Not using power tools safely can lead to everything from a minor cut to a severe injury. Caution should be used when operating any power tool, and instruction should be given to someone who is using the tool for the first time. By taking just a few moments to familiarise yourself with a few safety precautions you can avoid the need for a trip to the hospital.
General safety tips for hand and power tools:
1. Spend money on good tools
Buying cheaper tools can be a little risky as some of them will not be as well made, and the possibility of failure following repeated use will be increased. With power tools, you really do get what you pay for. The easy of use and the accuracy of what you are able to do with the tool are just as important as a tool that is safe to use.
2. Inspect the tool before using it
You want to make sure that the tool has not been damaged or mistreated before for you begin to use it. This is especially important if you share your tools with coworkers or family members.
3. Maintain your power tools
By taking the time to follow the manufacturer’s guidance on how to keep the tool sharp and in good condition you will be making it safer and increasing the lifespan of the tool.
4. Wear the right clothing
Many power tools are just begging to grab hold of a loose thread or dangling piece of jewelry. By making sure that you are wearing the right clothes for the job, you will be a great deal safer. Keep an eye on others that you see working with power tools. It can sometimes be easier to spot a danger of this kind on others.
5. Protection is needed
Don’t forget your gloves and safety goggles if appropriate.
6. Don’t MacGyver anything
Just because the tool you need is the other side of the workshop you should not try to use the one you are holding for something that it was not designed for. This can lead to serious injury, and often embarrassment when it goes wrong.
7. Don’t forget the basics
Both of your feet should be planted firmly on a flat and stable surface. You should also make sure that there is nothing on the floor near your feet that could cause you to slip or fall.
8. Keep an eye on those around you
Make sure that everyone around you is paying attention. Being distracted for just a second could cause someone to blunder into you and cause an accident.
9. Don’t carry tools up a ladder by hand
Tools should always be carried up a ladder in a bucket or bag. If you are unsure of the procedures for your worksite, then you should not hesitate to ask someone to be sure.
10. Keep sharp tools out of your belt and pants
Unless the pointed or sharp edge has a protective cover, you should never put any tools into your pockets.
11. Storage is important
Make sure tools are stored in a safe place that is protected from the elements, this will give your tools a longer lifespan. Also, never store a loaded airgun. This could be a nasty surprise for whoever comes to use it next
12. Watch for cables and wires
Make sure that you have not inadvertently created a hazard by dragging a cable across the ground where people are going to be walking. Also, never carry a power tool by its cord.