When working with both hand tools and power tools I take tool safety seriously.
Why? In the early days when I missed striking the nail with the hammer a few times and hit my thumb instead, or the hand saw blade slipped and nicked my hand, I very quickly learnt to concentrate.
When working with both hand and power tools always stay 100% focused on what you are doing as a lack of attention may cause a serious injury.
Tool Safety Tip #1
According to an online source 65% of eye injuries occur around the home? This stat did surprise me indeed.
[Image source: https://blog.safetyglassesusa.com/wear-safety-eyewear]
Wear safety glasses or goggles when using both hand tools and power tools to protect your eyes from dust, debris, splinters from wood, glass and other objects.
Safety glasses should be worn even when using the lawnmower or whipper snipper/brush cutter outside the house.
Accidents can happen unexpectedly and quickly, so always protect your eyes when working with any type of tool
Tool Safety # 2
Items like jewellery, rings, long hair, sandals and loose clothing can easily get caught up in power tools.
To reduce the risk:
- Remove jewellery and rings.
- Ensure your clothes fit snug against your body to avoid any part getting caught in fast turning tools.
- Wear closed in foot wear – boots, joggers with rubber soles. Footwear like loose sandals (flipflops, jandals, thongs, etc) can be a trip hazard or if a sharp object falls to the ground and hits your foot it may cause an injury.
- Tie long hair tie it well back behind your head, out of the way of fast moving power tools. A hair net serves this purpose very well.
Tool Safety # 3
When using any type of power tool, wear ear muffs or ear plugs to protect your hearing from being affected from the noise. Both types are effective in reducing the noise.
Tool Safety # 4
Protect your lungs and skin:
- When sanding (hand or electric) use a dust mask to reduce the risk of breathing in dust particles.
- When using toxic substances such as a paint stripper protect yourself from inhaling fumes by wearing a dust mask and the appropriate gloves to protect your skin.
- Always use the most appropriate dust mask for the task at hand.
Tool Safety # 5
Avoid the risk of electrocution when drilling holes in walls:
- Use a scanning or sensor device to check for electrical wiring in walls and ceilings.
- Scanners can also detect timber studs in walls.Scanners are also useful for finding water pipes within walls.
Tool Safety # 6
When replacing saw blades, router bits or drill bits always turn off the power to the tool being used. As an added precaution remove the power tool’s plug from the wall.
The reason for this is to reduce the risk of accidentally knocking the starter switch which in turn activates the blade or bit. If the tool accidentally turns on, it may cause injury.
Tool Safety # 7
Check your home and work area is fitted with a safety switch or earth leakage breaker at the main meter box to the property.
The reason for this is that if a power tool (or electrical appliance) develops a short in its electrical wiring the safety switch is triggered at the main meter box which turns off the power to the house immediately. A safety switch therefore reduces the risk of anyone in the home receiving an electrical shock.
I have had both an electric drill and kettle develop electrical shorts, so having a safety switch is essential in every home.
If you are not sure whether your home is fitted with a safety switch, ask your local licensed electrician to check and install one.
Tool Safety # 8
Use one extension lead instead of multiple leads connected to multiple tools.
The reason for this is the more electrical cords lying on the floor the easier it is to trip over one of them.
If using just one extension lead, then you know which power tool is being used at any given time. In an emergency it is much quicker to turn off one power point instead of multiple.