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Woodworking Machinery General Requirements


October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

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This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the general industry standard 29 CFR 1910.213 and the construction standard 29 CFR 1926.304. It applies to all wood working machinery. This checklist must be used in conjunction with the Machines General Requirements checklist. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA, and EPA standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation. Definitions of terms in bold type are provide at the end of the checklist.

  1. General Machine Construction

  2. Is each machine constructed and installed so it is free from sensible vibration when the largest tool is mounted and run at full speed? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(1)]
  3. Are arbors and mandrels constructed to have firm and secure bearing and be free from play? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(2)]
  4. Are saw frames on tables constructed with lugs cast on the frame or with equivalent means to limit the size of the saw blade that can be mounted? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(5)]Note: This is done to avoid overspeed caused by mounting a saw larger than intended.
  5. Are circular saw fences constructed so they can be firmly secured to the table without changing their alignment with the saw? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(6)]
  6. Are circular saw gauges constructed so they slide in grooves or tracts that are securely machined, to ensure exact alignment with the saw for all positions on the guide? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(7)]
  7. Are hinged table saws constructed so that the table can be firmly secured in any position and in true alignment with the saw? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(8)]
  8. Are all belts, pulleys, gears, shafts, and moving parts guarded? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(9)]
  9. Is each woodworking machine provided with a disconnect switch that can be locked in the off position? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(10) and 1926.304(a)]Note: The construction standard 1926.304 permits a disconnect switch that can be tagged in the off position.
  10. Are the frames of all exposed noncurrent-carrying metal parts grounded? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(11)]
  11. If the possibility exists of contacting part of a circular saw either beneath or behind the table, is that part covered with either an exhaust hood or guard? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(12)]
  12. Are revolving double arbor saws fully guarded? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(13)]
  13. Is the placement and mounting of saws, cutter heads, or tool collars on machine arbors accomplished when the tool has been accurately machined to size and shape to fit the arbor? [29 CFR 1910.213 (a)(14)]
  14. Are combs (featherboards) or suitable jigs provided at the shop or lab for use when a standard guard cannot be used, as in dadoing, grooving, joining, moulding, and rabbetting? [29 CFR 1910.213(a)(15)]
  15. Is the operating speed etched or otherwise permanently marked on all circular saws over 20 inches in diameter and operating at over 10,000 peripheral feet per minute? [29 CFR 1926.304(b)]
  16. Do woodworking tools and machinery meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) codes for safety? [29 CFR 1926.304(f)]Note: A label on the equipment or manufacturer’s literature might indicate that it meets ANSI’s standards. In case of doubt, the manufacturer of the equipment should be contacted.

    Machine Controls and Equipment

  17. Are mechanical or electrical power controls provided on each machine to make it possible for the operator to cut off the power without leaving his or her operating position? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(1)]
  18. On machines driven by belts and shaftings, is a locking-type belt shifter or equivalent positive device used? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(2)]
  19. Is each operating treadle protected against unexpected tripping? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(6)]
  20. Are automatic feeding devices installed on machines whenever the nature of the work permits? [29 CFR 1926.304(c)]
  21. Do feeder attachments have the feed rolls or other moving parts covered or guarded to protect the operator from hazardous points? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(7) and 1926.304(c)]

    Inspection and Maintenance of Woodworking Machinery

  22. Are dull, badly set, improperly filed, or improperly tensioned saws immediately removed from service before they cause the material to stick, jam, or kickback when it is fed to the saw at normal speed? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(1)]
  23. Are saws with adhered gum cleaned immediately? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(1)]
  24. Are all knives and cutting heads of woodworking machines kept sharp, properly adjusted, and firmly secured? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(2)]
  25. Are all bearings well lubricated and kept free from lost motion? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(3)]
  26. Are arbors of circular saws free from play? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(4)]
  27. Is sharpening or tensioning of saw blades or cutters done only by people with demonstrated skill in this kind of work? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(5)]
  28. Is cleanliness maintained around woodworking machinery so guards function properly and fire hazards are prevented in switch enclosures, bearings, and motors? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(6)]
  29. Are all cracked saws immediately removed from service? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(7)]Note: Dispose of cracked saws in a manner that will prevent injury to anyone handling the discarded saws.
  30. Is inserting wedges between the saw disk and the collar to form what is commonly known as a wobble saw prohibited? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(8)]
  31. Are push sticks or blocks provided at workplaces in several sizes and types suitable for the work to be done? [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(9)]


Dadoing: cutting a rectangular groove across the width of a board or plank.

Grooving: cutting a hollow channel into a piece of wood.

Joining: cutting a piece of wood or plank to have it join exactly with another piece of wood or plank.

Moulding: cutting or working a piece of wood on its side or edge to a uniform cross section. other than rectangular, to give it an ornamental effect.

Rabbetting: cutting a rectangular, longitudinal groove in the corner edge of a board or plank in order to have it join with another board or plank.