Power tools, either powered by an electric motor or a gasoline engine are started with an additional power source and mechanism. In the power tool industry, significant advancement had been made in the field of various types of power tools considering their vibrant working capacity to meet the number of challenging needs with regard to building, maintenance, renovation, cutting, installation of modern amenities, etc. Manufacturing companies have been going through the numbers of researches and studies till to date in order to upgrade the tools based on the experience of the professionals and users to make them more compliant and user’s friendly.
Though substantial advancement had been made in the power tool industry, but it’s not also a deniable fact that every year significant numbers of accidents and hazards occur in the workplace due to mishandling, use of defective tools, lack of compliance at workplace and homes.
Every tool comes with a manufacturer’s operation manual for the operators to be trained on the specific tool’s operation. Besides, there is a variety of Personal Protection Equipment, also known as safety gears available in the market. In addition, there are so many renowned training institutes and Universities who carry out various training and long and short courses round the year on the power tools for the professionals.
In spite of the existence of so many facilities, it’s a matter of great regret that every year significant numbers of accidents occur in the power tool industry just due to lack of negligence of adhering to the compliance issues leading to permanent damage of human organs, amputation, laceration, and post accidental trauma, etc.
Considering the above facts, I have designed this article to discuss the 7 most dangerous power tools and how to use them safely to make my readers aware of the power tools related accidents and available protective measures against them.
Table of Contents
1. Table Saw
Table saw is one of the most versatile power-driven woodworking tools, also known as saw bench or bench saw assembled with a circular saw blade. Its blade depth and slants are adjustable for professional-grade precise cutting.
In spite of owning excellent woodcutting features, table saw ranked a top as one of the most dangerous power tools which demands its own specialized accident litigators.
Table Saw can cause severe harms unless you take care of every alert and warning before, during and post-operation of the tool. The spinning blade may come into contact with your hand ending up with laceration and amputation. Studies revealed that every year over 60,000 injuries occur from table saw blades. But, you don’t need to be worried as there are a number of safety options available for you to avoid such workplace accidents and hazards.
There are different models of table saw available in the market to choose from. Always prefer a model for table saw assembled with adequate safety options and quite potential to keep your hands away from the saw blades.
Always use a splitter that controls and escorts the stock while passing through the saw blade. Also, a riving knife could be an ideal one that has an ability to grip the stock if it tends to kick-back during operation.
It’s strongly recommended to stand away from the saw’s meter slot on each side of the blade to avoid encountering kick-back towards you.
Finally, always read the user’s instruction manual carefully before operating any tool, get adequately skilled in its operation and maintenance.
Wear all Personal Protection Equipment including hand gloves, goggles, and helmets as appropriate.
2. Circular Saw
Circular saw is one of the most powerful tools and popular too among the woodworkers. Its circular blade assembled with sharp teeth splits through wood. Though this tool seems to be too simple to operate, it may also cause a massive kick-back like a chainsaw if it is not adequately taken care of during operation. As we know, that incidence of kick-back is quite prevalent while the spinning blades get exhausted in the boards leading to vigorous kick-back towards the operator without giving any lead time to move hands out of the blades. It’s been revealed from different studies and hospital reports that circular saw alone accounts for over 12,000 injuries every year, leading to laceration, amputation, permanent damage of human organs, post-accidents trauma, and even death.
Secure your lumber properly to keep your hands on the saw and keep them free from contacting into the blade to prevent accidents. Always prefer to stand at the side of the saw, not behind it directly.
Never allow the passersby to pass behind the operators while the saw on operation.
Adjust the blade depth to make sure the tips of the teeth barely have the chance to protrude the lumber’s width, which in turn reduces the risk of accidental hazards.
If you prefer sawhorses to have enough leverage to use it anywhere outside the workshop, it never guarantees that you won’t encounter accidents. However, the risk of accidents could be minimized by cutting the sawhorse edge from outside, not between the two horses’ rails.
Wear all Personal Protection Equipment including hand gloves, goggles, helmet, and others as appropriate to stay safe during operation.
Chain saw is one of the versatile power-activated cutting tools frequently used by the woodworkers. This tool consisted of two main parts, including the bar and chain. Its set of sharp teeth attached to a chain rotates around the edge of the blades. But unfortunately, chainsaw ranked a top in the list of dangerous power tools due to several unsafe and faulty operational causes, including dull blades. Different hospital reports and studies revealed that every year a significant number of injuries occur due to kick-back incidence by the chain saw, which even exceeded 30,000 by this time.
As we know, kick-back is one of the leading causes of injuries, which tends to happen as soon as the guide bar’s tip comes into contact with any object. The vigorous kick-back sends the bar and the sharp-chain flying back towards the operator leading to severe injuries like deep cutting through the skin in less than a second. To prevent such accidents, safety precautions are mandatory to abide by.
Experts always emphasize reading the instruction manual carefully and becoming adequately skilled in operating this dangerous tool.
Take off all jewelry while operating tools as they could come into contact with the tool leading to severe injuries.
Gather all safety gears to wear before operating your tool, including cut-resistant chain saw chaps, face mask, ear protective gear, jacket, gloves, boots, and hamlet, etc.
There is no alternative but routine maintenance of any appliance. Maintain your chain saw, grease it from time to time, inspect the condition of the chain, repair or replace them as required.
