The majority of us usually ignore the impact that power tools have on our lives. These include the power strips, wiring extension cords, and power outlets. Most of the time, we tend to assume that they are safe and very reliable. But with power, one ought to be very careful because it can be hazardous if mishandled. Therefore, understanding power tool safety and knowing how they operate and what to do to save your life is crucial.
These Electrical Safety Tips Could Save Your Life
Operating an Electric Lawn Mower
Pairing an electric lawnmower with an extension cord can be dangerous. Older electric movers need to be plugged into electricity, and the possibility of stumbling over the cord with mower blades is high. This can be very dangerous to you. To avoid such instances when working with a corded mower, ensure that the cord is kept out of your working area and secured prior and during the working session.
Kickback is the major culprit when it comes to chainsaw accidents. Kickback is the forceful upward jerk that results when the end of the guide bar comes into contact with an object. This forceful motion sends the razor chain and the bar flying back to the operator. To save yourself from this scenario, get trained properly, know the tree-cutting practices that are safe, and always read the chainsaw manual before you get started.
Hedge trimmers are corded, so if the user mistakenly cuts through the extension cords, it can result in electrocution or electric shock. To avoid this problem, ensure that your feet and the blade are not in contact with the cords. Besides, when the surface is slippery and wet or it’s rainy never use a hedge trimmer. Moreover, when working with the equipment do not overstretch, put on shoes made of nonslip soles, and maintain a balanced position always.
Circular saws are famously known for home projects, but they are dangerous power tools. Its blade can get pinched in the lumber and can cause the wood to jerk back to the user the same a chainsaw behaves. This can be prevented by cutting straight lines and letting cut-offs to fall out when cutting boards. Retaining cut-offs of the board can get the blade stuck in the lumber as the wood bends downwards thus leaving no room left for the blade to go.
Pneumatic Nail Gun
Pneumatic tools such as the air-powered nail guns have safety ways of handling but if not used properly can cause adverse injury to the operator. This happens when a fastener is fired at high speed in an unintended direction hitting the user or even someone else at the workplace. Fasteners moving at high speeds could as well hit knots in wood and bounce back to the user. We can prevent this by observing the owner’s precautions and practicing safety handling techniques while using the machine.
While operating a drill, the user is advised to hold the drill perpendicular to the work surface. In doing that, the bit won’t get caught between wood grains thus preventing it from twisting. Most of these accidents happen while a user works from a ladder, where his/her precarious position causes drilling in a bias direction.
In most cases, a drill twists violently and this can break the user’s fingers or make him/her fall off the ladder. The user is required to practice proper drilling techniques and employ a second person to watch over him/her to avoid such incidences.
Maiming fingers while operating a table saw is a bad habit. Always make sure that the wood ripping guide is parallel to the blade, this prevents the blade from sticking in the wood hence preventing a kickback, where your hands and wood could get pulled into the moving saw. You should, however, avoid the use of ripple guides while cross-cutting materials using a miter gauge.
Powder-Actuated Nail Gun
Powder-actuated tools have a lot of efficacy when it comes to firing nails into concrete or metal through wood plates. However, the fastener can ricochet hitting the user or a bystander if the trajectory of the tool is off the target. Fortunately, there is free training offered by its manufactures that trains on the operation of this tool. Ramset is one of them.
While operating a miter saw, wood is placed on the saw base then a spinning blade is pulled downwards to cut it. The spinning saw may recoil back upwards towards the user in the cases of the blade binding. Arms and fingers in the path of the blade would get injured by the blade. This kind of accident is prevented by ensuring that the blade is rotating before it comes into conduct with the wood and pressing the wood firmly against the fence to minimize movement.
A lathe is an extra dangerous machine used by DIYers to turn wood into wooden items such as rounded spindles and bowls. This machine can reel in long hair, loose garments, and dangling jewelry while it rotates at a high speed of more than 9,000 rpm. Incorrect operation on a lathe can cause significant injuries and fatalities. It is recommended that whoever wishes to operate a wood-turning lathe should enroll in a workshop or a class that educates about the particular machine operation.
According to Electric Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 3,000 plus house fires are caused by the unhealthy operation of extension cords every year. Besides, the organization records 4,000 victims of extension-cord related injuries in the emergency room in a dozen of months. A safe way to work with extension cords is by using just the required length of wire gauge for a particular power tool or machine. While working outside, strictly use outdoor-rated extension cords. You should as well ensure that the cord is attached to the ground by using duct tape to secure it from injuries caused by tripping while moving around. Visit the Power tools blog for more information.
How are power tools categorized by OSHA?
OSHA categorizes power tools based on their source of power. Power tools are categorized into; powder-actuated, pneumatic, hydraulic, electric, and liquid fuel.
What is the proper safety guard for handheld power tools?
The entire blade of the saw should be entirely covered by the upper guard.
The teeth of the saw should be covered the lower guard, except when it comes into contact with the workpiece.
Power tools are one of the most commonly used tools in remodeling, large building projects, and general construction projects. Ranging from circular saws to corded drills, these tools speed and simplify projects. However, when not properly used and safety measures overlooked they can turn out to be the most dangerous tools. Follow the power tool safety highlighted above to save your life.