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Protecting Yourself from Miter Saw Hazards
A miter saw, also known as a "chop saw," is a circular saw that is mounted on a frame. It is designed to be portable and to make very accurate angled cuts between 45 and 90 degrees. The compound miter saw can cut at an additional angle in order to cut bevels. Miter saws are predominately used in cutting wood but can also be used to cut plastics and light metals. Like any power tool, it is important to follow some safety rules to protect yourself. The following are some guidelines to keep yourself safe while operating you miter saw:
1) Wear protective gear. Make sure to protect your eyes with safety goggles or safety glasses that currently meet the national safety standard. Wear a full protective face mask when needed or dust mask for dusty projects (some of the dust from projects can contain harmful chemicals). It is also recommended to wear hearing protection (such as ear plugs) with extended use of a miter saw.
2) Avoid wearing any loose clothing. Do not wear anything that could possibly get in the way or fall into the path of the saw. This would include loose clothing, jewelry such as earrings, neck ties, gloves, or any dangling object. Remember to tie back long hair.
3) Keep miter saw clean. The miter saw and area around the miter saw should always be clean and free from debris. Also, inspect material to make sure it is free from nails and any other foreign objects before cutting.
4) Maintain a sharp miter saw blade. Always use a miter saw blade that is sharp and undamaged.
5) Do not over reach. Keep a secure footing and do not over reach. Never attempt to reach around the miter saw while it is on.
6) Use miter saw safety guards. The miter saw should come with an upper hood that covers the top half of the blade along with a lower blade guard. Do not operate machinery without these guards.
7) Make sure that blade is securely fastened. Loose blades have the ability to fall off. Take care to make sure that the miter saw blade is securely fastened and aligned correctly. To do this, unplug the miter saw and carefully spin blade with finger. The blade should not hit any of the other components of the saw.
8) Keep work material secure. Do not attempt to cut the material freehand. Always make sure that the material being cut is secure against the fence of the miter saw. If the work piece is unstable, then use a clamp to hold it in place. Also, remember to check that the miter saw is on a smooth and stable surface before beginning a project.
9) Leave miter saw unplugged and in the off position when not in use. Following this guideline will protect you from any accidents that could occur when turning on your miter saw. Never leave a power tool on while unattended. It is also advisable to wait until your miter saw is completely warmed up and come up to speed before starting a project.
10) Be Alert! Always be alert when operating a power tool. If the work becomes monotonous, take a short break. Accidents are prone to happen to those who are not paying attention.
Be sure to follow these miter saw safety tips in order to keep yourself safe. Remember that these are only general guidelines and that you should stop operation of a miter saw at any sign of abnormality. Always be cautious while operating a miter saw in order to avoid any possible accidents.
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