One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment at a California construction site is a saw. For that reason, workers need to be very careful whenever operating a saw in order to avoid a serious injury, like the loss of a finger or a hand. This article will cover some of the most basic safety tips that — if workers and employers adhered to — would help prevent the majority of saw-related injuries.

Here’s what workers need to do in order to stay safe:

— Always unplug saws before performing maintenance on them. For example, if a saw blade needs to be changed or if another adjustment needs to be made, it’s important to first pull the plug and make sure the blade comes to a full stop.

— When transporting or carrying tools like saws, be sure that the machinery is turned to the off position, it is unplugged and all moving parts have stopped.

— Always double-check to be sure that the power switch is turned to the off position prior to plugging any machinery in.

— Inspect items that will be cut for any signs of wood knots, screws, stables, nails and other irregularities that could cause the saw blade to catch.

— Cut away from the body.

— Keep a strong grip on saw blades and position the body, hands and arms in a way that give you the ability to stabilize against kick-back forces.

— If small pieces are to be cut, clamp them down securely.

— Let go of the saw’s trigger and let the blade fully stop while holding the saw before putting it down.

— If the blade is still moving, never take the saw away from the material that is being cut.

— Never clear away scraps when a saw blade is running. Always utilize a push stick to do so safely.

Following these safety tips will help prevent most saw-related accidents on the job. However, at the Law Office of Rockwell Kelly & Duarte, LLP, we have seen even the safest workers get hurt by these dangerous pieces of machinery. If you or your loved one has been hurt by a saw on the job, we are available to speak to you about your injuries and advise you of your legal rights and options regarding a workers’ compensation claim.