Power Tool Safety Tips
22 February 2011
Used without caution, power tools can easily become inadvertent weapons at home or onsite. Hundreds of power tool related injuries and compensation claims occur every year including both newbies and long time operators. Many of these injuries are often easily avoidable and attributed to carelessness, over confidence or simply not reading the operating instructions.
Simple safety tips
Here are some simple yet often overlooked safety tips whilst working with power tools:
Wear safety gear
Make a habit of wearing safety gear, particularly safety eye wear. Flying shards and debris create unpredictable trajectories and a sudden occurrence can not only cause damage to your eyes but force you to loose control of the powered tool you’re operating.
In addition to eye wear, workplace noise is also often overlooked. However the cumulative time of exposure to above normal decibel levels in the workplace can do irreversible damage to your hearing.
Other safety gear such as gloves and appropriate clothing are just as important, and should be part of formal personnel safety plans.
Read the operating instructions
Surprisingly, not reading the operating/safety instructions are a cause for hundreds of power tool injuries. The key here is to familiarize both yourself and your team with new equipment when it is introduced to the fleet or job. In particular, built in safety devices and kill switches should be highlighted. Remember to also use a power breaker when working with high powered tools.
Report all accidents
It’s important to report all accidents and injuries in the workplace. This not only creates a culture of continuous learning, but also helps to future proof against lengthy compensation claims.
Be aware of varying processes in different states. For instance in NSW the law requires that WorkCover must be notified by phone for all incidents involving injury or illness. In Queensland incidents can be reported online, however if an incident involves a death immediate notification must be made by phoning 1300 369 915.
*This document is intended as a guide and is provided as an information source only. It should not be treated as advice on circumstances in any particular case. Coates Hire accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained on this website.