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Risk assessment for use of the Bandsaw . There is an HSE-written Risk Assessment for bandsaws that applies well to Makespace here:


1) Hair or clothes caught by the cutting tool

2) Chips in the eyes

3) Fingers cut/trapped with the blade

4) Broken bandsaw blade

  • Faulty machine interlocks, safety switches [no volt], blade cracks, PAT test
  • Entanglement [tie, gloves, sleeves, hair, other loose clothing]
  • Ejected materials
  • Impact/crushing
  • Dust - no MDF. inhalation, eyes.
  • Inadvertant starting
  • workpiece jam

operator safety

 keep workarea clear of all obstructions and loose items
 space around machine
 don't stay around if too noisy
 be aware of others around - don't use if they're too close!
 make sure floor surface is clean/dry
  Eye protection conforming to at least BS. 2092 (general purpose) must be used.
 tie back hair, no loose clothing

noise confined space

blade setup guides setup check tension BEFORE USE tracking just clear of the guides before cutting

demonstrate pusher rods, not applying too much force, stability

use fence or angle guide where possible

workpiece support

this course does NOT cover:

 blade changing
 cutting with table at an angle

Persons at risk.

  • Operator.
  • Persons nearby.


  • Check machine bolted down
  • Check interlocks, safety switches [no volt], look for blade cracks, PAT test current
  • Check any queries written on maintenance sheet
  • Check blade tension, support rollers, blade alignment
  • Check bed support (where blade goes through table - should have plastic insert)
  • Check Usage sign, Maintenance log, Risk Assessment forms near machine
  • Check red label "induction needed before use" is clear and visible

Initial assessment of risk

Hazard identified Severity Probability Risk Factor
Hair/clothes in cutting tool 3 2 6
Chips in eyes 3 2 6
Fingers cut/trapped 2 2 4
Broken bandsaw blade 2 2 4

Control measures

Users will be required to attend training to learn how to use the tool safely.

Safety glasses will be worn.

Machine to be kept out of way of people passing close by

Machine can only be used with MDF when extraction is on. Masks must be worn.

Final assessment of risk

Hazard identified Severity Probability Risk Factor
Hair/clothes in cutting tool 3 1 3
Chips in eyes 3 1 3
Fingers cut/trapped 2 1 2
Broken bandsaw blade 2 2 4

Points system (applies to all risk assessments)

Hazard severity Points rating Definition
Nil 1 Very minor injury, bruise, graze, no risk of disease.
Slight 2 Minor injury, which would allow the individual to continue work after first aid treatment on site or at a local surgery. The duration of the stoppage or treatment is such that the normal flow of work is not seriously interrupted.
Moderate 3 Temporary disability causing injury or disease capable of keeping an individual off work for three days or more and reportable under RIDDOR
High 4 Causing death, serious injury or permanent disability to an individual.
Very high 5 Causing multiple deaths and widespread destruction eg. fire, building collapse.

Hazard likelihood Points Rating Definition
Remote possibility 1 There is really no risk present. Only under freak conditions could there be any possibility of an accident or illness. All reasonable precautions have been taken - This should be the normal state of the workplace.
Unlikely 2 This incident or illness might occur but the probability is low and the risk minimal.
Possible 3 The accident may occur if additional factors precipitate it, but it is

unlikely to happen without them.

Highly likely 4 Will happen more often than not. Additional factors could precipitate an

incident but it is still likely to happen without this additional factor.

Inevitable 5 If the work continues as it is, there is almost 100% certainty that an

accident will happen, for example:

• A broken stair or broken rung on a ladder • Bare, exposed electrical conductors • Unstable stacks of heavy boxes

Risk Rating Score Definition Action
1 to 4 Low No action required
5 to 9 Moderate Reduce risks if reasonably practicable
10 to 15 High Risk Priority action to be undertaken
16 to 25 Unacceptable Action must be taken IMMEDIATELY