Safety & Sanitation: Best practices for Using Power Tools around the House
Using a variety of power tools around the house may be a norm for various projects. During the summer months, family and friends are likely roaming into your project area. To ensure that you and others stay safe at all times, there are some very basic steps to ensure safety.
- Use the right tools for the job – Misusing a power tool is hazardous. If you are unsure if a tool would work for a job, always err on the side of caution.
- Read the instructions carefully – While tool operation may seem obvious, it is still best to read the instructions. Various models have different specifications and variations can result in different risks.
- Keep fingers away from the power switch – Most power tools are designed so that they don’t turn on accidentally. However, take care not to accidentally press the on/off switch while handling these tools. For example, when transporting a tool from one place to another, make sure that your fingers aren’t positioned near the power button. If a safety lock is available, it should be engaged when the tool is not in use.
- Disconnect power tools when not in use – Some people keep their power tools plugged in at all times. When they need to use them, they don’t have to worry about plugging them in again. But power tools should be disconnected when not in use. When unplugged, power tools can’t accidentally turn on and cause injuries.
- Never carry a tool by the cord – Do not swing them around by the cords either.
- Inspect tools on a regular basis – When a power tool is damaged, it can be dangerous. If a power tool isn’t inspected regularly, dangerous damages can go unnoticed. A damaged cord with small nicks can easily be covered with electrical tape. If a deep cut or tear occurs on a cord though, the cord should be replaced.
Power tools should be inspected prior to every use. Tools not used regularly should be inspected every few months.
- Protect your eyes – Regardless of the type of work being performed, the eyes should be protected at all times. Power tools stir up a lot of dust and debris. Tools like drills and chainsaws can cause objects to fly loose. It’s not uncommon at all for objects to fly directly into a person’s eyes when power tools are being used. For safety, use impact-resistant safety glasses. These heavy-duty glasses will eliminate the risk of foreign objects getting into the eyes.
- Store Power Tools Where Children Can’t Access Them – Power tools should never be left out, even if they are going to be used again the very next day.
- Work in a safe environment – This means a workspace with adequate lighting. In dim conditions, it is all too easy to make a wrong move that can cause a serious injury. Power tools should never be used in damp or wet conditions. One of the biggest risks involved in using a power tool is electrocution, which is why these tools need to be kept away from wet, damp conditions at all times.