw. This will prevent pieces of wood from hitting the eye. Goggles don’t need to be expensive or fancy, just good at covering the eye during use.
Make sure when you are using a miter saw that you are free of distractions. Keep your area free of children, pets, or other activities. Don’t hold up a conversation if it removes your attention. It’s recommended not to have tv or radio playing, incase an exciting event distracts you. If you aren’t paying attention, you are more likely to lose focus and cause an injury.
Maintain Your Miter Saw
Never use a miter saw that is dirty or has a blade that is dull. Dirty miter saws are covered in sawdust, which can cause a slippery surface or jamming. Dirty miter saws are at risk of operating poorly, making the wood you’re cutting to slip along with your hands. Dull blades can also cause wood to splinter and shoot out, causing major injuries.
Always Secure What You’re Cutting
When using a miter saw, you’re working with a high speed blade. Never attempt to cut the piece of wood without securing it. Going free hand can cause the wood to wobble and jerk, which in turn, can slice your hand and cause severe injuries. Instead, always use a clamp to help hold down the wood as you’re cutting it.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is overestimating their reach with a miter saw. Always remain in a comfortable position and do not reach beyond a comfortable limit. Overreaching can lead to losing balance, losing control of the item you’re cutting, or hitting the blade with your arms. Remaining in control is easiest to do when you don’t go beyond your own reach.
Always Use the Miter Guards
When using a miter saw, it’s important to use the guards that come along with it. They have been installed specifically for safety purposes. The guards cover parts of the saw when it’s not in use, and it also covers most of the saw except for the portion that’s cutting. This prevents the odds of an injury to be less likely. Never remove the miter guards.