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This is one of those urban-legend types of stories that no one ever has proof of — except in this case there’s not only proof but video, an eyewitness, and damage to a nearby home. A concrete-cutting saw blade comes off this saw and makes a beeline towards a nearby home — sounds like something from a John Woo film.

Luckily, no one was injured, but watching the guy retrieve the blade and slap it back on, most likely the same crappy way he installed it the first time, got me to wondering if he’d ever read the manual at all.

We’re guessing after the phone call from the city and the video hitting the news this guy had a very lively call with his superiors.

Giant Saw Blade on the Loose! [YouTube]


25 Responses to Runaway Saw Blade

  1. B. Foo says:

    Its funny how the news always picks the whiny sensationalistic neighbor to interview… “It could have hit the gas pipes! It could have went into my garage” AHHHHH the sky is falling!!! Somebody must pay!!! AHHHH! Well, lady, it didn’t…. so relax.

  2. Bob says:

    I agree with B. Foo. Why would this upset her? It not like a sweaty grease monkey fired a giant saw blade towards her house and missed by a few feet……Oh wait that what happened. My bad. πŸ™‚

  3. Jerry says:

    Same goofy news. Too many people focus on “what could have happened IF”, rather than, “This was actually a minor issue with no injuries.”
    I recall way back in 1973, while working on a dairy cutting firewood. They had this huge saw, powered by the tractor – I would guess that the blade was about 3 feet in diameter. Someone said, “better get back. The blades wobbling.” We all stepped to the side and watched as the blade came off and rolled through the pasture. We got the blade, put it back on and continued cutting firewood. I later found out that this was just a normal occurence with this machine.

  4. Jerry says:

    Is it just me or is anyone else ever suspicious of some videos when you have to ask the question: “Why was someone taping this in the first place?” Did someone really want a video of a concrete saw in action?

  5. flabbyboohoo says:


    Exactly… this seems like a set up.

  6. turtleman1 says:


    The report mentions that it was taped from a fixed home security camera.

  7. FredP says:

    You know, most of you are missing the point. Some worker was using an incredibly powerful tool that let a 3 foot diameter saw fly off and cut a giant slice into someone’s home and then *didn’t report it.*

    You mean to tell me that if you saw a 3 foot diameter blade fly into your neighbor’s home and the guy did nothing but retrieve the blade and go back to work, you wouldn’t be just a *little* upset? How about if it was your home? You wouldn’t care if someone cut a huge slice in your house and then just left the scene? Yeah, right.

    You make it sound like the woman in the video was a crazy hysteric. She pointed out there was a gas line two feet away. If it hit the gas line, was the guy going to just get the blade and not report that? Come on, get off your knee jerk “live free or die” soap box and act like a human being.

  8. paganwonder says:

    I’ve had framers that had to be reminded every morning which end of the hammer to pick up- not every worker is a Rhodes scholar! 3 foot saw blades coming off seems to be a serious machinery malfunction that needs repair whether it is in the street or pasture or where ever.

  9. Brice says:

    My job involves contracting on industrial sites. Lots of oil refinery work. Whenever I see a video like this I thank my lucky stars that I work in an environment that is so much more safety orientated than the typical construction site.

    Blades don’t just come flying off saws if you a)inspected the tool before you started b) actually knew what you were doing.

    Notice the complete lack of safety equipment. No eye/face protection, no body protection, I’d bet on no ear plugs. No standby watch in case something went bad. No barrier to prevent bystanders from entering the work area.

    If stuff like this happened at my job, hundreds of people could die. Completely unacceptable.

  10. Jim says:


    Thank you for starting a “serious” discussion.


  11. Chris W says:

    At an ABC tech maint shop in NY there was a hole in the wall with a picture frame around it. The hole was made when,years ago, an early slo-mo disk came loose and shot across the room. The 20″ disk had been spinning at 3600 rpm. The frame was a reminder to always tighten the spindle lock.

  12. JKB says:

    Jerry’s story has a good lesson. If the blade starts wobbling, it’s a sign. Kind of like when the water drains from a beach, it means get out of the way.

  13. matt says:

    @ Brice

    Hundreds??? really??? where do you work? Underwater cruiseship submarine???

