Bandsaw operation poses risk to the operator and liability to the company; specifically if improper maintenance continues along with there being no steps taken in precaution and preparation. Operating bandsaw machines requires multiple pre and in operation awareness in order to realize a safe and effective cutting process.
Daily machine maintenance and pre-operating safety requirements need to be met. The operator should have a checklist of these procedures and the right tools for machine repair prior to any cutting of materials.
The checklist will serve as a guide to maintaining the life and value of the bandsaw while also aiding in a safe and worry-free cutting process.
- The work area — assure that things like lighting, removable objects, and anything else that may hinder the work to be done are removed or set far enough aside in order to maintain safety.
- Ventilation — should be adequate in order to avoid things like excess heat or dust accumulation to fog up the environment and make it difficult to see (and breathe).
- Impediments too close to the bandsaw — hi-lows, tool bins, and anything else that might impede the operator from safely and effectively managing around the bandsaw.
- The owner — is responsible for hiring well-qualified operators of the bandsaw machines in use.
- The operator — is responsible for knowing, understanding, and safely operating the bandsaw. Basic skills should be second-nature, as well as possessing core knowledge in saw blades, materials, and troubleshooting response.
- The machine’s basic parts — need to be thoroughly checked and often. Worn, weak, loose, and aged parts will need replacing prior to cutting in order to prevent time loss during any procedure.The chip brush, guides, tires, coolant system, blade tension, and guards should be clean, usable, and set in the right position. Clamping mechanisms should function properly. Wiring and plugs also need checking.
- Safety first — an operator must wear goggles/safety glasses at all times during cutting operation. The operator should also wear appropriate foot gear like steel-toe boots or shoes designed for the industry. Removal of jewelry, hair tied back, and loose clothing adequately secured.
- Controls — the power switch and the emergency off button (if present) also require a decent look along with knowledge in signs of wear or fire hazard.
These are a few of the important aspects to consider before operating a bandsaw. Safety is as important as smooth and successful output — one cannot be achieved without the other. Removing liability aspects from the workplace is just as smart as making a daily machine inspection SOP.
Please be sure to download a PDF copy of an advanced checklist here.