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Keep It Safe - Safety Tips To Remember When Using Hand & Power Tools

Posted by on 9/17/2013 to Workplace Safety
When I started, I didn't know much about hand and power tools safety, but I assumed it was common sense. I was wrong- it's not. I've seen intelligent people injure themselves and complete beginners prevent potential disasters. Here are some of the important safety basics I've learned along the way. Don't Get Complacent They say familiarity breeds contempt, and nowhere is that more true than when using tools you feel comfortable with. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, rule number one is always: Take your time. Moving too quickly is an invitation to an injury. On the job site, I've seen seasoned pros working at high speed completely lose awareness of their surroundings- flinging boards out of table saws, placing their hands and feet in dangerously close proximity to their blades, and disregarding eye and ear protection. Not only does taking your time prevent injuries, it also gives a better finished product- most power tools are designed to deliver cleaner results at moderate speeds. Examine Your Workspace One of the jobs I do on site is keeping the workshop clean and organized. It may sound boring, but it's actually a safety measure. Before beginning any project, examine your surroundings. Be sure there is no clutter in the walkway. Make sure the location where you'll be working is well-lit, that there's plenty of room for your materials, and that the footing and work surfaces are stable. Check the area for possible hazards like dangling cords, slippery floors and loose hardware like nails and screws. Clear away any sawdust- it can spontaneously ignite from a spark and is extremely flammable. Always keep exits clear of debris while working in case of fire. Locate or supply a first-aid kit and safety goggles, ear protection and dust masks. Know Your Tools I've seen some crazy things in construction. People using skill saws upside down, hammering with drills, trying to cut logs with a jigsaw. No kidding. Take the time and read the manuals- get to know your tools and how to use them correctly. Using the right tool for the job means a better result and fewer chances for injury. Hand and power tools safety begins with knowledge and ends with an awesome completed project, all fingers and toes intact.

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