Circular saws are considered driven machinery under the driven machinery regulations.
This means you must comply with the seven requirements for circular saws if your employees use them.
Revealed: Seven requirements for circular saws
Make sure your employees adhere to the following requirements for circular saws, says the Health & Safety Advisor:
Requirement #1: You're not allowed to run circular saws at a speed faster than the manufacturer's specification.
Requirement #2: The blade of the saw mustn't be damaged, blunt or irregular. The blade must be sharpened and properly set.
Requirement #3: If you use a power-driven bench saw, the blade must have a machine guard attached below the table.
Requirement #4: The blade part above the table must have a machine guard big enough to cover the teeth of the saw. The machine guard must be able to adjust itself automatically to the thickness of the material you're cutting. And it must be able to stay in contact with the material you're cutting.
If it's not practical to have this type of guard, make sure you use a manually-adjustable guard. This guard must cover as much of the cutting point of the saw as possible. If you're using a breakdown saw, the guard must cover the top of the blade.
Requirement #5: If you're using a power-driven circular saw for ripping wood, the saw must have a riving knife attached. The riving knife must be as close to the saw blade as possible, but mustn't be further than 12mm behind it. The riving knife must be in a direct line with the saw teeth at the level of the bench table.
In addition, the edge of the riving knife nearest the saw must form an arc of a circle. It must have a radius that isn't more than 3mm bigger than the largest saw blade which can be used on the bench. The riving knife must extend to a height above the table (or must extend above the table to a height) within 5mm of the top of the saw blade. It must have a smooth surface and it must be strong and rigid. It must also be easily adjustable.
Requirement #6: If you're using a tilting saw or a tilting table saw, you need to make sure you can adjust the riving knife in such a way that the riving knife and the machine guard stay in place regardless of the position of the saw and/or table.
Requirement #7: You need to keep a proper push stick at every bench saw you feed by hand.
Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Make sure your employees comply with these requirements for circular saws.