Power Tool Safety
Let’s do a quick review of some basic power tool safety tips:
- Don’t operate a tool until you’ve received proper training, understand how to use it and have been approved to use it.
- Inspect every tool before using it to discover:
- Missing parts, like safety guards
- Loose or dull blades
- Cuts in plug and cord insulation
- Defects or cracks in the tool housing
- Problems with guards and safety shut-off switches
- Make sure you have the right tool for the job. Be familiar with its speed, power, depth of cut, adjustments, and any problems other workers have had with it
- What kind of personal protective equipment will you’ll need? Usually a manufacturer’s operating instructions will tell you what to wear. Eye and hearing protection are the most common PPE recommended. When working with tools that will generate dust, shavings, or flying particles, in addition to safety glasses or goggles, respiratory protection may also be required to protect your lungs.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry when you’re using power tools. It’s easy for these items to get caught in the equipment which could pull you into it
- Before turning on the power, double check the tool shut-off function, and location of the power switch. Most power tools will stop either when you release your finger from the switch or when you press the shut-off button or switch.
- Power tools must be grounded or be built with double/dual insulation. When using electric tools always plug the tool into a GFCI protected outlet.
- Inspect the material and area where you will be cutting or drilling for hidden hazards such as electrical or plumbing lines, nails, steel hardware, or anything else that could cause you to lose control of the tool during operation.
- Always keep the work area clean and organized. Avoid working around oil-soaked rags or other flammable materials. Sparks could fly and start a fire.
- Watch your cords. Don’t let cords dangle – they can be major tripping hazards for yourself and others. Watch your guards and blades when cutting. Some workers have cut their own cords creating an electrocution risk during operation