Comprehensive measures for the prevention of accidents
involving woodworking machines have been promoted over three stages.
As a result of these measures, the number of fatalities and injuries
caused by woodworking machinery that has led to work absences of four
days or more has declined to less than half of the figure for 1979,
when these measures were first started. However, the number of fatalities
and injuries still amounts to over 8,000 people annually, and the incidence
of such accidents that cause serious bodily impairments also remains
In view of the continuing incidence of such industrial
accidents, it may be observed that basic safety measures still haven't
taken firm hold. In other words, safety devices to prevent contact with
cutting edges, etc., is not fully installed or is not effectively maintained,
or woodworking machine operation chief is not appointed or is not fully
carrying out his duties. In short, it is necessary to promote comprehensive
measures to prevent accidents involving woodworking machine, with an
emphasis on continuing to promote the firm establishment of these basic
Accordingly, the Ministry of Labor shall determine
and promote new comprehensive measures to prevent woodworking machine
accidents as follows.
I. Emphasized items
In order to prevent accidents involving woodworking
machine (hereinafter referred to as "machinery"), it is
important to promote effective measures at each stage from the time
of manufacturing to the time of usage.
Accordingly, the following items shall be emphasized
in implementing the comprehensive measures, and those items that should
be specifically implemented by employers manufacturing such machinery
(hereinafter referred to as "manufacturers"), employers
using such machinery and related organizations shall be listed in
1 Promoting the design and manufacturing of machinery
in consideration of the need for preventing machinery accidents.
2 Fully implementing the correct installation and effective maintenance
of proper safety device.
3 Promoting the appointment of woodworking machine operations chief
(hereinafter referred to as "operation chief") and safety
confirmation personnel as indicated in Section II-1-(1)B, and the
thorough fulfillment of his duties.
4 Establishing working procedures for regular work and non-regular
work such as cleaning, inspections and repairs, and implementing safety
education as required to ensure that such work is appropriately implemented.
5 Promoting the full implementation of measures to prevent machinery
accidents in the wooden house construction industry, etc.
6 Promoting the full implementation of voluntary activities by such
means as carrying out campaigns to encourage measures to prevent woodworking
machine accidents as indicated in Section II-3-(1).
7 Promoting the publicizing and full implementation of the following
guidelines (hereinafter referred to as the "circular saw guidelines,
etc."). Items A and B should be the most recent revisions of
A. Safety guidelines on the structure, use, etc., of circular saw machines
(Attachment 1 of Labor Standards Bureau Notification No. 521 (Safety Guidelines
on the Structure, Use, Etc., of Circular Saw Machines) dated September
1, 1998; hereinafter referred to as the "circular saw machine guidelines").
B. Safety guidelines on the structure, use, etc., of band saw machines
(Attachment 2 of the above notification; hereinafter referred to as the
"band saw machine guidelines").
C. Safety guidelines on the structure, use, etc., of hand-feed planers,
etc. (Attachment 1 of Labor Standards Bureau Notification No. 656 (Determining
the Safety Guidelines, Etc., on the Structure, Use, Etc., of Hand-Feed
Planers, Etc.) dated October 24, 1994; hereinafter referred to as the "hand-feed
planer guidelines, etc.," including Items D and E below).
D. Safety guidelines on the structure, use, etc., of wood shapers (Attachment
2 of the above notification).
E. Safety guidelines on the structure, use, etc., of routers (Attachment
3 of the above notification).
II. Implementation items
1 Implementation items at the workplace
(1) Enhancing organization for safety management
Management executives shall make an organization
for safety management by such means as appointing safety supervisors,
safety and health promoters and those listed in the following,
and shall promote the clarification of their responsibilities
and authority and the thorough conduct of their duties. In doing
so, they shall also pay attention to implementing safety inspections
of the machinery as well as pay attention to the organization
established to confirm the implementation status. In addition,
they shall also hold periodic safety committee meetings, etc.,
and shall promote the effective utilization of such meetings by
bringing up machinery accident prevention measures, etc., as matters
A. Appointing the operation chief
In workplace where the appointment of an
operation chief is required, the appointment of such personnel
and the appropriate performance of his duties shall be fully
B. Appointing safety confirmation personnel
In workplace where the appointment of an
operation chief is not required, safety confirmation personnel
shall be appointed to implement such duties by carrying out
the following. It is desirable that safety confirmation personnel
be appointed from among those who have completed the woodworking
machine operation chief skill seminar.
(a) Providing instructions on work involving
the use of such machinery
(b) Confirming the proper use of safety device and tools
(c) Carrying out safety inspection and confirming the implementation
status of such inspection
(d) Confirming measures to prevent unauthorized entry onto worksite
C. Fully implementing assigned duties
The name and duties of the operation chief
and safety confirmation personnel shall be publicized by posting
such information at the workplace, and the thorough performance
of said duties shall be promoted by recording the implementation
status of said duties by the use of charts detailing inspection
results, etc., and by appointing the number of personnel in
accordance with the number of machinery unit, etc.
