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Metal on Metal - 6 Tips on Cutting Ductile Pipe Safely

With more than 30 years in the diamond blade industry, I have been aware of two major injuries associated with diamond tool use; both of them while cutting ductile iron pipe with a hand held gas cutoff saw and diamond blades.  In both instances it was reported that the pipe shifted during the cut and the saw kicked back. One of the accidents left the worker with over a hundred stitches from his neck to his abdomen, and the most recent worker was not as lucky.
Metal on Metal Ductile Pipe blog header-01

 

With more than 30 years in the diamond blade industry, I have been aware of two major injuries associated with diamond tool use; both of them while cutting ductile iron pipe with a hand held gas cutoff saw and diamond blades.  In both instances it was reported that the pipe shifted during the cut and the saw kicked back. One of the accidents left the worker with over a hundred stitches from his neck to his abdomen, and the most recent worker was not as lucky.

 

IT IS IMPERATIVE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DANGER OF THIS APPLICATION

If you sell or use ductile iron diamond blades, it is imperative that you understand the danger of this application and are trained appropriately. Please take at least these 6 tips into consideration before cutting any metal with a diamond saw blade, especially pipe. Serious physical injury or death may occur if you do not.

      1. Cutting any metal product will throw sparks - Sparks can cause fire and fire can cause an explosion of combustible materials. Make sure the area is clear of anything flammable or combustible before cutting. Failure to do so may result in severe injury or death.
      2. Always properly secure the material being cut - They key to minimizing kick back is not allowing the material to move at the end of the cut.  While the pipe may seem secure before cutting, the cut itself may allow the pipe to move or sag. Support it from any possible angle to eliminate a pinch. Failure to do so may result in severe injury or death.
      3. Always stand along side of the saw, not in the direct path - Think about the direction the saw may kick in and make sure you are not there. Failure to do so may result in severe injury or death.
      4. Always hold the saw away from you - Do not hold it close, or lean against it. If you are getting tired while cutting, STOP CUTTING. The farther away you are from the saw, the more time you have to react if something happens. Failure to do so may result in severe injury or death. TAKING THE PROPER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WILL INSURE A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.
      5. Only cut straight - If somehow you forgot to mark the cut and find yourself cutting in the wrong direction, do not try to turn the saw to straighten the cut. The blade core is tensioned to eliminate wobbling and is not made to cut anything but a straight line. Attempting to do so may overheat the core and cause the blade to lose tension. In addition, it may also cause the blade to bind and kick back causing severe injury or death.
      6. Do not cut any deeper than necessary - The segment is the only part of the blade doing the work. Burying the blade deep in to the pipe only increases your chances of pinching or binding the blade which may lead to severe injury or death.

We hope these tips have been helpful. Please pass this information on to anyone whom it may benefit. Despite all of the dangers associated with cutting ductile pipe, know that taking the proper safety precautions will insure a safe working environment. ALWAYS USE APPROVED SAFETY GEAR WHEN OPERATING ANY SAW. Refer to ANSI B7.1, B7.5 and all OSHA regulations first.

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