Power Tool Safety Tips
Guest Post By: Randy Gonzales
Whether you are working on some DIY projects around the house or you use power tools on the job, safety needs to be a top priority. In the United States alone, 400,000 people go to the emergency room every year due to injuries from power tools. Some of the most common injuries involve:
- Nail guns (37,000 injuries)
- Chain saws (36,000 injuries)
- Table saws (29,000 injuries)
- Circular or rotary saws (10,600 injuries)
- Power drills (5,800 injuries)
We all know that power tools can be dangerous – but did you know that there are a number of things you can do beforehand to keep yourself protected?
Usually, injuries are caused by carelessness or unpreparedness. Here are some tips straight from an industrial hardware supplier for ways to protect yourself and others from power tool injuries.
1. Check Everything Before Starting
Rushing into a project is almost a sure guarantee that you will make a mistake – and one of those mistakes could cause serious injury if it involves power tools. There are a lot of things that you need to check before you even pick up your tools.
But don’t just check your equipment, measurements, and supplies. Take a look at your working environment and ask yourself:
- Is the ground clear of any obstacles or hazards, like puddles, slippery spots, or loose gravel?
- Are all power cords kept out of the way?
- Is there sufficient light to see where I am using the tools?
- Is there a secure footing underneath, such as a table or something to catch falling objects?
Take a few minutes to ensure that everything is in order and be well aware of your space before you turn those power tools on. This can save you a world of trouble.
2. Keep All Areas Protected
You must always wear the proper protective workwear – even if you are simply drilling in a couple of screws. Your eyes, ears, face, and hands should be protected at all times when handling power tools. These are the body parts that are most vulnerable and likely to be injured.
First, be sure that you are wearing the correct type of gloves for whatever tool and task you have at hand. You want gloves that are thick enough to protect you from nicks, but provide flexibility so you can handle the tool.
Second, wear protective eyewear that wraps around your eye completely. Traditional glasses aren’t enough here, as they leave openings on the side where wood chips or dust can easily fly through.
Be sure your airways are protected with a mask. Breathing in too much dust can cause you to sneeze or cough – which could cause you to lose focus or control of your power tools. Plus, breathing in these contaminants can be detrimental to your health.
Finally, avoid wearing any jewelry like long necklaces or loose clothing – as these could catch in a tool.
In addition to keeping your fingers and face safe, there are many benefits of using personal protective equipment (known as PPE). This includes avoiding compliance violations and insurance issues, preventing contamination, and better relationships with employees and customers.
3. Be Cautious When Carrying Tools
You can still be injured by a power tool that is not turned on; many accidents actually occur during tool transportation. Power tools tend to be heavy and cumbersome, so you must be extremely cautious when moving them around the workspace.
It is best to store tools in a bucket or bag when you carry them, rather than grabbing the tool itself. This ensures that you have a solid grip, and it also keeps things like cords and attachments secure in one place. This is particularly important if you are climbing stairs or going up a ladder.
Lastly, never grab a power tool by the cord or any area that is not designated as a handle. This is extremely dangerous and could cause electrocution or the tool to slip out of your hands. Secure all tools correctly when they are not in use by wrapping the cord away and placing in a safe, secure area or storage container.
4. Know How to Clean and Maintain Tools the Right Way
Maintenance is a key part of hardware and power tool safety.
If you do not take care of power tools, it could cause them to malfunction. For instance, say that you do not clean a circular saw and the interior of the motor becomes filled with dust and debris. This could eventually cause the motor to overheat, stop working, or malfunction and cause an accident.
After each use, carefully clean the power tools as instructed by the manufacturer. Generally, you can simply wipe off any excess dust or dirt with a dry rag, but some tools may require a deeper cleaning from time-to-time.
You should also sharpen or replace any blades on power saws frequently. Dull blades are just as dangerous (if not more) than sharp blades since they make power saws more difficult to maneuver. You can tell if a blade is started to dull if there is any chipping or tear-outs or you feel resistance when making cuts. A sharp blade will make smooth, even lines.
Power tools can be dangerous, but that doesn’t mean you need to be afraid to use them. There are some simple steps to take before you even turn on a power tool to significantly reduce the risk of injury. Remember, preparation is the key to success!
I am Randy Gonzales. I am the President of Elite Sales Inc, a rigging equipment and wire rope distribution company based in Miami, Tampa, Houston, and Dyer. I have more than 30 years of experience in the distribution and supply of industrial hardware industry.
Our thanks to Randy Gonzales for sharing these excellent power tool safety tips. Do you have some safety and security tips you would like to share with our readers? If you do, we would love to hear from you. To find out how to get a guest post on Best Panic Alarm, visit our guest post publishing guidelines. We hope to hear from you soon!