D. Utilization of those who have completed
the operation chief skill seminar
In work involving large machinery such as
automatic-feed band saw, etc., and requiring more than one person,
efforts shall be made to ensure that those who have completed
the operation chief skill seminar take command of such work,
even in cases that would not otherwise fall under the requirements
for appointing an operation chief.
(2) Making the machinery safe
A. Improving the safety of the machinery
Efforts shall be made to promote the improvement
of machinery safety by the following.
(a) Promoting the introduction of machinery
for which essential safety improvement measures have been taken
so that worker safety is secured even if the worker engaged
in machinery operation (hereinafter referred to as the "operator")
makes a mistake in machinery operation.
(b) Promoting work automation by means such
as the installation of automatic feeder device in the machinery,
the introduction of exclusive machinery suitable for specific
work such as circular saw with a sliding table for ripping for
cutting plywood and panels, and the introduction of woodworking
machinery with automatic control.
B. Designing safety device and the thorough
conduct of effective maintenance
Efforts shall be made to use the following
methods in fully implementing the proper installation and use
of safety devices to prevent contact with cutting edge, rebound
prevention devices and covers, as well as the equipment or tools
prescribed in the proviso of Paragraph 1, Article 127 of the
Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (hereinafter referred
to as "safety device, etc.").
(a) Reviewing work contents, workplace layout,
etc., and machinery usage by classifying machinery into unit
for exclusive use and unit for general purpose use in order
to reduce the frequency of adjusting safety device.
(b) In the case of conducting work such
as processing small objects, preparing all the proper safety
device in advance depending on the material shape, processing
method, etc., and selecting and using the appropriate safety
device in accordance with the material shape, processing method,
C. Measures by type of machinery
Efforts shall be made to take the following
steps by type of machinery.
(a) Circular saw machine
Many accidents involving circular saw machine occur due to such reasons
as not using devices to prevent contact with the teeth of the saw blade.
Therefore, the only teeth guards that shall be used are those that conform
to laws and regulations. Furthermore, efforts shall be made to promote
the introduction of those that specifically conform to the structure specified
in I-2-(21) of the circular saw guidelines, and to strictly observe the
usage standards outlined in I-3.
When portable circular saw machine is
used, it is desirable that they be equipped with split blades
to prevent rebound. In particular, in cases in which a portable
circular saw machine is used by affixing it to the work floor,
stand, etc., safety devices that conform to laws and regulations,
and a split blade to prevent rebound as outlined in II-2-(2)
of the circular saw machine guidelines, shall be installed
Moreover, in case of difficulties in using
a teeth guard as prescribed under Items A~D of I-2-(21) of
the circular saw machine guidelines due to the nature of work
such as cutting decorative laminated panels and the processing
of small objects, safety shall be secured by observing the
provisions of Item E of I-2-(21).
(b) Band saw machines
As there have been a number of band saw
machine accidents caused by becoming sandwiched between the
feeder roller, the automatic-feed device and the band saw
machine, etc., efforts shall be made to introduce not only
those safety devices that conform to laws and regulations,
but also those that conform to the standards on feeder rollers
specified in 2-1-(4) and 2-1-(5) of the band saw guidelines
and the standards on automatic-feed devices in 2-2, and to
thoroughly observe the standards on the usage in 3.
(c) Planing and molding machine, wood shaper
As many accidents involving planing and molding machine, wood shaper and
router are caused by coming into contact with the cutting edges, efforts
shall be made to introduce guard device that prevent such contact and not
only conform to laws and regulations, but also conform to the structure
specified in 2-(6) of the hand-feed planer guidelines in particular, and
to promote the strict observance of the standards on the usage in 3.
(3) Establishing proper working procedures and
implementing safety education
A. Establishing proper working procedures
Efforts shall be made to establish proper
working procedures through the following.
(a) In accordance with the machinery, materials,
etc., establishing in advance the respective work procedures
for regular work and non-regular work, and taking steps to ensure
that operator are made thoroughly aware of such procedures through
periodic announcements by the operation chief and safety confirmation
In particular, in case of conducting non-regular
work such as machinery cleaning, inspection and repair, establishing
work procedures concerning stopping the operation of said
machinery, locking the startup device, posting a sign, etc.,
and providing guidance on conducting such work in accordance
with said work procedures.
(b) Using equipment and tools in accordance
with work contents when processing small objects.
Moreover, when processing materials that
are excessively large in comparison to the machinery table,
such as long and/or wide materials, using extension table,
roller conveyor, etc.
