How important is safety to you? We may understand the reasons why safety is so important when it comes to operating power tools but that doesn’t necessarily make us safe. The risk of an accident is very possible when operating power tools. Thousands of minor and major accidents are reported each year resulting from power tools. There are even some reports of death as a result.
One of the main ways you can help reduce your chances of being involved in a power tool accident is by only using each tool for its intended use. You should also pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the safe use of a tool and for the proper safety equipment to use while you are operating a particular power tool.
The most common accident involves injuries to the fingers. This can be anything from a minor cut to losing the entire finger. Of all the finger amputations in the United States each year approximately half are the result of an injury involving a power tool. The index and the middle finger are the two most commonly involved in the accident. And 55% of these injuries occur while operating a power tool at home. As you might suspect various types of saws are the most common power tools involved in these situations.
1. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a large portion of power tool injuries occur because the power source is not disconnected while changing the blade or other parts on the power tool. It really doesn’t matter how much experience you have with a power tool or how quickly you can change the part. Saw blades and drill bits are most often the culprits. It only takes a moment to unplug the power source. If you are using a cordless power tool, you may want to remove the battery before you change anything on it. The inconvenience is worth your safety.
2. Cords on power tools are another concern. Many power tool accidents have been and can be eliminated by going to cordless power tools. If you operate any type of power tool that has a cord, make sure it is properly tucked out of the way. Leaving the cord out where you or someone else can trip on it is an accident waiting to happen. There is the also the risk of electric shock if the cords are frayed, worn or missing the ground plug. This may include an extension cord you may be using. Keep the cords out of wet, damp areas, and make sure there is nothing in the area that can accidentally spill on them.
3. Tripping, slipping, or falling while you are using a power tool can also result in an injury. Any accidents can happen in the blink of an eye even when you use the power tool as it should be operated and have the right safety equipment on.
4. Make sure your work area is clean and tidy to help prevent power tool accidents. Never work on a surface that is slippery or unstable. It is a risk you don’t want take with a power tool in your hand. Make sure that ladders are on a clean level surface or secured in place. Not all work areas offer the best of circumstances so you need to be cautious and use common sense.
Manufacturers are very aware of the types of accidents and injuries that take place with power tools. They are doing their part to make improvements to their tools to help reduce the risks. So do your part and work safe.
I am not trying to scare you but help you remember that power tools are dangerous, and you have to use them responsibly. Do your part to use them safely and help reduce the number of power tool accidents. I trust all of your power tools experiences will be safe ones.