Unguarded bench-type firewood saws pose extreme safety risks and should never be used.

Use fixed guards or safe feeding arrangements to prevent hands or other parts of the body from inadvertently coming into contact with dangerous parts of saws or benches.

Safety solutions

Personal protective equipment

Wear appropriate personal protective equipment including:

  • close-fitting work clothing to avoid entanglement
  • eye and face protection such as goggles, safety glasses, face shields to guard against wood chips and sawdust
  • hearing protection
  • sturdy work boots with non-slip soles
  • hand protection such as gloves or mittens to protect against cuts and abrasions when handling offcuts, and to keep hands warm in cold weather.

Power source

Make sure you:

  • disconnect the saw from the power source before making any adjustments
  • protect power cords or cables with a residual current device (RCD) that is regularly tested.

Saw benches and blades

Make sure:

  • you keep saw benches and the surrounding area clear of debris and sawdust build-up
  • you use sheet metal or mesh guards to fully enclose belts and pulleys
  • you use guard power take-off (PTO) drive shafts and belt-driven saws mechanisms to eliminate entanglement and trapping points
  • guards extend at least 50mm beyond the front edge of the saw teeth in the non-cutting position
  • the opening in the guard for the passage of the saw blade does not exceed 50mm
  • only the upper quadrant of the saw blade (forward of the vertical centre line) is exposed during the cutting operation
  • the table and guard should be spring-loaded or fitted with counterweights to automatically return and enclose the saw blade on completion of the cut
  • on sliding-type tables, a guard enclosing the upper half of the saw blade should form part of the sliding table.
Page last updated: 27 February 2020