Power tools are wonderful devices that help us make short work of a variety of tasks, but in the wrong hands or used in an unsafe environment, they can present a very real danger to life.
To make sure you’re always using these tools safely, here are some essential safety precautions:
- Dead man switch – only use power tools that have a spring-loaded switch, that activates when pressed only.
- Disconnect – when not in use, maintaining or attaching accessories to a power tool, it should be disconnected from the power supply. Additionally, ensure they are switched off before being plugged in.
- Appropriate clothing – loose clothing should never be worn when operating a power tool.
- Safely lay cords – hoses and cords must be laid safely so that they don’t create a tripping hazard.
- Use clamps – to give you better control and grip of the tool, clamps or vices should be used to give support to the material being worked on.
- Clean and tidy workspace – make sure your workspace is clean and free from clutter when using power tools
- Avoid use if damaged – faulty or damaged tools should be removed from service before being repaired
- Use manufacturer recommended accessories – this is important and you must read the manual thoroughly before using the tool, too
- Right tool for right job – where appropriate, try to choose the power tool with the lowest weight and lowest vibration
- Keep tool close – hold the tool as close to your body as you can and don’t hold it at arm’s length, while also maintaining a firm stance
- Reduce power – keep the tools on their lowest settings to get the job completed safely, to minimize vibration
- Always wear safety items – from goggles and earmuffs, to safety shoes and gloves, always wear the right protective equipment when working with power tools
- Use tools for their purpose – power tools should only ever be used for the purpose they’re designed for
- Don’t use when wet – moisture and power tools do not go well together, so never use one in a wet or damp setting
- Sharpen blades – when blades become dull, either sharpen or replace them, failure to do so can result in accident or injury, not to mention the fact that the job will take a lot longer to complete
- Keep grounded – all power tools must be properly grounded before use
- Use in ventilated spaces – you shouldn’t use these tools in confined spaces and areas with poor ventilation
- Safe storage – always store tools safely when not in use
- Take breaks – if using construction or industrial power tools for extended periods of time, take regular breaks to avoid fatigue or injury
- Stabilize – use a stable surface to support whatever you’re working on when the tools are in use
- Keep your distance – make sure that nobody is too close to you when you’re using a power tool
While there are plenty of safety precautions to be aware of when using power tools, don’t let that deter you; when used responsibly and by adhering to all safety protocols and best practices, these tools can help you get the job done, quickly and effectively.