Safety Tips for Using Power Tools | 3 Precautions You Must Take
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Power tools are no longer reserved entirely for trained professionals or skilled tradespeople. While they remain crucial tools of the trade, inexpensive large-scale manufacture has seen the widening commercial availability of power tools, enabling hobbyists and homeowners to build their collection of useful tools for DIY or craft work. But power tools are dangerous and contribute heavily to domestic injury statistics; 5,600 people were admitted to A&E last year because of power tool injuries alone. What are some key safety tips for using power tools?
Safety Tips for Using Power Tools
Whichever way you approach the usage of power tools, you are effectively engaging with an active hazard. As such, you should ensure that you are properly kitted out to meet that hazard. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is a must whenever you use power tools of any kind; there are different kinds of PPE that will better suit specific tools or instances of their use.
A DeWalt cordless multi-tool might be used for sanding down wooden surfaces or cutting into windowsills and skirting boards – in so doing, kicking up large amounts of sawdust. Eye goggles and an N95 would be suitable here to prevent eye irritation and respiratory issues.
Meanwhile, a masonry drill produces brick dust and carries with it the risk of flying debris – either brick material or broken drill bits. Here, eyeglasses and gloves should be worn to protect the eyes from flying objects and minimize the likelihood of hand injury. These are just two examples and do not necessarily represent the wide range of risks you inherit when using power tools.
Your situational awareness needs to be high before you pick up your tool, whichever it may be. The environment can present its hazards to you in the form of trip hazards and distractions. If access to your work area is open, people could visit without you noticing, thus endangering both you and themselves.
This is particularly easy to understand if you are a DIYer working on your family home. Failure to maintain awareness of your surroundings could see your child or children come within dangerous proximity of your running tools.
Just as you must understand your surroundings before using your power tools, it is equally important to maintain a steady focus. Even the tiniest lapse in attention can result in a dangerous error or slip-up, which could, in turn, cause serious harm to you or those around you.
For example, suppose your attention was to slip while drilling into the stonework. In that case, you might unintentionally shift your weight off-balance and shatter your drill bit, introducing sharp flying objects to space. Likewise, an absent-minded approach to powered saws can lead to nasty personal injuries.