Power tools have evolved through the years, and have helped users perform tasks easily and more efficiently everyday. But these tools may pose safety risks if not handled and maintained properly. Special attention on hand and power tool safety is vital to avoid these hazards.
Here are some tips on proper powertool handling and maintenance:
Wear the right safety gear
Personal protective equipment gear and clothing must be worn when working with tools and equipment. Safety goggles, face shields, ear plugs, dust masks, gloves, safety boots or shoes, or rubber boots are some protective garments that workers may wear to protect the body from injury or infection from dust, debris, sharp splinters, and wood shaving.
Conduct regular tool inspections
Inspect tools for any damage before using. The body casing, power cord and plug should be checked thoroughly for defects. Check the handle and body casing of the tool for cracks or other damage, and inspect cords. Damages, including exposed wiring, broken switches and loose plug pins. Defective tools, especially those that sound and feel differently upon inspection, should be immediately checked and repaired.
Maintain cleanliness at work stations
Keep the work area of free of clutter and debris that could be tripping or slipping hazards. Make sure that any flammable items and dangerous liquids are kept covered and stored away from the work area. Stow any wirings, materials, tools or equipment that will not be used for the task at hand to ensure that the work area is uncluttered. This will provide ample space for the worker to move around and operate the power tools, and will also help avoid accidents. Cleaning the work area after every use must be a habit for all workers.
Use and store tools properly
To help avoid injury or damage to oneself and to the materials, workers must know which power tools should be correctly used for the job. Reading the equipment instruction manuals will help operators get familiar with the recommended safety precautions. Electrical equipment must not be used in wet conditions. It is also important to use proper lighting while working to give the worker better vision on the task at hand. After using power tools, cords must be disconnected, and tools must be stored properly in their cases to prevent them from being used by unauthorized, or unqualified personnel.
Always keep a first aid kit handy
Some accidents cannot be avoided in high risk tasks, even if done with extreme caution. It is important to have a first aid kit stocked with essentials such as cotton, gauze pads, bandages, hand sanitizer, antiseptic solution and medicines ready at all times. Workers must also be knowledgeable about basic first aid procedures to be performed in case of an incident.