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image Safety Guard on Power Miter Saw

Safety Guards, Operating Controls, and Safety Switches

Safety Guards:
The exposed moving parts of power tools need to be safe-guarded. Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, flywheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating, or moving parts of equipment must be guarded.

Machine guards, as appropriate, must be provided to protect the operator and others from the following:

  • Point of operation.
  • In-running nip points.
  • Rotating parts.
  • Flying chips and sparks.

Safety guards must never be removed when a tool is being used.

Portable circular saws having a blade greater than 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) in diameter must be equipped at all times with guards.

An upper guard must cover the entire blade of the saw.

A retractable lower guard must cover the teeth of the saw, except where it makes contact with the work material.

The lower guard must automatically return to the covering position when the tool is withdrawn from the work material.

Operating Controls and Safety Switches:
The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with a constant-pressure switch or control that shuts off the power when pressure is released: Drills; tappers; fastener drivers; horizontal, vertical, and angle grinders with wheels more than 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) in diameter; disc sanders with discs greater than 2 inches (5.08 centimeters); belt sanders; reciprocating saws; saber saws, scroll saws, and jigsaws with blade shanks greater than 1 /4-inch (0.63 centimeters) wide; and other similar tools. These tools also may be equipped with a "lock-on" control, if it allows the worker to also shut off the control in a single motion using the same finger or fingers.

The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with either a positive "on-off" control switch, a constant pressure switch, or a "lock-on" control: disc sanders with discs 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) or less in diameter; grinders with wheels 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) or less in diameter; platen sanders, routers, planers, laminate trimmers, nibblers, shears, and scroll saws; and jigsaws, saber and scroll saws with blade shanks a nominal 1/4-inch (6.35 millimeters) or less in diameter. It is recommended that the constant pressure control switch be regarded as the preferred device.

Other hand-held power tools such as circular saws having a blade diameter greater than 2 inches (5.08 centimeters), chain saws, and percussion tools with no means of holding accessories securely must be equipped with a constant-pressure switch.

More Specific Safety Rules/Information:

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