I'm looking for some information regarding the safety practices/PPE (personal protection equipment) for the operator of a straight line rip saw. I have attached a picture. The saw we have is a older cantek SRS 12.
We recently had the owner of the businesse injured by a 1/8" thick by 2" high off cut that tapers down to a point. i won't go to much into detail but basically the off cut shot back and went into the side of a finger and towards the knuckles.
There has been 4 accidents similar in nature involving different operators on the same saw over the span many years (maybe 15years or more) it's not a common accident. In all cases the machine is looked over and inspected for faults but always found in proper working order.
Normal practice is for the operator to feed the machine from the side of the line of cut and when the saw grabs the board to step aside. The person catching normally holds onto the board along with the off cut until clear from the saw.
My question is what is everyone else in industry doing to prevent these freak accidents and what kind of PPE, if any are company's using to protect their employees?
During the safety meeting, the accident was discussed and a few ideas was suggested to protect the operator in case of a freak accident.
For example kevlar gloves but that may create a risk of the feeding belt catching the fabric and pulling your hands in if your ripping short lengths if your hands get to close.
The other issue is we've been lucky to only have accidents involving the hands, not to downgrade the importance of any injuries but if you get struck in the core with a off cut then it becomes life threatening. So a leather vest/Kevlar vest was also suggested.
Are any of these ideas common practice is other shops or what else can one do to increase safety.
I have seen a heavy leather apron of sorts worn by people infeeding a ripsaw. This was usually double thick, covered well the "combat zone" that is at risk. Hands should be kept out of the path of potential kick backs. The operator also needs to be able to step aside and have the next board in place to go thru the saw. This put wood in the position needEd to help block those narrow pieces reversing direction.
A thick leather apron is along the lines of what we were thinking. would a thick apron be enough to stop a off cut if it were to kickback?
The feeding chain is in segments with a grove in it, similar to the picture but not as deep maybe 3/16". Is that the same kind of feeding belt your thinking of that needs a rubber insert? There is very little extra room in the slot to try and glue something in.
Hello Justin, I am one of the owners of Cantek. Over the years we have developed additional safety devices for this saw (now C12RSH). We have an add-on bottom kickback device (yours only has top kickback fingers) and a side safety guard assembly. Please email me your serial number and we can provide you with photos and pricing on these items. In addition we have the rubber inserts in stock which Mark has already mentioned. Email: email@example.com
We have a 10 year old model of that saw.
2 rows of fingers on top,
1 row of fingers on table at the start of the track. We never had any problems with kickbacks. We do replace missing and bent fingers as needed.
If you lower your top without running the track it can happen that the top fingers get jammed in the track. as soon as the track gets started they break or bend.
Our import Oliver has the 3 sets of anti kickback also. We have had no issues with kickback in 10 years. The set in front of the feed belt takes a little getting used to but I think a good safety feature.
Thanks for pointing out the plastic inserts Mark. I checked mine and thought they were all in but upon further inspection several were missing. The missing ones were packed with oily sawdust and looked the same.
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