08/5/20

STRUCK-BY – AVOIDING EQUIPMENT KICKBACK

A type of struck-by injury experienced too frequently in construction is a person being struck by a saw or a grinder which has kicked back and struck their head, neck or upper body.

Struck-by injuries are caused by a powerful impact between the person and the piece of equipment they are operating or are working near.

A kickback is a sudden reaction to a pinched, jammed or bound-up saw blade or grinding disk. The pinching, binding or snagging causes a rapid stalling of the rotating blade or disk, which causes the tool to be forced in the opposite direction of the blade or disk’s rotation.

PRIMARY CAUSE OF EQUIPMENT KICKBACK

Avoid cutting with the upper quadrant of the blade or wheel. Be especially careful of pinching or binding of the wheel in this area, which can cause severe reactive forces in a rotational kickback motion.

CAUSES OF EQUIPMENT KICKBACK

  • Material being cut or ground is not secured.
  • The material collapses inward, and the blade is pinched.
  • Working in an unstable position causing the blade to bind.
  • Worn flanges can result in the blade being improperly supported.

AVOIDING KICKBACK

  • Inspect the blade and the guard to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Check the blade to ensure it has been installed correctly, and the blade rotates in the right direction.
  • Support the material being cut to avoid pinching or binding the blade.
  • Position the equipment so that your body is clear of the cutting attachment.
  • Avoid positioning the equipment above your shoulders.
  • Cut with the bottom quadrant of the blade or wheel.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.