Though it may require a couple of workers to load and unload, a masonry table saw provides the operator with a stable, safe work surface and can be fitted with a wheel kit for transporting around the job site. Masonry table saws can cut either dry or wet, with a diamond blade or an abrasive blade, using an electric motor.
Foot pedals allow the operator to have both hands on the masonry table saw. The operator can lower the blade with the hand lever.
Masonry Table Saw Safety Guide
Saws are inherent safety risks. But a masonry table saw minimizes the dangers in comparison to hand-held saws. A benefit of a masonry table saw is the ability to easily switch from wet cutting to dry cutting. Wet cutting helps reduce dust, but it also soaks the masonry unit, which could lead to color changes in the mortar or lower bond strength when a wet unit is used.
Masonry table saws help minimize operator fatigue, which increases safety. One feature that contributes to easier use is the ability to let the saw operator use either the handle grip or foot pedals to lower the blade into the cut. Alternatively, the operator can lock the head into a stationary position and push the material toward the blade on the conveyor cart.
It’s important to remember that for saws with a pivoting head the head supports not only the blade but also the weight of the engine or motor.
A masonry table saw is the right choice in applications where consistency and control are important.
To keep your saw operators as safe as possible, there are three main things to consider: personal protection, operational safety, and site safety.
Personal protection considerations
Each operator should have:
Hearing protection (Ear muffs are best due to their high visibility.)
Steel-capped safety boots
dust mask (essential in dry cutting)
gloves (Although some experts may advise against this.)
Know where the emergency cut off switch is.
Ensure that the power is off before changing blades.
Make sure that the masonry units are flat on the cart, and hold them firmly against the conveyor cart.
Don’t be afraid to get wet from blade spray.
Do not try to cut more than one unit at a time.
Never force the blade to cut faster than it will freely cut.
If the blade binds, turn off the power to clear it.
Don’t cut units that are cracked.
While cutting, never put your fingers inside cores, cells, or frogs, or accross the line of cutting, either on the front or behind where the blade will cut.
Know the proper procedure in case of an accident.
Post safety reminders on all saws.
Assure that all saws have all guards in place.
Keep power cables strung high enough to prevent interference with other workers or equipment.
Use no extension cords longer than 20m long.
Practice good housekeeping around the saw.
Inspect the saw every day before starting it.
Allow only properly trained operators to use the saws.
This safety information eas excerpted from The Masonry Saw, by William Hick, 1999, Construction and Transport Educational Services Division.