Table Saw General Safety

Table Saw General Safety Toolbox Talk

A table saw is a vital tool used in woodworking for straight sawing. Table saws are easy to use and prevalent in many personal and commercial workshops. Like most other tools in the workplace, table saws can cause serious bodily injury if you do not follow proper safety measures. It is critical, no matter how small a job, that the proper safe work practices are always followed.

table saw safety toolbox talk

Table Saw General Safe Work Practices

Before operating a table saw, a thorough pre-use inspection should take place:

  • The table saw should be level to avoid movement or vibration during use.
  • The saw should be distanced from away other workers to avoid flying debris injuries.
  • Inspect the saw blade for any damage, such as broken teeth or bends. If you identify any damage, replace the blade before using the saw.
  • Any identified deficiencies should be addressed immediately before starting work.

Ensure machine guarding is in place, and never remove or tamper with guards.

A table saw will kick back if the blade catches on the wood. Kickbacks can be prevented by:

  • Ensuring the blade height is correct, and the blade is maintained correctly (clean, sharp, and free from damage).
  • Using proper safeguards such as guards, spreaders, and anti-kickback fingers.

Other Tips

– Never place your hands in the line of the cut. When necessary, utilize a push stick to feed the wood through the saw.
– Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as required by your employer. Always wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from flying particles.
– Keep the floor and area around the table saw free of slip, trip, and fall hazards such as oil, waste, tools, and other materials.
– Be sure to pick up sawdust and scrap that accumulates around the saw to mitigate fire hazards and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
– Before changing a saw blade, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for properly de-energizing the saw. Follow any company-specific lock-out/tag-out procedures as well.

Note: In-depth training should always be provided for the specific saw used.


A table saw is a standard tool used in woodworking, but it can be dangerous if you do not follow proper safe work practices. Before using any table saw, perform a pre-use inspection of the saw, the blade, and the surrounding area. When using the saw, always keep your hands out of the blade’s cut line and wear the necessary PPE. By following the essential, safe practices, you can reduce your risk of injury.

Discussion points:

  • Before using a table saw, what are some things to look for during the pre-use inspection?
  • When is it appropriate to remove machine guarding?
  • What are some other hazards to consider when using a table saw?

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