  14. Tetsubo says:

    This gross negligence. Possibly criminal negligence. He deserves to be fired and the company to be sued. He’s lucky that he wasn’t criminally charged. Come on people, we all love tools on this site. Would *you* want this guy working next to you? Or in your neighborhood? He could have killed someone. In my job we call that a ‘near miss’. And we are thankful when they happen. Because it means we learn something without injuring or killing someone. This man was a lethal fool.

  15. Old Coot says:


    The first sentence of Brice’s comment states that he works at industrial sites including oil refineries; apparently reading comprehension is not one of your strong suits.

  16. Louis says:

    A blade coming off a machine is NOT a normal part of operation. Was the operator trained to use and maintain the machine? Was the maintenance of the machine up to date? If I were the guy, I’d report the machine as being defective (doesn’t it have a guard around the blade?). If I were the neighbor, I’d be pretty upset about having a powerful machine operated by a negligent operator or maintained by a negligent contractor.

  17. Jerry says:

    I still stand by my original thoughts that too many people make too much of a “what if” rather than dealing with what actually happened. Yes, this was a serious matter and the operator should be reprimanded or even fired from his job. Nobody was injured – there was some property damage that could be repaired. However, instead of saying “what if it hit the gas line”, maybe a simple “glad it didn’t hit the gas line” would have sufficed. Remember that time you didn’t see the stop sign and you went right through it? Did Mr. Policeman cite you for failure to stop or did he write multiple citations for all of the things that “could have happened”?

  18. Brice says:


    Another note, Oil refineries are in cities. If something real gets out of hand, lots of people that just happen to be close by die as well.

  19. fred says:

    I’m guessing that my original post – might have been filtered out by some anti-spam program – since I tried to include a link to an OSHA website on construction safety.
    What I also said was that if you want to bid for and obtain work from many large firms – you right need to file a HASP (health and safety plan) for the work that you will do. We do just this – and then live and breathe what we put in the Hasp. Safety for us starts before the work is undertaken and extends to briefings at the beginning of each shift. We strive to empower every single person on the our staff – from the most senior – down to the lowest paid day laborer – the ability to call a time out – should safety become a concern. Tolerating a worker that looks the other way when safety infractions or near-misses occur results in complacency and likely will result in some future tragedy. We take close calls as a serious warning that something is wrong – and if procedures have been willfully ignored or violated – there are consequences – up to and including terminations. We also believe that there is a need to have some cardinal rules about safety – sort of a line in the sand – and to let everyone know what they are – and that the consequences for violating one of these is so egregious that you will be fired. If we find that procedures need to be fixed or are not understood – we try to fix them quickly – and let everyone know what lessons we’ve learned from an incident. I can think of no higher goal than to ensure that everyone on one of my jobsites goes home at the end of a day’s work – tired but uninjured.

  20. matt says:

    Shouldn’t the saw blade be rotating the other way??? (Think circular saw…)

  21. rob says:

    I tend to agree with jerry
    I work all over the place where my work could hurt or kill people
    rather frequently it could do this to me and there have been plenty of close calls
    but that happens with anything risky

    this guy may have been negligent or improperly instructed we don’t really know
    but near misses happen thats why OSHA has system to deal with them
    rather than you screwed up your fired

    I have had a 600v mains blow up in the same room as me and had transformers melt under me I don’t worry about what could have happened
    I know what could have happened it is more important to to deal with it and make sure it doesn’t happen

  22. Bob says:

    I’ve got to call this. B Foo (and Jerry?) doesn’t pass the Turing Test. I’m pretty sure he’s a computer program.

  23. matt says:

    So….shouldn’t that saw blade have been turning the other way….

  24. B. Foo says:

    I don’t know what a turning test is, so whatever. I still stand by what I said and I agree with Jerry. If the blade had hit my house, yes, I would be mad. I would demand that I be compensated justly. I wouldn’t be complaining about all the things that “could” have happened. An asteroid “COULD” land on your house in 10 minutes. Many bad things “could” happen, but they don’t. No point get excited about them.

  25. herewego says:

    This is nothing that couldn’t be solved with a 45 minute safety video. Narrated by a guy who looks as if he never held a tool in his life and doesn’t take a shower without putting on safety glasses. He can explain to me the importance of something that can only be achieved through acronym while showing us a “reenactment” of this event. Problem solved, it will never happen again.

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