4 Hazardous Power Tools and Their Safety Tips to Avoid Injury
by Sumona Technology 20 December 2021
Are you an avid DIYer? Do you look forward to using your powerful and efficient power tools? How often do you take shortcuts and slack on the safety precautions because it’s just a “quick job?”
With a generation of avid “do it yourselves”, it’s not uncommon for many households to own a few different power tools. It’s also easier than ever to hire everything you need. Rental companies make it possible to lease something like home drills and you can also opt for jackhammer hire.
How will you make the best of these resources?
A Few Dangerous Power Tools and Their Accompanying Safety Tips
An Australian study done between 2004 and 2015 has shown that at least 7% of hospitalized injuries were attributed to power tool accidents. In total, 4052 people were examined or treated for injuries sustained at work or home.
Interestingly enough, this study also provided a breakdown of the power tools responsible for a majority of the injuries. Some of them include the following:
- Grinder – 1424
- Saw – 724
- Nail gun – 361
- Chainsaw – 118
- Drill – 373
It’s important to note that these statistics only reflect patients who were admitted to the hospital. Patients who were treated as outpatients were not included in this study. This means the number of injured people can actually be much higher.
The biggest reason for the injuries was as a result of insufficient safety precautions being taken. It’s also worth noting a considerable amount of power tool injuries often result from DIYers who are often more inclined to take shortcuts.
Keep reading for a few common safety precautions to take when using dangerous power tools around the house.
Jackhammers are primarily used to break up rock or other hard surfaces. While it’s usually associated with construction use, it’s not uncommon for DIYers to use these tools when redoing their driveways or renovating certain areas on their properties.
- Always use safety boots, gloves, hardhat as well as ear & face protection. If someone is working with you make sure they have the necessary ear protection.
- Use your legs to avoid or prevent back injuries.
- Spray water on the surface being broken to reduce dust. Everyone on site should be wearing masks to avoid excessive dust inhalation.
- Divide the work into sections – take breaks between the sections to give your body (and your ears) a rest.
- Speak to your rental agent for additional safety precautions.
Angle grinders are handheld tools that can grind, cut, deburr, finish and even polish a steel surface. The blade used on an angle grinder is made of varying types of the grindstone and if not used correctly can result in serious lacerations. Angle grinders should only be used for their intended purposes.
- Wear correct safety gear, especially eyewear and gloves. Since it’s very easy for a grinding disk to cause lacerations, consider wearing coveralls.
- Use the right size and disc type for the job – never modify a disk to suit the job.
- Always do the work so that the sparks are directed downward and away from you.
Nail guns come in a wide variety of sizes for a whole host of different jobs. Generally, they work by using compressed air to fire off nails into the required surface. They make the laborious task of hammering nails into the wood much quicker.
- Always keep the gun in sequential mode – this will prevent the likelihood of many nails being dispatched at once in an accident.
- Always keep your hands clean of any area where a misfired nail could end up in your hand.
- Always wear the necessary eye, ear, and hand protection.
- Never use the gun for anything other than its intended purpose – it’s not a toy!
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended use.
Circular saws are one of the most common home-owned power tools. They’re great for use in the making of cupboards, shelves, and a whole host of tasks around the house. They’re very easy to use but have a strong kickback that can result in serious injury. It’s always important to remember that their blades are faster than table saws.
- Always wear all the required safety gear.
- Clamp your workpieces so that both hands can be used to operate and steady the saw.
- Invest in a sawhorse – never rest items against your leg or on another unsafe surface.
- Set the blade depth for the teeth to barely protrude past the workpiece’s thickness – this will reduce blade contact with the sawhorse.
There’s something very liberating about successfully using a power tool to build or renovate something around the house. You’ll always have the satisfaction of knowing (and bragging) about the cupboards you fixed or the shelves you built.
Always make sure that whether you’re using something as simple as a home drill or an item as complex as a jackhammer that you apply the right safety measures. Never take shortcuts because “you know what you’re doing”. Proper precautions will keep you safe enough to do many more DIY jobs around the home!