Power tools are indispensable for professionals and those who tackle DIY home improvement jobs. They are favored as they help users to save time and they also make the job easier. However, they need to be handled carefully otherwise they can lead to injury. Mishaps usually occur due to negligence, boredom, and overconfidence. By keeping the following 10 safety issues in mind, it is possible to work satisfactorily and safely with power tools.
1. Safety glasses: These prevent dust, debris, wood shavings, shards from fiberglass, etc from getting into the eyes. Safety glasses are one of the most basic pieces of safety equipment that must be used when working with power tools.
2. Protection for the ears: Power tools can generate a lot of noise, which may sound louder in the cloistered environment of a workshop; in order to minimize damage to the ears, it is advisable to wear earplugs.
3. Knowing the right tools for the job: It is important to know the right tools for the job in order to avoid injury to oneself and damage to the materials. To this end, it is advisable to thoroughly read the instruction manuals provided with the equipment and get familiar with the recommended safety precautions.
4. Correct method of using tools: Tools should not be carried by their cords; tools that are not in use should be disconnected; and while handling a tool connected to a power source, fingers should be kept away from the on/off switch.
5. The right clothes: Long hair should be tied and loose clothing should be avoided. Ideally, clothing that covers the entire body should be worn and heavy gloves should be used in order to avoid sharp implements and splinters from hurting the hands. Masks prevent inhalation of harmful minute particles of the material that is being worked upon. Steel-toed work boots and hard hats can also be worn.
6. Tool inspection: Power tools should not be employed in wet environments and should never be dipped in water; they should be checked periodically for exposed wiring, damaged plugs, and loose plug pins. Nicked cords can be taped but if a cut appears to be deep, a cord should be replaced. Tools that are damaged or those that sound and feel different when used should be checked and repaired.
7. Cleanliness in the work area: This should be maintained because accumulated dust particles in the air can ignite with a spark. Of course, flammable liquids should be kept covered and away from the place where power tools are being used. An uncluttered work area also makes it easy to maneuver the power tool; often distractions caused by a tangled cord can result in an accident.
8. Care with particular tools: Miter saws and table saws should be used with a quick-release clamp and a wood push-through, respectively. Extra care should be taken while using nail guns and power belt sanders.
9. Keep tools in place: Power tools should be returned to their cabinets after use to prevent them from being used by an unauthorized and incapable person.
10. Lighting: It is important to use proper lighting while working with power tools, particularly when working in the basement and garage where lighting may not be satisfactory.