A rise and fall saw follows a cycle of operations until the cut is complete. A clamp holds timber against the table, while a circular blade lifts to cut through it. Once the cut is complete, the blade retracts, the clamp lifts, and the timber can be moved, ready for the next cycle.
While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.
Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.
A rise and fall saw is used to cut knots and other imperfections from lengths of timber, as well as cutting timber for items like pallets and packing cases.
Figure 1: rise and fall saw
- Contact with clamp
- Contact with blade
- Slips, trips and falls
- Contact with exposed blades (during maintenance, cleaning and repairs)
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Ear protection
- Eye protection
- Dust protection
Task – secure and cut timber
Cutting cycles can start by accident. Blades running down to stop turning after a cycle will present a hazard if access to them is possible before they stop turning.
Contact with clamp
- Trapped hand
- Crush injuries
- CLOSE OFF the tunnel to within 10 mm above and on the sides of the timber being cut.
- The tunnel guard must be no further than 6 mm away from the clamping hood and must not create a trapping point.
Contact with blade
- Deep cuts or amputation
- FIX guarding to prevent access to the blade.
- REPLACE damaged guards.
- USE two-hand control to ensure that both hands are removed from the point of operation.
- USE a push stick or the following piece of timber to clear timber in the tunnel.
- COVER pedals to prevent accidental operation.
Other (non-mechanical) hazards
- Hearing damage or loss
- Discomfort/ringing in the ears
- REDUCE noise levels by isolating machines or enclosing within noise barriers.
- ASSESS noise levels.
- ARRANGE hearing screenings.
- ALWAYS WEAR hearing protection.
- Eye irritation or damage
- Breathing problems, lung damage or cancer
- Worsening of existing health problems
- USE dust extraction equipment to minimise dust getting in the operator’s breathing zone.
- ALWAYS WEAR eye protection.
- ALWAYS USE respiratory protection.
Slips, trips and falls
- KEEP up-to-date housekeeping procedures.
- KEEP the area around saws clear of slip and trip hazards.
Task – Maintenance, cleaning & repairs
Contact with exposed blades
- Deep cuts or amputation
- LOCK-OUT all power supplies before maintenance, cleaning and repairs, or a