In this case, the operator of a band saw accidentally cut off four fingers on his non-dominant hand. He filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer claiming that the blade guarding was defective. Exponent’s biomechanical accident reconstruction analysis found that the injuries were not distributed as the plaintiff alleged. This analysis was based on his medical records and the physical layout and use of the saw. By using the biomechanical accident reconstruction analysis, the actual accident scenario was reconstructed.

OSHA’s recommendations

While band saws are common across industries, the hazards of these machines are often not fully recognized. In fact, band saw injuries are responsible for approximately 11.5% of all reported saw injuries. While there are several regulations for band saws, these do not adequately address the potential risks associated with unguarded moving blades that do not fit into the protective guard housing. Further investigation into available technologies and how to eliminate these potential hazards is required.

Always use a guard when working near a circular saw. Never reach across, behind, or beyond the blade. Always wear protective eyewear. Also, always wait until the saw is stopped before reaching into its area. Always remember to turn off the power before servicing or adjusting the saw. Moreover, never leave the tool running unattended. Be sure to turn off the power before removing any work. This way, you won’t be able to injure yourself while working with the saw.

Although the incidence of saw blade injuries is not yet established in the medical literature, it does provide a useful parallel in terms of band saw injuries. One retrospective study of 1002 woodworkers found that 6% of the 1,066 amputations were related to band saws. The majority of amputations involved a fingertip or pulp. A separate study of 283 woodworkers reported that 5.9% of all workers had an injury related to band saws. It also reported that band saw injuries occur at a rate of 2.6 per 1000-person-hours.

OSHA recommends using protective gear while using a band saw. Wear safety goggles, and make sure the saw is unplugged before performing maintenance. Always use lockout/blockout to prevent accidental startup of the machine while in use. Always place the upper guide post at least 1/4 inch above the work and never operate a band saw with a dull blade. A band saw safety guard can prevent serious injury.


While the present invention addresses the issue of preventing band saw injuries, there are other ways to make the machine safer. One way is to use interlocks, which prevent the band saw from starting or stopping until an operator releases a safety lever. These devices are a popular alternative for safety-conscious industrialists. The following sections will describe the benefits of interlocks in band saw safety. While the following description focuses on band saw safety, the invention is applicable to other manually fed machinery as well.

In an attempt to reduce the risk of accidents caused by band saws, safety check lists can be implemented. The operator should position the band saw with its back to a wall. This can prevent accidents due to individuals pushing the operator or vehicles parked outside. The interlocks can be wired into the blade, preventing it from moving until the operator performs the safety check. Once the machine has been safely positioned, the operator can safely operate the blade and braking system.

The present invention also provides process control means that raise the level of safety. For example, process control means can check the blade speed and duration of a stop procedure. The machine can also have a display screen that shows the status of the check list, either blank or with the brand name displayed. A check list can include questions such as, “show me your blue gloves.”

OSHA reported 479 incidents involving band saws from 1984 to 2017. Of these, 347 of those injuries occurred during the manufacturing and retail trade industries. Of these incidents, only 13% were caused by improper operation and removing the guarding. Only 13% of band saws advertised that they included an interlock. Those who opened the blade housing door to remove the guard exposed the blade and its transmission mechanisms. These hazards could be avoided if the operator used an interlock.

Safety systems

A vertical band saw is ubiquitous in woodworking, metalworking, and meat processing industries. However, many safety systems do not comply with consensus standards or regulatory requirements. Therefore, operators of band saws are still at risk of serious injuries. Fortunately, there are several types of band saw safety systems, which can protect operators. These systems include the following:

Band saw interlocks, which limit the number of incidents caused by saws, are a critical safety system. However, only 13% of band saws are advertised with this important feature. Many incidents result from incorrect operation or removal of the blade guarding. Fortunately, this is unlikely to happen when the operator is operating an automatic band saw. These automatic saws do not allow the operator’s hands to come near the blade, making them safer and more efficient.

In fact, nearly 4,000 band saw injuries have been reported to OSHA in the last 34 years. That’s 11.5% of all saw injuries reported to OSHA. By following proper safety systems, band saw accidents can be significantly reduced. But it is not enough to have a safety system in place if the machine is used incorrectly. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reports nearly 4,000 injuries related to band saws over the past 34 years.

The safety systems for band saw injury should include safety guards, work stabilization blocks, and push sticks for cutting rounded pieces. Using a push stick to guide the work piece through the cutting process will keep the operator’s fingers and hands away from the blade. The band wheel guards should interlock with one another so that if they are removed, power will be cut to the machine. Band saws require a run-down time before they stop turning. Automatic brakes reduce the time needed for the band wheel to stop.


Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, you need to wear appropriate safety gear when operating a bandsaw. An unguarded bandsaw poses numerous health and safety hazards. It can cause serious cuts, amputations, and airborne contaminants. Aside from the blade’s sharp edges, an unguarded saw also exposes your hands and clothing to the sharp cutting edge. When your bandsaw’s blade is dull or missing teeth, it can judder, kick back, and cause amputation.

OSHA has established band saw safety regulations to prevent injuries, but the hazards that these machines pose are not yet fully understood. In fact, only 11.5% of reported saw injuries were caused by band saws. ANSI, OSHA, and ISO haven’t fully addressed the dangers of unguarded band saws, or saws without guards. This leaves the field wide open for additional research and technologies that may help to reduce or eliminate band saw injuries.

Regardless of the brand, a band saw is generally safe woodworking machinery, but improper use can result in an injury. These safety precautions will reduce the risk of band saw injury and help you get the most out of your machine. Keep in mind that while a band saw is not as loud as a bandsaw, it is still a dangerous machine and should always be used in a safe and well-ventilated area.

Safety guards are critical. These guards prevent an operator from coming into contact with the rotating blade. While they may seem like a trivial addition, these guards will protect you from getting injured by preventing accidental contact. These guards are generally made of clear plastic and allow the operator to see the blade. They also prevent accidental kickbacks and slippage. So, while they may be difficult to see, they can still prevent band saw injuries.


The primary way to prevent a band saw injury is to use safety precautions while working with heavy machinery. Proper training is essential for minimizing the chances of an accident. The training must be ongoing, and refreshers are also necessary to ensure proper technique. In addition, if you use a band saw on a regular basis, make sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves. This article discusses other safety tips for band saws.

Airborne contaminants are the biggest hazard for workers in the timber industry, presenting both inhalation and absorption hazards. Exposure to wood dust is not only dangerous to the worker, but it can also cause throat and dermatitis. Additionally, the wood dust can ignite, posing fire and explosion hazards. To prevent any band saw injuries, employers must first identify the risks associated with band saw operation. WorkSafe provides guidance on this process.

Before using a bandsaw, make sure to familiarize yourself with the safety precautions for the type of material you’re cutting. Wearing protective gear, such as safety glasses and goggles, will protect your eyes and ears. Also, avoid wearing clothing that can entangle with exposed bandsaw wheels. A dull blade can cause material to kick back, resulting in severe cuts and amputations. Avoid exposing your hands to sharp metal by wearing safety gloves.

In addition to wearing safety gear, it is vital to check the blade’s tension regularly. Excessively tightening the blade can result in breakages, while a loose blade could easily fall off during use. Similarly, it is important to keep the table guard and the wood mouthpiece in good condition. The blade’s tension should not be too loose or it could fall off while using the band saw.

Similar Posts