Cut-off saws: Safety do’s and don’ts

Cut-off saws: Safety do’s and don’ts

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Commonly used by construction workers, cut-off saws “can be extremely dangerous because unguarded blades operate at very high speeds,” the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations cautions. The agency has created a list of do’s and don’ts.


  • Wear safety shoes, fitted clothing, safety glasses, hearing protection and a hard hat while operating the saw.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended blade specifications for materials to be cut.
  • Inspect the cutting blade for warping and damage before startup and clean the air filter.
  • Test newly mounted blades at normal operating speed for 30 seconds, with the guard in place, before beginning use.
  • Keep all parts of your body away from the blade while it’s running.
  • Maintain good balance and footing, using both hands and a firm grip on the handles.
  • Run the saw at full throttle and use the bottom of the blade while cutting.
  • Keep water continuously running on the blade while cutting concrete or asphalt to keep dust concentration below established exposure limits.
  • Ensure the blade doesn’t become pinched in the cut.
  • Run the saw for 30 seconds after finishing a cut to allow water to be thrown off the blade.
  • Use caution when handling fuel. Never add fuel while the saw is running or near an ignition source.


  • Allow bystanders in the work area while you’re using the saw.
  • Cut in the vicinity of anything flammable – most cutting procedures produce sparks.
  • Use the saw without the blade guard in place.
  • Exceed the maximum operating speed marked on the blade.
  • Jam or wedge the blade into a cut.
  • Grind on the side of the blade or cut with the top or front of the blade.
  • Cut dry, except with a blade specifically designated for dry cutting by the manufacturer.
  • Operate a damaged, improperly adjusted or improperly balanced saw.

“Only personnel who have been trained on proper use and handling should be allowed to operate this specialized piece of equipment,” DOLIR says.

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

CPWR report examines causes of death for current, retired and former construction workers

Original article published by Safety+Health

Silver Spring, MD — Of the nearly 225,000 construction worker deaths recorded in 2020, 60% were at least 65 years old, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Researchers looked at 2020 data from the National Vital Statistics System, which included all causes of death for construction workers – employed, retired or no longer working – from every state except Arizona, North Carolina, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Findings show that, among the 224,400 deaths, the majority were non-Hispanic (88%), white (87%) and male (96%).

The leading cause of death varied by age group. For workers 16-34, the leading cause was poisoning and exposure to narcotics and hallucinogens (17%). For those 35 and older, COVID-19 was the leading cause, including nearly 15,000 workers 65 or older. Another 8,700 workers at least 65 years old died of heart disease.

“Although CPWR and others have extensively researched fatal occupational injuries, there is limited information on deaths not on the jobsite among construction workers, even though worksite exposures and tasks may result in lifetime health impacts such as cancers,” CPWR says.

The report was published in the January issue of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls

OSHA has resources for raising awareness and training workers about fall prevention during the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls to keep workers safe.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”. Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.


OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers. Read More»

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.