Power Tools – Be Careful!

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Power Tools – Be Careful!

Have you heard these comments on your shop floor? It’s only 110 – it can’t really hurt you.” “Let me just stretch a little and drill this one hole.” “I emptied this nail gun.” “It’s only 110 – it can’t really hurt you.”

Portable power tools are one of the greatest time and energy savers around.  Since they’re so readily available and useful, we tend to forget that they’re powered, and have the potential to amputate, break bones, electrocute and kill.  Some of the serious accidents using power tools have involved situations like the following:

“A sheet metal man was installing flashing on a church roof. Using a power drill on the roof edge, he lost his balance when the drill cut through the material. Failing to use a safety belt, he toppled 30 feet to his death.”

“A carpenter amputated three fingers using a portable circular saw incorrectly. He tried to adjust the blade depth with one hand, with the other on the grip handle. He accidentally hit the trigger.”

Problems

  • Inadequate instructions
  • Use of improperly grounded, non-double insulated tools
  • Protective guards were defective, or removed
  • Dull, cutting edges of blades and bits
  • Hang-up of power cord twist plugs on ladder rungs
  • Non-secure operator position

 

Solutions

  • Proper training in power tool use
  • Preventive maintenance on power tools
  • Inspections and defective tool reports
  • Shorten power cord to prevent hang-ups
  • If you are performing elevated work, use safety belts

 

Suggestions for Your Shop

  • Ask your employees the following questions at least once a month
  • Have you noticed any tools which appear to be defective? Did you report it?
  • Have you had any close calls recently while using power tools? Can you share it with us?
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