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Whether you’re building a deck, working on a car, or repairing things around the house, having the right power tools for the job can make everything easier. Unfortunately, without practice and preparation, they can help you make quick and potentially dangerous mistakes. Why is power tool safety so important and what can you do to stay safe when you’re wielding power tools?
The Importance of Power Tool Safety
You’ll find power tools everywhere from industrial applications to DIY projects. Why is power tool safety so important?
In a nutshell, it’s the power behind the power tools that you need to be worried about. One slip with a jigsaw or a misplaced nail from your nail gun could send you to the hospital or worse. This isn’t to scare you away from using power tools. You don’t have to switch to hand tools for your DIY tasks unless you really want to. You just need to be aware of the risks and the steps you need to take to keep yourself safe when using these tools.
Keep Your Space Clean
The last thing you want to do when you’re using power tools is to slip on a piece of trash or trip over a stray tool. Keep your space clean and free of any debris or trip hazards. You should keep it clean enough that you won’t slip and fall while you’re trying to shape wood or repair something in your home. Slips, trips and falls cause upwards of 700 fatalities every year in the workplace alone.
Inspect Your Tools
Before you get started, take the time to inspect your tools. Make sure that all safety guards are in place, that all power cords and pneumatic cables are intact, and that everything is working as intended. When it’s in optimal condition, a power tool will do its task and keep you safe at the same time. Take the time for a quick inspection before you start working on your project.
Wear the Right Gear
The safety features of your equipment can only go so far. Make sure you’re wearing the right safety equipment for the task at hand. That might include eye protection, gloves, or anything else you need to protect yourself from dust or debris that your chosen tools throw into the air. It might be warm or uncomfortable but when it comes to power tool safety, personal protective equipment isn’t optional.
Don’t Use Them Wet
Rainy days and power tools generally don’t mix. Don’t use your equipment if it’s wet or in a wet environment unless it’s rated for that sort of use. Electricity and water are not a good combination and in most cases, power tools will short circuit and fail when they’re introduced to water.
Read the Instructions
Even if you’re familiar with the basics of a new power tool, it’s always a good idea to read the instructions before you start working on your project. Learning the ins and outs of each piece of equipment can make sure you know exactly how to say safe while using your tools.
Keep Them Sharp
When you’re working in the kitchen, it’s always important to keep your knives sharp — you’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one because you have to work harder to accomplish the same tasks. The same rules apply when you’re dealing with power tools, especially things like saws and drills. Make sure your blades and bits are sharp, partially so your tools don’t have to work so hard, and partially to keep you safe.
Always Be Careful
Power tools are a valuable tool for everything from industry to DIY projects. There are plenty of safety features but it’s up to you to take all the necessary steps to stay safe when you’re using them.