Watch Out for Hand Tool Hazards!
BLS reports that every year in the U.S., power tool injuries result in approximately 400,000 emergency room visits, including both work and non-work-related incidents. More than 22,000 of these power tool accidents involve workers using nail guns.
But many of those occurrences are caused by misusing tools and unsafe work practices largely due lack of proper training and general experience using the tools. When used correctly and with the proper safety measures, you can significantly reduce and/or eliminate the chance of an accident.
To prevent hazards associated with the use of power tools workers should observe the following general precautions:
- Never carry a tool by the cord or hose
- Never yank the cord or the hose to disconnect it from the receptacle
- Keep cords and hoses away from heat, oil, and sharp edges
- Disconnect tools when not using them, before servicing and cleaning them, and when changing accessories such as blades, bits, and cutters
- Keep all people not involved with the work at a safe distance from the work area
- Secure work with clamps or a vise, freeing both hands to operate the tool
- Avoid accidental starting
- Do not hold fingers on the switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool
- Maintain tools with care; keep them sharp and clean for best performance
- Follow instructions in the user’s manual for lubricating and changing accessories
- Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance when operating power tools
- Wear proper apparel for the task
- Loose clothing, ties, or jewelry can become caught in moving parts
- Remove all damaged portable electric tools from use and tag them: “Do Not Use”
- Never remove, disable or pin back a guard
- It is there for yours and others safety
- Violators will be removed from the job-site
If you are ever asked to use a tool that you are not comfortable with or have little to no experience with notify your foremen and ask for additional training.