Safety & HCM Post

You’ve Got the Power to Get the Job Done

Drills, saws, planers and routers—powered tools such as these get the job done.

These tools can also cause injuries—projecting objects into the eyes, causing electric shock and cutting fingers, to name a few.

Here are some reminders about power tool safety:

  • Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions before using a power tool.
  • Inspect power tools before using them. Check the cords and electrical connections. Look for damaged insulation and other signs of wear. If the integrity of the tool is in question, replace it or have it repaired by a qualified person before using it.
  • The tool must be properly grounded with an approved three wire cord and a three-prong plug. Otherwise, it must be double-insulated.
  • Never break off the third prong. If you find a plug which has been altered, have it replaced.
  • Place the power switch in the “off” position before plugging in the tool.
  • Disconnect the plug from the electrical outlet before making any adjustments such as changing bits or blades. Just switching it off is not enough.
  • f it is necessary to use tools in damp conditions, you must be protected by a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
  • Take good care of the power cord. Do not tie it in knots. Don’t lift or carry the tool by the cord. Don’t allow foot traffic or vehicles to go over an unprotected cord. Keep the cord away from the working area of the tool so it cannot be damaged by rotating blades or drills.
  • Secure the work in a vise or clamp.
  • Check the stock for contamination such as nails, screws and staples before operating tools such as saws or routers.
  • Maintain your balance when operating a power tool. Do not overreach.
  • Keep your hands away from the business end of the power tool. Do not reach over or under the material being worked on.
  • Wear gloves if you are handling rough stock, but avoid loose gloves and other loose clothing which can become entangled in rotating tools.
  • Wear safety glasses or a faceshield when operating a power tool.
  • Also wear safety-toed footwear to protect your feet from falling objects.
  • If dust is created by the operation, wear an approved dust respirator.
  • Clean dust from the vents and the motor regularly to prevent overheating.
  • Do not use excessive pressure when operating the tool. Let the power tool do the work.
  • Do not carry the tool if it is running. Do not carry it with your finger on the trigger.

Power tools are extremely useful for many kinds of work including cutting, drilling, grinding and planing. Be sure to use them safely and remember to wear your Personal Protective Equipment!

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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