Facility managers often use power tools in the day-to-day maintenance of their buildings, but are you staying as safe as you can be? According to a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hand and power tools send over 400,000 people to the hospital each year to treat burns, lacerations, dismemberment, electric shock, and more. Keeping your team and yourself safe should be a top priority as you use power tools as part of your job.
Here is a list of tips to maximize safety for any member of your team using power tools on the job:
- Read the instruction manual and user instructions carefully; operating the tools properly is the first step in prioritizing safety.
- Clean your work area. Eliminate any potential hazards and materials that could catch fire from flying sparks, and create a separate area without bystanders who could be at risk.
- Consider your power source. Make sure the area is dry, and that the outlet you are using is grounded. Inspect your cords for damage or fraying.
- Ensure that the operator is equipped with the proper PPE, like boots, glasses, gloves, and hearing protection to stay safe during use. Tie back long hair and remove any jewelry that might increase the risk of injury.
- Inspect the tool before using it to ensure that it is in good working order before you even turn it on. If it is found to be defective, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Replace the tool or have it professionally repaired.
- If working outdoors, use power tools only in safe conditions. Avoid using them in the rain, as wet tools increase the likelihood of electric shock.
- Don’t forget to apply these tips to your rented equipment, too, as these tools may not be part of your regular inventory.
- Create a regular maintenance schedule to make sure that the tools stay in proper working order and are ready for use when you need them next.
- If you are using an extension cord, be sure to protect the cord from damage and mitigate the tripping hazard for any foot traffic.
- Store the equipment properly in a cool dry space with pegboards, chests, boxes, and more to extend its service life and keeps them out of harm’s way.
Power tools are likely a part of your regular maintenance plan, but prioritizing safety for your workers needs to be top priority, from the tool themselves to usage and storage.