I am writing this to get back to basic safety with regards to tools. The other day we were sitting at a job site during lunch hour. We were watching people walk by when I noticed a safety hazard. Now, I am not here to preach, but sometimes it pays to go back over some basic concepts, things we forget to remember because our minds are somewhere else. It is a well known fact that working with power tools can be dangerous, very dangerous. People lose fingers, limbs and worst of all, they can lose their lives. So lets take this subject seriously and get a quick refresher.
Now back to the safety hazard I noticed. While watching people walk by me, I noticed an extension cord laying on the ground, no big deal, right? NO!! WRONG!! This cord was laying on a high traffic walk-way, so not only was it a tripping hazard, but an electrical hazard also. All these people were walking by the extension cord. Some where stepping over the cord, but quite a few were walking on the cord. Needless to say, on the bottom of most of our shoes we have tread and in this tread is where screws, rock, glass and other foreign materials get stuck. So when you walk on a cord, you put small cuts into it, and pretty soon they become bigger cuts, and before you know it, you can cause a fire, power tool failure, or a shock. This is something we all do, even though we know we should never step on a cord. So lets get back to basics.
- Always inspect your power tools – Inspect your power tool cords. Look for cuts, missing parts, cracks in the case, bad switches and the over all structure of the power tool.
If you find a problem – remove it from the field, so no one else gets hurt by the power tool. Fix any problems before the tools are returned to service.
Always focus on the work you are doing. Don’t be distracted by other people or outside events. Remember, you are working with dangerous tools. Also, never wear any jewelry or loose clothing. This can cause a shock or loose clothing can get stuck in the tool and cause injuries.
In regards to the power cord, never cut the ground prong. If there are three prongs on the cord, make sure that’s what you plug into. Another good idea is to buy a shock protector. This gives you protection from the start. You can plug this into the wall and then you know you have three outlets that are protected. Plus, if you have a surge, you can see why the surge occurred, and if it is not safety related, you can reset the switch right on the cord instead of going inside to the panel and trying to figure out which fuse blew. A protector is not expensive, you can buy one for under $30.
Remember to always think on your feet when you are using a power tool. It only takes a fraction of a second to change your life. Taking a couple precautions can help produce a safe work place.
Here is a link we found online that is worth looking through and reading. In addition, it would be a good idea to print this and hand out copies to your employees as a refresher course on Power Tool Safety