WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert following an incident in which an employee sustained a serious laceration to their upper leg, while operating a handheld circular saw, severing their femoral artery.
The worker was airlifted to hospital however he passed away the next day.
The alert said that a common cause of incidents involving handheld circular saws is when the saw kicks-back and the blade comes into contact with the operator.
Kicking-back is an industry term used to describe when the blade of a circular saw becomes jammed by the material being cut, causing the saw to retract backwards quickly.
The risk of kick-back can increase when a circular saw guards become clogged with dust or debris, preventing them from operating effectively.
If there is an incident, the severity of an injury can be impacted depending on:
The alert recommended a number of ways to control risks, and when work involves handheld power tools, employers and self-employed persons must:
And when work involves handheld power tools, employers must:
To reduce the risk of kick-back occurring the operator should ensure that:
When using the saw, the operator should: