Safety First: How to Use Power Tools Correctly
Last modified: 2018/10/05 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Power tools are a common part of our lives and sometimes it’s hard to remember that they pose a hazard. Since these tools pack a punch and are designed to penetrate even the toughest of materials and surfaces, they are dangerous. As a homeowner, it is important to recognize the different precautions one must take when using power tools and follow the correct safety measures accordingly.
However, certain aspects of power tool use are often overlooked and these minute details are the cause of injury. Even homeowners who are well versed in the use of power tools are capable of misusing them. Therefore, we've come up with some tips and general rules to follow in order to be the safest possible during your next home renovation project.
Be Prepared: Why You Need to Use the Right Power Tools For a Renovation Project
Always choose the right tool for the job. If the right tool isn’t readily available, it is important to either purchase this tool or wait until it becomes available. Swapping one power tool for another is never recommended. Further, carefully read instructions of any and all tools that you are using.
Even if you are an experienced DIYer, different models of the same tool often operate in other ways and have various specifications. These variations can result in different risks. For example, different precautions must be taken when using a cordless power tool versus a power tool with a cord. Make sure you know your tool very well, like you would a best friend or relative, before working with it!
Follow Proper Power Tool Safety Precautions
When working with power tools, tool accessories can heat up during use and can lead to burns. Make sure to wear gloves at all times, avoiding direct contact with skin. Not only can power tools get hot, but they can also get loud. Thus, remember to wear hearing protection when working with particularly loud tools.
Another means of protection is wearing safety goggles, or another form of protective eyewear to avoid any flying debris, dust, or materials from getting into your eyes. Wearing the right clothing is also important, as baggy clothing can become tangled or snagged on tools or within your surrounding work area.
Clothes should cover the entire body to protect against flying materials or toxins meeting the skin. Furthermore, jewelry should never be worn while on a job site or when working with heavy-duty tools, as jewelry often dangles away from the body. Lastly, where appropriate, a hard hat is recommended.
Tool Safety: Test the Connections
source: Flickr, Global sales corporation Sachin
Most power tools have been designed so that they don’t turn on accidentally. However, all technologies malfunction, so homeowners must be aware that this is a possibility. Make sure to disconnect power tools when they are not in use. In addition to keeping tools unplugged or disconnected, bear in mind that the cords themselves need to be properly taken care of.
Take extra care with power tool cords, and never use cords to carry a tool from place to place. Similarly, extra care should be taken when unplugging a tool. Never pull on the cord itself, but always remove the prongs of a plug directly from the wall.
One way to make sure that your power tools are working correctly, and further, to avoid injury, is to inspect tools often. This is especially true if a tool hasn’t been used in a while, as it should be inspected every few months to make sure it is in proper working order.
If a tool is damaged, even slightly, it is better to avoid using it than to power through. If the cord is mildly damaged, a small piece of tape can be fastened in place of the nick. However, if the cut goes deeper than the surface, it should be replaced. If your tools have safety guards, make sure there are no visible cracks. If you notice that the guard is damaged, it should be replaced immediately.
Stay Safe When Using Your Tools!
There are lots of ways in which you can practice safety in your work environments. Firstly, make sure to keep surrounding areas free of clutter, clean and tidy. In a cluttered work area, injuries and accidents are more likely: cords can become tangled, sawdust can disrupt workflow, flammable liquids may spill.
How to Organize Your Work Area
A neat work area fosters both safety and productivity. Further, make sure to store tools away when they aren’t in use, particularly if there are children in your home. Kids may not understand that tools are dangerous, and therefore, it is best to keep them out of sight and remove the temptation for their little hands to grab. When storing, make sure that tools are kept in a dry place, as a damp or wet environment can lead to their malfunction, or worse, electrocution.
Lastly, never use a tool that you haven't been properly trained to handle. Although power tools may seem straightforward, we must bear in mind that in the wrong hands they can be very dangerous. Before moving forward with that home renovation project, make certain that you know exactly what you're doing!
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