Power tools are just a part of how you do jobs these days and indispensable for professionals, DIY’rs and anyone who tackles home improvement jobs today. They make the job easier thus helping users to save time and energy. They also help us do quality work. However, they need to be handled carefully otherwise they can lead to injury. Mishaps usually occur due to negligence, carelessness, boredom, or overconfidence.
By keeping the following 10 safety tips in mind, it is possible to work safely and comfortably with power tools.
1. Safety glasses: These prevent dust, debris, wood shavings, shards from fiberglass, etc from getting into your eyes. Safety glasses are one of the most basic pieces of safety equipment that must be used when working with power tools.
2. Protection for the ears: Power tools can generate a lot of noise, which may sound louder in the small enclosed environment of a workshop or room. In order to minimize damage to the ears, it is advisable to wear earplugs. I know, as I grew up at a time this was not considered important for the small contractor and today I am paying the price.
3. The right clothes: Long hair should be tied and loose clothing should be avoided. Ideally, clothing that covers the entire body should be worn. Gloves should be used whenever possible in order to avoid sharp implements and splinters from hurting the hands. Masks prevent inhalation of harmful minute particles of the material that is being worked upon. Steel-toed work boots and hard hats can also be worn.
4. Knowing and using the right tools for the job: It is important to know the right tools for the job in order to avoid injury to oneself and damage to the materials. Far too often people try to use a tool to do a job it was never intended to do and get in trouble as a result. It is always advisable to thoroughly read the instruction manuals provided with a particular tool and get familiar with the recommended safety precautions.
5. Correct method of using tools: Not only is it important to use the right tool but it is equally important to use it correctly. Tools are not toys and should not be played with. Tools that are not in use should be disconnected; should never be carried by their cords. While handling a tool connected to a power source, fingers should be kept away from the on/off switch and any safety features should never be tampered with.
6. Tool inspection: Power tools should not be employed in wet environments and should never be dipped in water; they should be checked periodically for exposed wiring, damaged plugs, and loose plug pins. Nicked cords can be taped but if a cut appears to be deep, a cord should be replaced. Tools that are damaged or those that sound and feel different when used should be checked and repaired.
7. Care with particular tools: Miter saws and table saws should be used with a quick-release clamp and a wood push-through, respectively. Extra care should be taken while using air nail guns and power belt sanders.
8. Proper Lighting: It is important to use proper lighting while working with power tools, particularly when working in the basement and garage where lighting may not be satisfactory. Not being able to see your work properly is a major cause of accidents.
9. Cleanliness in the work area: An uncluttered work area also makes it easy to maneuver the power tool; often distractions caused by a tangled cord can result in an accident. This is also true when materials get in the way of using a tool correctly. Dust particles in the air can cause visibility problem and health issues. Of course, flammable liquids should be kept covered and away from the place where power tools are being used.
10. Keep tools properly stored: Power tools should be returned to their cabinets after use to prevent them from being used by an unauthorized and incapable person. This will also prevent them from being accidentally broken or damaged.