Monday, November 21, 2016

Construction worker killed in Duxbury, Massachusetts when a power saw he was using kicked back and hit him in the throat.

Massachusetts construction worker killed after saw hits him in throat

Published November 21, 2016
Associated Press


Authorities have identified a construction worker who was killed in Massachusetts when a power saw he was using kicked back and hit him in the throat.

The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office says 28-year-old Jason Sanderson, of Carver, and another worker had been excavating an underground water line in a trench when the incident happened Saturday afternoon in Duxbury.

Investigators say they believe the chop saw he was using "became bound" and jolted back at him, making contact with his neck.

Sanderson was pronounced dead at a hospital. Authorities say foul play is not suspected.

The name of the company Sanderson was working for hasn't been released. The incident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Kickback happens when the wood hits the back of the blade or the wood binds. Common causes of kickback are:

  • the kerf closes behind the cut pinching the blade
  • a board is warped, cupped, twisted, etc and binds against the blade
  • the side of the wood against the table saw fence isn't straight
  • the blade isn't parallel to the fence
  • a cross cut is made without properly supporting the board and it twists into the blade
  • a cut-off gets trapped between blade and fence.
In each case, the velocity of the spinning blade can lift the board and send it flying. A piece of wood can fly so hard that can kill a worker, as it happened in this case.
Kickback is over before you are even aware it happened, so don't think you can react in time to pull your hand out of the way. You can't. 

Here are some tips to prevent getting injured by saw kickback on a table saw:
  1. The best way of preventing kickback is to use a riving knife or splitter and an anti-kickback device on your table saw. The riving knife and splitter will hold the kerf open behind the blade so the wood can't close on the cut.
  2. Don't pull the workpiece from the back side of the table saw, a kickback can yank your hand right into the blade. People do serious injury to their hands when the blade grabs the board pulling it and their hand into the blade.
  3. Don't use the fence when cross cutting narrow stock. There isn't enough wood against the fence to control the cut. Instead use the miter gauge to push the wood and leave your table saw fence to the side.
  4. Kickback often occurs when you're cutting large sheets of material. If you let the sheet sag down, the kerf can close and pinch the blade as you near the end of the cut.
  5. Keep your hands and body to one side of the line of cut.
  6. When using portable saws always maintain a firm grip on the saw and don't stretch so far over the workpiece that you're left in an awkward, unbalanced position.
  7. Make sure your wood is flat and the side against the fence is straight.
  8. Keep your blade parallel to the fence.
  9. Never try to free hand a cut.


DUXBURY – A 28-year-old construction worker from Carver died Saturday after a power saw kicked back, hitting him in the throat.

The Plymouth County district attorney’s office on Sunday identified the worker as Jason Sanderson.

The fire department received a report at about 2:15 p.m. of a construction worker suffering from serious injuries at 907 Tremont St. The residential construction site where two homes are being built is about a mile from Duxbury Fire Headquarters.

When first responder arrived they found Sanderson suffering from a severe neck wound.

“Investigators believe that Sanderson and another worker were down in a hole cutting a water pipe when the circular chop saw that Sanderson was using became bound and kicked back, striking him in the neck,” according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

A medical helicopter was requested but was not available. Lifesaving efforts were attempted at the scene before Sanderson was rush by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, where he died.

Duxbury Police notified The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state troopers assigned to the Plymouth County district attorney’s. Foul play is not suspected.

Duxbury police on Sunday deferred to the federal agency and Duxbury Fire Department. A captain with the fire department directed inquires to the department’s public information officer, who could not be reached Sunday.