November 2013 - Safety Tools For Power Operation

One study made by people who gather information about our safety performance tells us that about one out of every ten severe injuries to company employees is due to the misuse of tools on day-to-day jobs. We must conclude then, that when we use tools, we are exposing ourselves to possible injury.

We know by our many personal experiences at home and on the job that a great variety of tools are now available to help us perform our jobs. All you have to do to recognize this fact is to type tools into a search engine on the internet and 2,900,000,000 results come up, or notice the tool supply room in your plant's maintenance, laboratory or production areas. The mechanic, the technician and the production operator - all must know how to use the "tools of their trade" and use them safely.

The list below will help you avoid injuries by alerting you to some of the known hazards of working with power tools:

  1. Know the tool you are using-its application, limitations and potential hazards.
  2. Select proper tool for the job. Don't try to tackle a big job with an undersized tool.
  3. Unless double insulated, if tool is equipped with three-prong plug, it should be plugged into a three-hole electrical receptacle. If adapter is used to accommodate two prong receptacles, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground.
  4. Remove adjusting keys and wrenches before turning on tool.
  5. Keep work areas free of clutter (boards, boxes, debris, tools) that can be tripping hazards.
  6. Keep guards in place and in working order. Do not remove or wedge guards out of the way.
  7. Always be alert to potential hazards in you working environment such as damp locations or the presence of highly combustible materials - gasoline, etc.
  8. Avoid accidental startup. Make sure switch is off before plugging in cord or when power is interrupted. Don't carry a plugged in tool with your finger on the switch.
  9. Make sure saw blades, drill bits and router cutters are sharp, clean and regularly maintained.
  10. Use only recommended accessories. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  11. Do not force tool. It will do a better and safer job at its designed speed.
  12. Use safety glasses. Also face or dust mask if the operation requires it.
  13. Do not overreach, keep proper footing and balance at all times.
  14. Never leave tool unattended. Don't leave until it comes to a complete stop and is disconnected from power source.
  15. Don't surprise or touch anyone operating a power tool. The distraction could cause a serious accident.
  16. Never adjust, change bits, blades or cutter with tool connected.
  17. Dress properly, Avoid loose clothing that could catch in moving parts. Wear rubber boots in damp locations.
  18. Secure work. Use clamps or vise to hold work when practical. It frees both hands to operate too!
  19. Do not use tool with frayed cords or pulled strain reliefs, return it for service. Use only heavy duty U.L. listed extension cords of proper wire size and length.
  20. Do not attempt field repairs. Return for servicing any tool that shows the slightest defect or is not operating properly.