Power tools make building, DIY, and skilled labour much simpler and quicker – it’s why they’re so crucial to any site. There are power tools for every job, but one thing reigns true across all of them: it’s crucial you use them safely. To keep yourself stay safe from harm, we’ve brought together the five following tips that should always be followed when getting the job done with power tools.
Never leave them on standby
When you’re waist-deep in a big project using a number of different power tools, it can be tempting to bob one down without thinking and pick up another straight away. This can be a dangerous habit, as even if you leave the tool on standby, it’s still powered up, and could jump into action at a moment’s notice or be accidentally broken, potentially electrocuting nearby users.
Instead, unplug all power tools you are not using off at the mains and store them properly to protect them from damage.
Wear adequate PPE
According to research from 2019, hand and upper extremity (arm) injuries were the most common among those injured by power tools, with electric saws being the most dangerous. As such, personal protective equipment is crucial, including eyewear, strong boots, and heavy-duty gloves that will ensure you are protected in the case of accidents.
Use dust extractors
Power tools can throw up significant volumes of dust – from sanding, sawing, chiseling or otherwise. If this dust gets into your lungs, it can be extremely harmful, and it can also damage and degrade the components within power tools themselves. As such, as well as wearing a mask in dusty environments, set up dust extractors to safely remove the source of risk from your work area.
Inspect your tools
While your chosen power tool may have been working perfectly the last time you used it, it may have become damaged or faulty during transport, or simply being left in storage. To stop yourself from being harmed by a faulty, dangerous tool, inspect it thoroughly before each use in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keep your environment safe
Many jobs that call for the use of power tools come with various environmental hazards as standard. That includes loose cabling and wires from the tools themselves, slippery floors from oil and water, or multiple workers moving through the environment at any one time. All these can cause slippages, tripping hazards, and the danger of bumping into others while using power tools – all of which can cause injury.
To stop this from happening, make sure to regularly sweep and clean up flooring, and be sure that there are thoroughfares where people can safely travel around the site without getting in the way of others.