Power Tool Safety
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There are a lot of basic rules for working around power tools that everyone has probably known since they took a high school shop class. These are the kind of rules that were born out of common sense, even though they aren’t always applied in our everyday lives. Everyone knows you should always pay attention to what is going on around you and never rough house in the shop area. Eye protection is a must, even if you feel silly wearing goggles. Proper protective clothing that f…
There are a lot of basic rules for working around power tools that everyone has probably known since they took a high school shop class. These are the kind of rules that were born out of common sense, even though they aren’t always applied in our everyday lives. Everyone knows you should always pay attention to what is going on around you and never rough house in the shop area. Eye protection is a must, even if you feel silly wearing goggles. Proper protective clothing that fits the project you are working on is also a way to safeguard against injury. These are the rules that everyone can quite, but did you know that there are specific things that you can do to increase your safety when working with specific power tools? Use this handy guide to understand the best way to keep yourself from injury while working with your tools.
Band Saws: When you are working with a band saw it is imperative that you keep the saw blade set evenly and always make sure you are using the correct amount of tension to avoid injury. As you work, push the stock through the blade by placing your hands on both sides of the line of the cut. Always make sure that the power switch is off and locked or the saw is unplugged when you change the blade and consider wearing a full face mask to avoid flying chips of wood.
Drills: When you are working with a drill, it is very important that you always use a good quality drill bit that is the proper size and type for the job you are trying to do. For example, never use a drywall bit to try and drill through concrete. Make sure that the drill bit you are using is free from any flaws or defects that might compromise the quality and cause the bit to snap as you apply power to it. The bit should also be sharp, so it is up for the job at hand. Never force the bit into the material you are working with, because as you apply pressure to it, you might force the bit to break resulting in serious injury and always remember that you should operate the drill at the recommended speed for the drill and size of the bit.
Grinders: The first rule of using a grinder is to remember to protect your eyes. Goggles or a face mask should always be worn when you are operating this tool because it is impossible to keep pieces of your project from flying toward you. Wearing a dust mask over your nose and mouth is also a good way to keep from breathing in particles of the material you are working with. Take a minute before you use a grinder to consider where the sparks are going to fry and move out of the range of anything that is flammable and could ignite if a spark were to hit it. When you are done using the grinder, resist the urge to manually stop it from spinning. Remember, you should always allow the wheel to stop naturally.
Hand Held Circular Saws: When you are using a handheld power saw, make sure that the area you are standing in is dry to avoid electric shock. Always be aware of where the cord is at so that you don’t accidentally cut into it and make sure that the blade has stopped spinning on its own before you set it down. When you are carrying a power saw, make sure you never keep your hand on the trigger, so you don’t accidentally turn it on.
Saber Saws: When you work with a saber saw, it is very important to select the correct blade for the project you are doing. Always use a blade that is sharp and undamaged and take the time to check that it is securely fastened. As you saw, be sure to keep your hand clear of the blade to avoid unnecessary injury.
Table Saw: When you are working with a table saw, you should always adjust the tool so that the blade projects 1/8 of an inch from the wood you are trying to cut. Never start or stop the blade until it is out of contact with the wood and if you are trying to saw a very narrow strip of wood, never use your hands. Instead you should use a stick to push the piece through the blade.