Circular Saws

Hospital emergency room visits account for approximately 10,600 visits annually due to improper usage of circular saws.

Important Safety Guidelines

  • Wear PPE (safety glasses and hearing protection).
  • While operating a saw, keep long hair tied back, do not wear loose clothing or jewelry.
  • Before the cut, set the depth of the saw to 1/8" thicker than material.
  • Prepare a stable surface to cut material on. Never cut on your knee.
  • Never alter a manufacturer’s guard.
  • Blade guard should move freely to both the open and closed positions.
  • Never cut with a dull blade.
  • Always unplug the saw before you replace the blade.
  • Cut short material from long material first.
  • Stand to the side when cutting material. This position protects you from any potential kickback.
  • Hold the saw with two hands; one hand stabilizes the material to prevent the saw from moving and the other hand is on the saw.
  • After your cut, you can put the saw down.
  • Support large panels so they will not pinch the blade.
  • Beware of knots or sap in the wood and never remove the blade from the material while it is cutting.
  • Keep all electrical cords clear of the cutting path.
  • Do not twist the saw while cutting to change direction or saw alignment unless the blade is designed for that purpose.
  • Do not carry portable circular saws with hands or fingers on the trigger switch.
  • Keep the work area clean and free of debris and scraps to prvent stumbling or tripping.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion 

  • How can this tool hurt you?
  • How could you prevent it from happening?