While Diamond Blades have revolutionised the construction business, it is also something that needs to be handled with utmost care. Here are some key safety tips to bear in mind while using Diamond Blades.
Effects of Inhaling Silica
Diamond Blades, when used on any surface like concrete, stone, clay or tile is bound to produce dust and some these materials contain silica. A highly carcinogenic substance when inhaled, repeated exposure to silica can lead to silicosis, which affects the lungs. 230 people develop lung cancer each year after being exposed to silica dust at work (source: cancer.org.au). The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) recommends that the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for crystalline silica should not exceed 0.05 mg/m3. Hence, tradies must take adequate measures to avoid breathing the harmful metal and use protective respiratory gear while operating cutting blades. Another way to control silica from mixing with the atmosphere while using cutting blades is to use wet cutting systems.
Using the Right Blades
Diamond Blades are known for their strength and durability, however speed is a factor. It is incredibly important that, when in use, the speed of the blade does not exceed the maximum RPM. OX Tools’ Diamond Blades are marked with a Max RPM throughout the range.
Next, ensure that the blade is inserted into the machine in the right direction and that it is being used to its product specifications. A Diamond Blade is specifically designed to be used in wet or in dry conditions and it is important that the recommendations for the blade are followed.
Since Diamond Blades are used under such intense pressure it is important to conduct an inspection of your blade prior to using it to make sure that there are no cracks, missing segments, damage to the blade or excess wear and tear.
Avoiding Kickback and Lock-In
To avoid kickbacks, tradies must ensure they use Diamond Blades that are confirmed by safety standards and are the right blade for the job. After fitting the blade to the machine, make sure you do a dry run of the machine for at least 30 seconds at an operating speed. Cut the material in a straight line and at a 90° angle. Avoid applying any force on the blade or the machine while cutting.
Lock-in is generally caused when the cutting material moves or shifts, resulting in the blade getting lodged between the material. To avoid Lock-ins, ensure that the material is securely clamped so that it doesn’t shift while being cut.
Using Personal Protective Equipment
Safety is paramount while working with Diamond Blades and tradies should wear recommended safety gear before commencing work. Wear appropriate safety clothing like hard-hats, face masks, safety gloves, and glasses. Non-slip work boots will also provide added support and you should avoid wearing flammable material or loose clothing while working with blade machines. For projects that require a lot of blade cutting work, it is advisable to use a full-face respirator for added protection.
Diamond Blades are the best in the business when it comes to effective cutting and using them while keeping safety in mind can ensure a seamless cutting job on the worksite. Additionally, it’s the quality of Diamond Blades that separate the best from the rest. OX Tools have proudly been a leader in Diamond Blade Technology and offer a variety of Diamond Blades that caters to your specific cutting requirements. Quality matters when it comes to Diamond Blades and we ensure our tools outperform at every task. Click here to view our wide range of Diamond Blades.