4. Nail Gun
There are many types of nail guns like framing nailer, finish nailer, brad nailer, gas-powered nail guns, and air-powered or pneumatic nailer; Nail gun is one of the popular tools for its multi-tasking capacity, including enormous framing. It’s a quite smart tool when someone experiences the versatile capacity of nailing, like pulling the trigger and driving the nails in the wood one by one effortlessly in less than a second. But somehow, it could be injurious too if it’s not operated properly as per operational guidelines.
Among various nail gun models, pneumatic nail guns, also known as air-powered nail guns, come with a safety mechanism. But faulty operation could cause severe injuries, including puncture wounds to the heads and fingers frequently encountered by the operators or bystander. Sometimes people near the tool are even vulnerable to freak accidents while driving the nails.
Always keep the gun in sequential mode rather than bumping mode or contact-trip. Its added advantage is to have additional safety steps during driving nails. This safety measure allows you to pull the trigger rather than depressing the muzzle, which would help prevent a significant number of accidents.
Always keep your hands clear of the nailing place to avoid injuries in case the nailing is done in an unintended or wrong place. Never hold a board near the nail gun angle.
Don’t neglect your safety gear to wear, including ear protection, gloves, goggles, and others as recommended by the professionals.
5. Angle Grinder
Angle Grinder is the most powerful multipurpose cutting device compared to many other different saws. An angle grinder tailored with an abrasive metal-cutting disc is awfully potential to cut all kinds of metal, including bolts, angle iron, rebar, and even sheet metal. Most home and commercial workshops prefer an angle grinder for its wide range of precise cutting features.
But one of the disadvantages of this tool is that sometimes it causes debris flying around the workplace. It also risks while dealing with the wood cutting disk that may cause incidents like massive kick-back leading to damage to your eyes and lungs. However, safer operation could significantly reduce the risk of accidental hazards.
Go through the User’s instruction manual carefully and train yourself adequately before operating the tool.
Gather all safety gear and wear them as appropriate to be protected from associated injuries and hazards.
Carry out routine maintenance for your device to keep them in order; if necessary, repair or replace them to avoid working with the defective ones.
Stepladder is frequently used either by professional operators or DIYers at home or workplace while dealing with repairing, maintenance, or installing any appliance or decorative pieces at home or office set up.
However, using a ladder could be extremely disastrous to your safety issues including falling. One of the high-risk behaviors associated with stepladder is tending to use a ladder to reach out to the working space without securing it with any kind of support including walls, fences, trees, etc.
Injuries by falling from ladder accounts for over 2 million people as revealed by hospital reports and journals. Unfortunately, among them, they mostly occur in non-occupational settings. The number of injuries is much higher than that of the injuries from the table saw. The most common type of injuries is associated with fractures to legs, feet, and backbones. However, some simple safety measures could prevent such unanticipated accidents.
Secure your stepladder with the wall or fence or some kind of support before climbing on it.
Don’t work alone. Employ one assistant to hold your ladder to prevent sudden fall.
Put your toes against the feet of the ladders and extend your arm straight out to check out if an extension ladder is latent or resting against a wall at the proper slope. Also, check if you are quite comfortable resting your hands on the stair in front of you. Always keep your hand on the stairs when you are on the ladder.
Wearing a tool belt or apron would allow your hand to be free to climb safely on the ladder and give you enough leverage while working.
7. Riding Lawn Mower
There are different models of lawn mowers available in the market. Lawn tractor and zero-turn mowers are built for a single person to ride, assembled with some special features. However, according to experts’ views, riding a lawnmower is considered to be another dangerous power tool which causes significant numbers of accidents among the lawnmower drivers, pedestrians, and children every year leaving many of them dead. This vehicle may meet accidents when some major compliance issues are not properly maintained inside and outside the lawn. Besides collisions with the walls, trees, fences, or hills are another major cause of accidents. Another vital cause of injuries is associated with allowing children to play with the lawnmower and treat them as toys.
Wear all personal protective equipment including appropriate footwear, ear protective gear, gloves, and others as appropriate recommended by the professionals.
Children generally love to watch the riding of the lawnmower and tend to play with the running mower. They find this dangerous tool fun. Keep the children out of the lawn while riding the lawnmower.
Stones, branches, sprinklers, and many other objects may lie on the lawn which may cause accidents. So, pick them out as soon as they are noticed on the lawn while riding your mower.
Always mow grass near gravel when the area is completely free of cars and passing by pedestrians.
Never try to pull a lawnmower toward you. It may cause accidents if you slip, ending up the mower right on top of you.
Try to purchase a keyless ignition system mower that allows you to start your mower with code rather than key. However, if you have the key system mower, never leave the key with the mower when locked to avoid accidents among the children.
It’s strongly recommended to get rid of the spark plug while working on the blade. It could cause an accident when there is a little collision between the piston and the blade in case the piston happens to be at the top of the compression.
I hope you are now quite aware of the accidents and safety options associated with the most dangerous power tools discussed in the article and their socio-economic and psychological impact on the rest of the lives of the victims. You are strongly advised to take every safety measure and train yourselves on the specific tool to prevent such unfortunate incidents.
Knowledge management is extremely vital to keep updated about current information and technology in the related field. Always try to get associated with relevant associations and professionals in the power tool field. If you are DIYer, it’s strongly recommended to work under professionals to be trained on the operation and maintenance of the tools at the initial stage, particularly in case of dangerous tools.
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