031 – $6k Lesson in Proper Band-Saw Safety – Learn from their Mistake!

This week we’re talking band-saws! One California company was fined twice for one band-saw. They were cited over $6k by OSHA because they failed to make sure the band-saw wheels were enclosed and that it was properly guarded. Have a listen and learn how this company could have avoided this hefty fine.

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two bandsaw violations

Band-saws are a common tool in many workplaces, from wood shops to metal shops and beyond. While they are versatile and useful tools, they can also be dangerous if not used properly. This was demonstrated recently when one California company was fined twice by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safety violations related to their band-saw. 

The first violation was for failing to properly enclose the band-saw wheels, which left them exposed and posed a danger to workers. The second violation was for failing to properly guard the blade, which exposed workers to the risk of being cut or slashed. Together, these violations resulted in a fine of over $6,000.

How to avoid this citation

Fortunately, these violations are easily avoidable with some simple safety precautions. First and foremost, always make sure that the band-saw wheels are fully enclosed. This will prevent workers from coming into contact with them and getting injured. Second, always guard the blade with a properly fitting cover. This will protect workers from being cut or slashed by the blade. By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure a safe workplace for your employees.

Below is a small clip from our Band Saw Safety lesson. For access to the full lesson and our entire safety lesson library, give us a call at 800-734-3574.

Safety Checklist

Before operating a band saw, the operator must check the following:

  • The blade should be checked for tightness
  • Verify location of “off” switch and/or emergency power disconnect
  • Ensure that the table is clear of materials, tools and debris.
  • All portions of the saw blade must be enclosed or guarded except the portion between the bottom of the guide rolls and table. 
  • All portions of the saw blade must be enclosed or guarded except the portion between the bottom of the guide rolls and table.

  • The blade guard must be kept adjusted as close as possible to the table without interfering with movement of the stock.

  • The down travel guard from the upper wheel to the guide rolls shall be so adjusted that the blade will travel within the angle or channel.

  • The wheels of the band saw, upper and lower, must be fully enclosed.

  • A blade tension control device with an indicator must be present on all band saws.


    • Do not run at speeds in excess of the manufacturer’s recommended speed.

    • When changing the blade or servicing the saw, the power disconnect must be locked in the “off” position. For saws with a cord and plug, the saw must be unplugged. The saw must be tested after disconnecting power and before beginning service.

    • When finished using the saw, the blade guard must be in the lowest position, power must be turned off and machine unplugged.


      If your company needs safety training, along with OSHA defense and many other safety services, please call 1-800-734-3574 for more details.