Solution Summary: Saw Blade Guard Safety Lift
The saw blade guard safety lift is an engineering control that may reduce the risk of cuts and lacerations with worm drive circular saws. The saw blade guard safety lift is activated by pushing a thumb lever on the saw handle, which lifts the lower safety guard. The operator can make cross-cuts, plunge cuts, and steep angle cuts without having to manually move the lower safety guard out of the way. The saw blade guard safety lift can be used with the Skilsaw 77, Mag Skilsaw 77, Bosch 1677 MD, and Craftsman Model 2761.
The saw blade guard safety lift mechanism is screwed onto the saw using three screws that are part of the original saw.
By pushing down on the thumb lever, the attached aluminum arm pulls on the lift mechanism, which lifts the lower safety guard. The thumb lever allows the operator to have his hand on the saw handle at all times (Figure 1). When the operator removes his thumb from the lever, the lower guard returns to its resting position.
Figure 1. The Saw Blade Guard Safety Lift
The thumb lever is made of Black Valox 357 PBT plastic that is UV protected, impact modified, corrosion resistant, and flame retardant. The 5/16 in arm is made of rust resistant 6061 T-6 aluminum. The lift mechanism is made of UVA and chemical resistant Celcon M90 guerilla proof plastic. The entire fixture weighs less than 6 ounces.
Contact with a saw blade can cause cuts of fingers, hands, wrists, or forearms, or even amputation. If a major artery is cut, there is risk of significant blood loss or death. A saw blade guard safety lift protects the hand and fingers from contacting the blade in two ways. First, the thumb lever eliminates the need to manually move the lower guard out of the way to make cross, plunge, and steep angle cuts. Second, the saw blade guard safety lift eliminates the common practice of “pinning” the lower guard (permanently retracting the lower guard), which exposes the blade.
How Risks are Reduced:
A saw blade guard safety lift eliminates moving the blade guard with the hand and “pinning” the lower guard to make specific cuts.
The manufacturer believes that a saw blade guard safety lift can reduce injuries. In fact, the manufacturer stated that a saw blade guard safety lift “…complies with OSHA standards… reducing injury loss and Workers Compensation Claims.”
Safety and health experts agree that a saw blade guard safety lift can reduce the risk of finger and hand injuries.
Effects on Productivity:
A saw blade guard safety lift can improve productivity
The operator manual should be read prior to installation and operation of the saw blade guard safety lift.
The product is made of durable plastic aluminum, and steel. The specifications can be found at http://www.the3rdhand.com/product.php.
This product has a 30-day warranty from SJ2 Industries, LLC. However, if you use this product, Skilsaw will void the manufacturer waranty. This is true of any aftermarket additions that are made to most construction tools.
Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; Jesse Brouwer, SPT, and Kevin Wright, SPT – Eastern Washington University