Selecting the right tool for the job is as critical to preventing injury as it is to getting the job done right. We must be educated on proper tool selection and the risks in improvising (i.e. using a screwdriver as a chisel). When used safely, power tools are among a worker’s most valuable assets. But when used in an unsafe manner, the same capabilities that make these tools so effective can also create a high risk for injury. Every year, thousands of workers miss work time after a power tool injury.
Even if we select the proper tool, tool-related injuries can still occur. Many tool-related injuries could easily be prevented through regular maintenance and proper use of safety mechanisms. Below are several maintenance tips to help keep dull blades, worn tools and other high-risk maintenance hazards from harming you:
- Examine each tool for damage before use
- Don’t use broken, dull, damaged or worn tools
- Keep blades and bits sharp and clean
- Clean and lubricate tools frequently and as specified in the manufacturer’s manual
- Maintain labels and nameplates
- Make sure safety guards and switches are in place and working properly
Remember always select the proper tool for the job, and always keep up on regular maintenance!