Know your legal position!
Cut-Off Saw safety – Are your operators working safely under the law?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
 


    •    employers and their contractors must protect the 'health, safety and welfare' at work of all their employees, as well as others on their premises, including temps, casual workers, the self-employed, clients, visitors and the general public.

    •    employers and their contractors must ensure the health and safety of their employees, by providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision as required. They must provide and maintain as safe any plant and equipment, and provide and maintain a safe working environment by using safe systems of work

Under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

    •    a cut-off saw is considered a piece of equipment for use at work, whether provided by the employer or the employee for their own use. The scope of the Regulation for the use of a cut-off saw includes training in any work activity, it also includes assessing condition, fuelling, starting, stopping and transporting the machines

    •    it is a legal requirement for those involved in the use of machines fitted with abrasive wheels to be properly trained. These regulations have totally replaced the Abrasive Wheels Regulations 1970 for the safe handling, storing, mounting and use of grinding wheels.

 

Under COSHH Regulations 2002 the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.

You can prevent or reduce workers exposure to hazardous substances by:

  • finding out what the health hazards are;

  • deciding how to prevent harm to health;

  • providing control measures to reduce harm to health;

  • making sure they are used;

  • keeping all control measures in good working order;

  • providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;

  • providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases;

  • planning for emergencies.

 

 

 

 

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and safety at Work Act 1974 is an enabling act. This means that other legislation, such as the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations, and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) as amended, are introduced into UK law through the HSW Act, and add specific requirements to the aims of the HSW Act without having to change the Act itself.


Aims of the Health and Safety at Work Act include:

  • To protect people at work

  • To protect people not at work from those who are Section 2 of the HSW Act deals with employers’ duties, and states: "It shall be the duty of all employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health safety and welfare of all their employees whilst they are at work." To achieve this employers’ need to:

  • Provide and maintain as safe any plant and equipment

  • Ensure safe use, handling, storage and transportation of any articles substances and materials used during their work.

  • Ensure the health and safety of their employees, by providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision as required

  • Provide and maintain a safe working environment by using safe systems of work

 

Section 3 requires the employer to ensure that people not employed, but who could be affected by his operation, are not placed at risk. The general public, customers, visitors or contractors attending the site area might need clear guidance and direction, training or
 

Section 7 states that employees must not endanger themselves, or others, by their acts or omissions. In addition, they must co-operate with their employers, as long as this co-operation does not lead to an increased risk to health and safety, or is an illegal act, so that the employer can comply with their statutory duties, thereby making the responsibility for safety a joint effort between employer and employee.
 

Finally, section 9 of the HSW Act requires the employer to provide, free of charge, personal protective equipment, or any other items, for the safety of employees, where it is required by law.

 
 

 

 

 

 

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

A cut-off saw is considered a piece of equipment for use at work, whether provided by the employer or the employee for their own use. The scope of the Regulation for the use of a cut-off saw includes any work activity and includes ‘starting, stopping, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning'

What you must do


If your business or organisation uses a cut-off saw or is involved in providing work equipment for others to use (eg for hire), you must manage the risks from that machine.

This means you must:

  • ensure the machine is suitable for the purpose it is used or provided for

  • take account of the working conditions and health and safety risks in the workplace when selecting work machine

  • ensure the machine is only used for suitable purposes

  • ensure the machine is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair

  • where a machine has a maintenance log, keep this up to date

  • ensure that all people using, supervising or managing the use of the machine are provided with adequate, clear health and safety information. This will include instructions on its use

  • ensure that all people who use, supervise or manage the use of the machine have received adequate training, which should include the correct use of the equipment, the risks that may arise from its use and the precautions to take

  • where the use of the machine is likely to involve a specific risk to health and safety, ensure that the use of the equipment is restricted to those people trained and appointed to use it

  • take measures to prevent or control the risks to people from parts and substances falling or being ejected from the machine

  • ensure that the risks from very hot temperatures from the machine or the material being cut are managed to prevent injury

  • ensure that the machine is provided with appropriately identified controls for starting, stopping and controlling it, and that these control systems are safe


 

 

Control of Substances Hazardous

to Health 2002 (COSHH)

COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. You can prevent or reduce workers exposure to hazardous substances by:

  • finding out what the health hazards are;

  • deciding how to prevent harm to health;

  • providing control measures to reduce harm to health;

  • making sure they are used;

  • keeping all control measures in good working order;

  • providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;

  • providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases;

  • planning for emergencies.

Substances are easily recognised as harmful. Common substances such as dust from natural materials are harmful.

Wearing PPE

Employers are responsible for providing, replacing and paying for personal protective equipment. PPE should be used when all other measures are inadequate to control exposure. It protects only the wearer, while being worn. If it fails, PPE offers no protection at all.

Types of PPE

  • Respiratory

  • Ear Defence

  • Eye protection

  • Protective clothing

  • Protective footwear

Training for employees working with substances hazardous to health

Provide information, training and instruction for employees who work with substances hazardous to health. Employees need to understand the outcome of your risk and what this means for them. When a contractor comes on site, they need to know what the risks are and how they are controlled.