Power tools make our projects and repairs so much easier to get done. These jobs may be at work or at home it doesn’t really matter. Regardless, safety is something everyone needs to take seriously. While power tools are very helpful, they are also dangerous and serious injuries and even death has occurred when people didn’t use them with respect and with safety in mind.
While most businesses make sure employees use the right safety equipment and procedures when operating power tools, there is nothing regulating how you use them at home. Many home users are hobbyists and often have never been taught the right safety procedures for a particular tool. Others choose not to use a tool safely or with the right protective equipment because they are in a hurry or because they feel very comfortable using that particular power tool.
The specific safety equipment you will need and the procedures to use it depend on the power tool you are operating. Each instruction manual will have information on the recommended safety equipment you should wear and handling instructions when you operate that particular power tool.
There are several common safety items you should have readily available.
Safety goggles or glasses are essential. There is always the chance of dirt, debris, or fragments of materials getting into your eyes. I wear safety glasses all the time and sometimes goggles and I don’t know how many times I have had to have debris removed from my eyes. Fortunately this has only been small particles that didn’t cause any serious damage. A full face shield will protect even more when you are using certain power tools. Protecting your eyes is very important.
Heavy duty work gloves are good to have if you are working with any sharp objects like sheet metal. Work gloves can be hazardous though if they are too loose as the loose material can get caught and pull your fingers into the tool.
Wearing the proper clothing is very important as well. It is a good idea to wear long sleeves to prevent burns and cuts, but make sure that the clothing isn’t too loose (we already mentioned this). If it is, you risk it getting tangled up with the power tool. Tuck in shirts and only wear clothing that fits you properly. Pay attention to your shoes as well. Make sure they have a non-slip sole. For some power tools, it is a good idea to wear steel toed boots while operating them.
Most power tools are very loud. You really need to wear ear protection of some sort. Hearing loss is a serious issue, and you should do all you can to maintain your current hearing level. I have worked with power tools for about 45 years and when I started most of these things where never thought of. Today I am dealing with some hearing loss fortunately it is not too serious.
Some breathing protection or a respirator is a good idea if you will be working with power tools that create dust like sanders or routers. It is a good idea to make sure the area you are working in is properly ventilated with a source of fresh air as well. Respirators ensure you don’t inhale dust and harmful chemicals from the dust that is generated.
Power tools definitely are fun to use. They reduce the time it takes to finish your project however, it is very important that you wear the proper safety clothing when you operate them. Finishing the project fast isn’t worth risking injury or health issues. No matter how careful you are or how many times you have used that particular power tool. It doesn’t even matter how big of a hurry you are in, or how small of a job it is. Accidents happen in a split second and accidents involving power tools are no different so do your best to prepare for them.