When the hammer was invented, a million or so years ago, the ancient people that used it probably found that it was a delightfully serviceable tool. As a species though, we’ve learned to build bigger and better necessary tools that could better get the job done. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention and so we made more sophisticated and improved tools. With that improvement though, came more risk.
When tools became powered by electricity, hydraulics, and liquid fuels, the possibility of being injured by them increased dramatically. What this rather dramatic introduction is leading up to, if you haven’t already guessed, is a set of rules – or rather a refresher course – for safely using power tools. Because while fixing your shed would be super nice, it isn’t worth losing a finger.
What Makes Power Tools So Dangerous?
The thing about power tools is that if used improperly, they can be host to a cavalcade of hazards. They can kick up harmful dust, splash around dangerous liquids, fling debris, fall, or fly out worker’s hands. If an unsafe electrical connection is used, then the user can suffer potential injury. Basically, power tools can be a smorgasbord of bad things if you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily, that’s why we’re here. If you’ve never held a power tool, or if you just need a reminder, we’ve got you covered.
Basic Power Tools Safety Tips
And without further ado, here is our list of tips you’ll need to remember, in order to stay safe when working with your power tools:
● Follow the manufacturer instructions for proper usage and maintenance (swapping out parts, cleaning, lubricating, etc.)
● Ensure that you’re using the right tool for the right job
● Always be sure to properly maintain your power tools (keep them clean, sharp, and service them often)
● Do not use damaged tools; you should always inspect your tools before usage to ensure that they aren’t damaged
● If there’s a damaged power tool, be sure to remove it from your tool kit/box and have it labeled as such
● Never carry tools by the hose or cord
● Keep the cords and hoses away from heat sources or anything that’s easily combustible like oil
● All tools should be disconnected when they aren’t being used as well as when they’re being cleaned, serviced or changing out parts and accessories (like cutters, bits, and blades)
● Keep your fingers off the start switch/power button if you’re carrying a tool that’s still plugged in to avoid starting it accidentally
● When disconnecting a cord, do not yank it from the electrical receptacle
● Ensure that when using power tools, you always maintain good balance and secure footing – so keep the floor of your work area clean
● Dress properly for the job; no loose hair, clothing or jewelry should be worn as they can get caught in the tools
● Keep everyone not involved with power tool work away from the site, placing warning signs around the perimeter can be very helpful, in this regard
● If necessary, secure your work with either a vice or clamp so that you have both hands available to use the power tool
Yeah, we know. It’s kind of a long list, but they’re all things that anyone handling power tools needs to know, preferably before they begin using them. We aren’t saying this to scare anyone away from using power tools, but it can be pretty easy to hurt yourself when using them. If you want to avoid being one of those, “I lost three fingers and a toe.” stories, you should really, really consider diligently following the above list.
If there are any more safe power tool handling tips that any of you readers out there want to share, then do so in the comments below. There can never be too much safety when it comes to potentially dangerous things and we really do enjoy your input. And as we’ve been saying, remember to keep safe out there while working!