Live a Little...
...but Be Healthy
One of the first things that novice home improvement wannabe's are itching to get their hands on are some cool power tools. That's all well and good and of course a necessary side to doing any work in your home, but before you start cranking up the watts and drilling a nice big hole in your leg, you need to be aware of some power tools safety tips.
Start out by always remembering that whatever tool you are holding in your hand has the potential to injure you if you are not careful. So below, I've outlined some important points about taking care with power tools in general and some specifics too.
They may sound like common sense, and to be honest, they are exactly that. But you'd be surprised at just how many people end up in ER for not heeding their own common sense.
Electricity can kill. Most DIY power tools run off mains electricity, which can pack enough punch to stop your heart. So be careful with them!
Be mindful of power outlets especially older ones that don't look too secure. Old wiring may also mean some loose connections that can result in sparking or blown fuses.
Plugs on modern electrical equipment tend to be molded and pretty secure, but be wary of older plugs and if in doubt, open them up and make sure all the connections inside are tight and secure.
Power tools run at high speeds. Drills and saws may seem safe enough, but if the business end of the tool comes into contact with your skin, it will go through it like a hot knife through butter. If you slip with a drill in can jam itself into your arm or leg and go a lot of damage before you can switch it off.
If a circular saw jumps out of your grip it can slice your leg off before the blade stops spinning.
Sanders are not as safe as they look. They are abrasive and can do a nice job of relieving your arm of one or two layers of skin very quickly!
Orbital sanders are safer than belt sanders which run at high speed and can abrade your skin much faster. It pays to observe simple, common sense safety measure when using this type of equipment to insure your skin is safe.
So wear safety gloves, overalls and protective clothing for your body and protective glasses to keep flying particles out of your eyes.
Driving in Screws
Even Power screwdrivers have a nasty side! Again, they spin at high speeds and if you slip off the head of a screw and the driver blade hits your hand or finger, it can gouge a nasty wound, so be careful!
Beware gas/petrol powered tools. These are generally larger and heavy duty versions of their electric powered equivalents.
Chain saws are a big problem in the wrong hands. The wrong hands are those that have never been professionally instructed on how to use the tool. A chain saw is great while it's happily slicing through a thick tree branch, but if it hits a knot it can jump violently and if your grip is not as tight as tight can be, the saw can swing round and bite into your leg. A severed artery in your thigh can mean death in a matter of minutes, so be extra careful with this tool and seek professional instruction before using.
Cutting the Brush
Power brush cutter or strimmers are generally safe when used with nylon cord, although if it hits your exposed skin can still produce a nasty welt. Same goes for other people in your vicinity, you do not want to be responsible for your child losing an eye to your nylon cord.
It goes without saying that is you're going to use the steel blade on your brush cutter, then you must take extra care that no one else is near you while you operate the machine. Steel blades can whip up a stone and send it flying into the eye of an unsuspecting child or adult, for that matter.
It can also catch on a concealed tree stump or similar obstacle and whip the blade up into the air. That blade is as lethal as a circular saw or chainsaw blade if it finds a limb and cuts deep enough to sever an artery.
These are just some of the things to beware of when using power tools. Remember, safety first, bravado never!