Concrete saws, also known as consaws or road saws, are a staple presence at a wide range of construction and road-work sites. As the name suggests, they are tasked with cutting tough materials, including:

-  Concrete

-  Brick

-  Asphalt

-  Masonry

Given their size and power, it comes as little surprise that accidents with concrete saws can cause considerably serious injuries at work.

How can I avoid accidents at work when using a concrete saw?
According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), construction site accidents are a significant contributor to the total of all reported workplace accidents over the course of the year.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help limit both the chances and severity of accidents with concrete saws.

The key to an effective concrete saw is the diamond saw blade. As such, this is where the majority of your pre-use inspection efforts should be concentrated. Pay particularly close attention to the following:

Drive pin hole – make sure it is not distorted
Gullets – check for cracks on the steel core of the blade
Steel core edge – check for discolouration and that the width matches the blade rim
Directional arrow – check that the blade is pointed to work in tandem with the turn of the shaft
Diamond segments/rim – check that there are no cracks or imperfections. Under no circumstances should a blade with a crack ever be used, as it is likely to end in a serious accident at work.
You also need to make sure that the specifics of the concrete saw ensure that it is up for the task at hand. For example, wet blades require water to act as a coolant, while you must also take great care to not exceed the maximum revolutions per minute.

Injuries at work with concrete saws are often caused by workers failing to check that all the necessary blade guards and covers are in place.

The blade should rise clearly above the surface to cut to allow it to reach the optimum speed before cutting, and workers should also ensure they have all the right protective clothing on, including goggles and gloves.

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