We live in a world of false expectations. Everyone glued to their screens, mesmerized by Instagram influencers with a penchant for woodworking and “easy-as-pie” DIY on YouTube. We are all captivated by the idea of building, well, anything - after all in the media is to be believed, it’s incredibly easy. All we need is a power tool and BANG! We’re Bob Vila! Reality is a bit more complicated, less that building Guru and more along the lines of Tim Allen on Home Improvement or, yikes, Homer Simpsons. Power tools, the intricacies inherent to their use, are subjects most people - in particular newbies - tend to disregard. There are hazards associated with them and pitfalls that befall the uninitiated. If you want to extend your tool's life and its individual parts, not to mention skip various trips to the ER, you’ll need to follow some of the tips listed in the article.
Power Tool Safety Importance
Here are some harrowing statistics:
- According to OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration), one in ten construction workers is injured every year.
- There are, if the Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be believed, over 150,000 construction site accidents and injuries every single year.
And those are PROFESSIONALS that know a thing or two about site safety and how to properly handle their hardware. Let’s talk turkey on the stats’ related to amateur how just uncovered that power-tool aisle at their local Home Depot.
Tips for working with power tools
Regularly inspect your tools
If you’ve bought quality power tools then most likely those beauties are made to last. Built out of strong materials, tested under the worst circumstances, made to take a wallop and just shrug it off. Most power tools are crafted with one singular vision in mind - SURVIVE. Most B&D monstrosities could take on a nuclear strike and come out the other end only mildly radioactive.
Nonetheless, it’s important, before you use them, to inspect their parts. To take a look at their batteries, electrical cords, fasteners, and all those bolts and crannies.
Don’t carry them by their cord or hose
The most fragile part of your power tools is the one that looks most flimsy. Most power tools have a hard case body, with a nice carapace built to last - the same can be said about everything the blossoms from this armor. Cords, hoses, extras, widgets, and add-ons aren’t that sturdy or robust. It’s important to treat these parts as extremely fragile.
Keep cords, hoses, power tool accessories away from the heat, oil, and sharp edges
Power tool accessories, extensions, or add-ons aren’t meant to last forever. That flexibility we so desire in a cord, or a hose, or in these nifty accessories essentially makes them fragile. They are constructed of weaker polymers and materials - most of which are highly susceptible to changes in the atmosphere, fire, oil, sharp objects, and water.
Disconnect your power tools and their accessories
Unless you are actively using them at that very moment, always disconnect your tools. If you’re going to serve, clean them, change an accessory, or are simply done for the day, first unplug them or remove the power supply. This will prevent accidental starting.
Tips on maintaining your power tools and their accessories
Always remove your power source, your batteries, from your power tool after use. This will prevent degradation of the battery over time, will also prevent - if properly housed - corrosion, and will maintain its charge capacity for a longer period.
- Separate old and new batteries.
- Be sure to keep them in a humidity-free zone.
- Keep them away from metal objects.
- Keep them in their original packaging or special battery storage.
- Store them stored at room temperature or below 24º
Your power tools and their accessories need special cases or boxes. This will help prevent deterioration and keep them in tip-top shape. It’s imperative that before you store them to clean them off with the appropriate materials following their instruction manual’s guides on the subject.
Results of faulty power tool safety
Thanks to the popularity of home renovation TV Shows, like Property Brothers, Grand Design, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and countless YouTube tutorials, glamorizing the ease of giving your property back its sparkle Americans have a false impression that a sander and a drill are easy to operate. No risks attached, perfectly do-able, Sea-Monkeys can perform these renovations - the reality is slightly different.
Approximately 13 million people a year are injured in the USA alone while carrying out repairs to their homes. Of that amount, 55,000 end up in a coffin - according to the stats’ collected by The Register-Herald, most of these deaths are attributed to negligent DIY practices and unprofessional use of power tools.
Whether you are redoing your living room, installing a cabinet set, trying to follow directions on how to construct a funky lamp, tearing down a bathroom, or pruning the hedges outback, it is imperative to engage in safe working procedures and know the ins and outs of your tools. Why? Because most of them are rather deadly. Drills, saws, sanders, chainsaws, lawnmowers, these are the types of gifts hockey mask-wearing maniacs ask for Christmas. They are deadly and if your want to avoid an injury all you need is a little forethought, common sense, and the patience to read their instruction manual.