Power Tools Rule When You Follow Power Tool Rules!
Can you imagine trying to do your job without power tools? Electric drills and saws can sure make jobs easier and help you get them done on time. Using a power tool carelessly, however, could result in injuries to you or co-workers. Some could even cause permanent disability—or worse. No one wants that!
Sometimes, being too familiar with a tool and how it’s used can tempt you to skip some important, routine safety steps. So, it never hurts to have a power tool safety refresher once-in-a-while. If you find yourself slipping into some risky practices, refer to these reminders and get yourself back on track.
- Use each tool for its intended use only, and be sure you’re using it correctly. If you’ve never used a certain tool before, ask for help and training.
- Read the owner’s manual to get familiar with a tool’s operation and safety precautions.
- Check tools often for damage and replace or repair if worn or damaged. But, don’t do the repairs yourself if you’re not trained to do so. Jerry-rigging a quick fix “just this once” can actually cause more damage.
- Switch the power to OFF before plugging in or unplugging.
- Don’t pull on the cord to unplug—grasp the plug.
- Never clean or repair a tool unless power is disconnected.
- Be sure the electrical outlet you use has a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- Make sure the tool fits the job, both for size and functionality.
- Secure yourself and your tools when working on ladders or scaffolding.
- Don’t wear jewelry or loose clothing when operating power tools.
- Don’t underestimate the value of safety goggles, face shields, gloves, work boots, and other protective equipment. It may seem like a time-waster to put on extra gear for a simple, 15-minute task; but, if metal chips are flying or you drop a drill, you’ll be glad you “wasted” that time.
You may feel that routine and frequent safety procedures slow you down and make you less efficient. But, how much time will you save if you or a co-worker is injured by unsafe practices? It’s up to you to do whatever you can to keep yourself and others safe at work.
Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated Insurance®. This article is for general information and risk prevention purposes only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. It is not a guarantee that the risk of loss will be eliminated or reduced. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances. The information is accurate as of November 2014 and is subject to change.
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