B. Implementing education
Safety education for operator, operation
chief, safety confirmation personnel and management executive
shall be systematically implemented as follows in accordance
with the provisions outlined in Labor Standards Bureau Notification
No. 39 (Promotion of Safety and Health Education) dated January
(a) Safety education for operator
Safety education for operator is particularly
important in order to ensure the full implementation of work
procedures and to establish proper working procedures. Accordingly,
safety education for operators shall be systematically implemented
with respect to the proper use of safety device, the observance
of work procedures, etc. In particular, such education shall
be implemented on an intensive basis for operator who carry
out the processing of small objects, etc., operators who use
rip saws, gang rip saw and edger, operator who operate automatic-feed
band saw machine, etc.
(b) Operation chief skill improvement education
In workplace where an operation chief
is appointed, skill improvement education for operation chief
shall be systematically implemented on the basis of Labor
Standards Bureau Notification No. 536 (Skill Improvement Education
for Woodworking Machine Operation Chief) dated September 6,
Moreover, it is also desirable to conduct
such education for safety confirmation personnel in conformity
with that for operation chief.
(c) Safety education for management executive
Management executives shall participate
in safety education implemented by related industrial accident
prevention organization as indicated in 3-(2).
(4) Implementing safety inspection
In order to maintain the safety and functions
of machinery, etc., the personnel to implement safety inspections
and the personnel to confirm the implementation status shall be
clarified for the thorough conduct of safety inspection.
A. Inspection before work start
Machinery, safety device and attached equipment
shall be inspected prior to starting work.
B. Periodical inspection
Machinery, safety device and attached equipment
shall be periodically inspected at least once within a year,
and the results of such inspection shall be recorded and kept.
In the event any abnormalities are observed, appropriate steps
such as repairs shall be implemented.
C. Inspection items, etc.
With respect to the inspection items, etc., in A and B, the respective
inspection standards in 4 of the circular saw machine guidelines, 4 of
the band saw machine guidelines and 4 of the hand-feed planer guidelines,
etc., shall be used as a reference.
(5) Promoting machinery accident prevention
measures in the construction industry
A. The master employer in the construction
industry shall take the following steps to ensure the proper condition
of machinery used at worksite, etc.
(a) Thoroughly carrying out safety management
to ensure that related subcontractor do not bring any machinery
that is in an unsafe condition onto the site by confirming the
presence, functions, etc., of safety device for machinery brought
onto the site by employee of the related subcontractor.
(b) In the course of conducting worksite
patrols, confirming the proper use of machinery, the installation
and effective maintenance of safety device.
B. Making efforts to establish proper work
procedures by implementing Items (1) ~ (4) above at the wood processing
workplaces of construction company offices.
2 Items to be implemented by manufacturers
(1) Designing and manufacturing machinery in
consideration of safety
Efforts shall be made to design and manufacture
machinery and safety device in consideration of safety and operability,
and which conform to the standards on structure outlined in the
circular saw machine guidelines, etc.
In addition, efforts shall be made to provide
workplace with the necessary information in terms of machinery
accident prevention by such means as posting the following items
in the manuals, etc.
A. Fully implementing effective maintenance
procedures for safety device.
B. Giving careful attention to establishing respective work procedures
in advance for regular work and non-regular work in accordance
with the machinery, materials, etc., and making such procedures
known to operator.
C. In case of conducting work such as machinery cleaning, inspection
and repair, taking steps such as stopping the operation of said
machinery, locking the startup device, and posting a sign.
D. Implementing inspection prior to starting work, and also implementing
periodical inspection at least once within a year.
(2) Efforts shall be made to develop machinery
for which essential safety improvement measures are taken, so that
operator safety is secured even if operator makes predictable mistakes
in operation or if the machinery malfunctions.
3 Items to be implemented by related organizations
(1) Implementing promotion campaigns
Related industrial accident prevention organization and industry organization
shall implement woodworking machine accident prevention measures promotion
campaigns (hereinafter referred to as "promotion campaigns"),
whose contents include the publicizing of the comprehensive measures and
the circular saw machine guidelines etc., implementing patrols, implementing
voluntary inspections, widely spreading "woodworking inspection day"
and other creative voluntary activities.
(2) Implementing safety education
Related industrial accident prevention organization
shall systematically implement safety education that targets the
management executive of workplace where such machinery is installed,
as based on Labor Standards Bureau Notification No. 217 (Promoting
Safety and Health Education) dated February 20, 1976.
(3) Establishing accident prevention conferences
Related industrial accident prevention organization,
industry organization such as the lumber industry, wood product
manufacturing and fixture manufacturing organization, machinery
manufacturing and sales organization, etc., shall serve as the
main constituents in establishing machinery accident prevention
conferences to be organized by prefecture and by district, with
the participation of related administrative organization, etc.,
in order to discuss machinery accident prevention measures including
promotion campaigns and to conduct effective safety activities
based on the annual plans.