Safe Use of Power Tools

Posted on November 15, 2021 in: Safety

Colby Taylor, Ceco Concrete Construction The Voice Newsletter November 2021

We all know that power tools of any type can be very dangerous to the user and bystanders. There are very simple guidelines and tips to utilize during the use of any type of power tool and these guidelines can help prevent injuries. By understanding and abiding by these guidelines these tools can be tremendous asset for many different tasks.

With so many power tools available, it's important to remember there may be many hazards not specifically covered here. It's necessary to always be completely knowledgeable about each power tool you use, and evaluate each for hazards associated with its use.  Keep in mind, there are several types of power sources for power tools and each power source presents its own hazard (e.g., liquid fuel, electricity, pneumatic, etc.). Know the hazards associated with each type of power source when planning your use of a tool.

Below are several key items that will help to protect the user and those around:

•    Read and understand the operator’s manual, never use a tool without proper training.
•    Inspect tools to make sure they are in good condition and fit for use.
•    Maintain your tools and perform regular maintenance as required by the manufacturer.
•    Avoid loose clothing or items that can get caught in a tool’s moving parts.
•    Wear appropriate personal protective equipment designated for the tool in use.
•    Use the right tool for the job.
•    Make sure you are utilizing effective body positioning during the use of the tool.
•    Be aware of the people around you and make sure they stay clear of the tools.
•    Store tools in a safe place.
•    Keep floors dry and clean to avoid slipping.
•    Route cords and hoses so they do not present a tripping hazard.
•    Never carry a power tool by its cord.
•    Use double-insulated tools or have a three-pronged cord plugged into a grounded receptacle.
•    Do not use electric tools in wet conditions unless approved for that use.
•    Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or an assured grounding program.
•    Relieve pressure from pneumatic tools before removing hoses.
•    Use retainers, safety clips and whip checks to provide protection against unanticipated release of fittings on air hoses.
•    Never exceed the manufacturer's designated pressure rating.
•    Never leave a tool unattended.

As mentioned, this is not an all-inclusive list of hazards associated with power tools and it’s critical that you know your tool, ensure you’re trained for it’s use, and identify all the potential hazards before using.

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