Power drills are some of the most useful tools used by mechanics and contractors on a day to day basis, and it is important for users of this particular tool to know their limitations and potential hazards. Electric drills must be used and maintained with care for the best and safest performance. Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for the power drill and when to change its accessories.
As useful as a power drill can be, it can also can also cause injuries in a variety of ways. Injuries are commonly caused by drill bits flying into the operator's eyes. Sometimes the bit can also accidentally puncture the flesh when the operator uses the tool with an unsteady hand. Electric shock is also a common source of injury.
There are a number of things that you will need to check before you use a drill. The first thing is the drill itself. Check to see if it is clean and rust free. A rusty drill is a hazard and it should be sent for maintenance. Turn it on to check the speed and test the trigger to see how fast the drill bit runs. This is a very important step to prevent any injuries caused by drill bits.
Make sure the bit does not wobble when turned on. It has to be straight to prevent it from breaking when it hits the target material. A straight bit will be able to withstand the pressure caused by contact with the material you are working on. The amount of pressure you have to apply will depend on the hardness of the material. Soft metals like copper and aluminium can be drilled with very little pressure. Harder metals like steel will need a tougher bit and a lot more pressure. Care has to be taken when using bits. Too much pressure will cause the drill to overheat and bind.
The cord is the final thing you have to check. Look for exposed wires and breaks. Check the connection and make sure it is secure. The cord can also be a tripping hazard. Make sure you have enough room for movement. Check for other items on the floor that can impede your movement. Tripping is the number one cause of flesh punctures.
Always wear a pair of safety goggles when working with a drill. It will protect your eyes from flying pieces of the bit and could potentially save your eyesight. You should also avoid wearing long sleeves or loose clothing when working with a drill. It can get tangled with the bit and depending on the speed of the drill, a tangled sleeve can cause serious injuries. Wear short sleeved clothing or a jumpsuit to avoid unnecessary injuries. Dust masks are also highly recommended. Inhaling pieces of wood and metal can cause pain in your lungs and damage in your respiratory tract.
Take your time when working with a drill. Speed will get you nowhere. The number one reason why accidents happen in a workshop is haste. Start off slow and then increase your speed gradually. A drill is not a complicated device to use, but it requires safety precautions just like any other power tool.
When you finish using a drill, store it in a safe place. Do not leave your drill plugged in and make sure you remove the bit. This will eliminate the chance of accidental stabbings and electrical shocks. Safety should always come first before and after using a power drill. Respect the safety rules and the drill will prove to be an invaluable tool in the workshop.