OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >
What should you do before using a cold metal saw?
- Read the owner's manual carefully.
- Make sure you understand instructions and are properly trained before operating a metal saw. Refer to OSH Answers Metalworking Machines - General for general safety tips.
Cold cutting saws include hand and powered hacksaws, band saws, and horizontal and vertical circular saws.
Hot cutting saws use an abrasive disc or large toothless (friction) circular saw. Refer to OSH Answers Metalworking Machines - Metal Saws (Hot) for information on hot metal saws.
What are some basic safety principles to follow?
- Wear appropriate safety glasses.
- Ensure the saw has a start/stop button within easy reach of the operator.
- Ensure that all guards are in place and working properly.
- Guard long material at both ends to prevent anyone from coming into contact with it.
- Ensure that the blade is completely stopped before removing the stock.
- Use cutting or lubricating fluid when cutting metals.
- Keep saw blades clean and sharp. Check blades regularly for wear or damage.
- Select the correct blade and saw speed for the material being cut. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Use the stop gauge supplied with most cut-off saws when several pieces of the same length are required.
- Secure all work in a vise. Place the section to be cut such that the saw blade will clear the vise and table; however, do not place the section so far away from the vise that it will be unstable when being cut.
- Support long stock with a floor stand.
- Keep working surface clean of scraps, tools and materials.
- Keep floor around saw free of oil, grease and debris.
Document confirmed current on March 30, 2011
Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.