After working with tools day in and day out, handling work equipment often becomes second nature to employees. Unfortunately, when this type of mindset sets in, people don’t always remember to take the extra steps needed to properly care for their tools. However, failing to do this is a mistake, as properly tending to tools (especially power tools) with care ensures that devices lasts for a longer period of time – which is better for your company’s bottom line.
Additionally, taking the proper steps to handle power tools correctly reduces the risk of worker injury. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that 400 electrocution accidents happen every year. They also report that faulty products (including power tools) attribute to almost 15 percent of those shocks.
Damaged cords alone cause a lot of electrocution problems for workers. Fortunately, avoiding cord damage in the first place can easily improve worker safety at your business. To prevent future cord damage:
- Carry Tools Properly – When transporting tools, works should either carry them by the handle or transfer them using a box. Never hold tools by their cord, as this can cause damage to the equipment.
- Unplug Tools From The Outlet – After each use, always unplug tools by firmly grasping the plug closest to the outlet. Never yank the cord. Handling the cord this way will reduce the risk of damage to the cord as well as the plug.
- Keep Cords Away From Dangers – Before starting up your power tool, make sure your cord is far enough away from heat sources, fuel spills, and sharp objects to avoid damaging the tool – doing so prevents frayed wires and fire hazards.
In addition to taking the time to ensure the power tool won’t shock an employee, it’s important to remember that power tools can also cause damage in other ways. Old parts and accidental starts can cause a worker to be cut or punctured without warning. To prevent these kinds of accidents, we suggest that employees:
- Continuously Perform Proper Maintenance – To keep your power tools working at top performance, purchase new parts on a regular schedule. Keeping up with a maintenance schedule reduces the risk of rust buildup and outdated parts damaging the tool. Also remember to regularly clean the device to prevent premature damage due to worksite by product buildup.
- Gather Safety Materials – When operating power tools, wear fitted gloves, safety goggles, and ear plugs to help prevent unexpected injuries. Also, workers should always locate important pieces of safety equipment (such as fire extinguishers and spill absorbent products) before beginning their work.
- Locate The Power Switch – Know where the manufacture installed the power switch on the power tool before plugging it in to avoid unintentionally turning it on. Then, make sure you keep your hands away from the area until you’re ready to begin the job.
- Properly Mark Unsafe Tools – If a power tool is found to be unsafe – frayed cords, outdated parts, etc. – clearly mark it as such and store it away from other tools until it can be disposed of properly.
As you can see, properly caring for your tools is easy for people in all occupations. By following these simple tips, anyone can care for their power tools and safely reduce the risk of injury to employees.