Each year, it is evident that hand and power tools pose dangers. This information is accounted for by the 400,000 visits made to emergency rooms. Mostly, the cause of these visits is the misuse of tools and unsafe working. The chances of causing accidents can be minimized if we observe hand and power tool safety. In this article, we will highlight some of the best practices for hand and power tool safety that you need to observe when handling tools.
Hand Tool Safety
These tools are not powered by any sort of energy. A good example is a wrench or an axe. If these tools are misused or not properly maintained, they can cause great hazards. Ensure you have put on protective equipment to guard yourself from those hazards. Get yourself gloves, goggles, or a helmet and you will just be safe. It all depends on what task you want to engage in to get appropriate protective gadgets.
Steel and iron produce sparks that may cause danger of fire around any flammable substance. In this case, wear gadgets that are resistant to sparks. These are usually made of wood, plastic, brass, or aluminum. They will provide the required safety.
Power Tool Precautions
Be sure that you know how to handle power equipment or get someone to help you. Using tools that are powered can be dangerous and one needs to be very careful. These tools differ depending on the kind of power they use. You can check the different types of tools at Thetoolspick. It could be hydraulic, powder actuated, liquid fuel, pneumatic or electric.
Carrying tools by their hoses or cords is highly dangerous. If you want to undo it from the receptacle, do not yank the cord.
Hoses and cords do not need heat, also keep them away from sharp objects and oil.
Before changing cutters, blades and bits, have your tools disconnected. This also applies to when you want to service them.
Those who want to observe how you are working should be standing a distance away from where work is taking place.
For freehand working, use a vice or a clamp to hold your tool before working n it. This ensures that your work is secure.
Accidental starts must be avoided. Do not put your finger on the switch while carrying a tool that is plugged in.
Carefully maintain your tools. Sharpen and clean them so that they can perform better. Refer to the manual to get tips on how to lubricate or change accessories.
Good balance and proper footing should always be maintained.
To finish some tasks, employees use certain tools. Either a jackhammer or a screwdriver, as a supervisor, ensure that you have the right tools for whatever task you want to undertake. Also, make sure that tools are safely used and are in perfect working conditions.
Power Tool Safety
Powered tools range from those powered by hydraulics, chain and belt drives, compressed air or electricity. The power that is used is supposed to be controlled because it can be very hazardous if not properly handled. The dangers of powered tools may not only affect you as a worker but also those working or watching closer to you.
Keep it Sharp
Make this your priority. Either a powered tool or not, its work is to cut. Therefore keep the blades and edges sharp. You will use less energy as you cut and this is better and safe. Remove the plugs and cords from the power sockets when you want to change anything from the tool. This will prevent you from minor shocks or even electrocution.
Place the tool edges, blades, and bits in their respective covers before putting them into toolboxes shelves. This prevents injuries and minor accidents as you try to reach out to them. It also prevents them from becoming blunt and dull.
If your tools have options for adjustments, it is wise to unadjust them before handing them over to your workers. They will adjust the machines by themselves depending on how they desire. Train them to observe adjustments before they power the tools.
Check for damage
The following parts of your tools should be checked: triggers, hose connections, power cords, edges, switches, casings, attachments, and handles. Hand tools may have damages like chips and cracks. Do not proceed with working with tools that are damaged. Throw away tools that are badly damaged. For instance, hand tools become obsolete once they are badly damaged. Turning to powered tools, have only a technician repair them because someone with little or no knowledge about them will only worsen the effect.
Personal Protective Equipment
Eye protection is paramount, especially when using hand tools. A respirator is also necessary if mists, fumes, and dust come out. Gloves are not recommended if you are using a powered tool. The gloves are likely to be caught in the process of working on the material and this is pretty dangerous!
If you are wearing shaggy tops whose sleeves drape and pants that are floppy, you are at risk of a serious hazard because powered tools will easily catch them and pull you into action. Long hair is also a no if you are working with a powered tool. If you won’t cut it, pull it back. Hanging hair is more dangerous than a hanging cloth. Pendants, necklaces, rings, and other jewelry are to be removed before starting to operate a piece of powered equipment.
What is the proper safety guard for handheld power tools?
It is recommended that the whole part of the saw is covered by an upper guard. Cover the teeth using a lower guard but when it is working, remove the guard. However, many tools will automatically return the lower guard as they are removed from operation.
Why should you avoid using tools with handles that are too short?
To avoid compression on your palm use a handle that has a long handle. The handle should be long enough so as the whole palm rests on the handle. A length of 100mm (equivalent to 4 inches) is the length recommended for the handle of your tool. This is to reduce the effect of compression.
Why should tool handles be at least 12.5 inches in diameter?
Hand tools need more force to be exerted. To use it, your arm must also twist and this is riskier than ever. The triggers of power tools are supposed to be at least an inch (2.5cm long). This allows activation of more than a finger.
Imagine a world without tools to help us with our work? Whether you have a small or big project, powered and hand tools are necessary in any working area. Most people disregard them as hazards of safety.
They indeed cause lots of harm especially objects that fly as you work, shocks and electrocutions, lacerations, falling objects, and punctures. Be sure to follow safety measures and precautions as you work with your tools.