Does your job involve working with power tools like power drills, nail guns, power saws and grinders? How important is your safety to your employer? According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, your employer must ensure a safe work environment and provide the necessary safety training to prevent work-related injuries.
Although working with power tools seems straightforward, they are dangerous enough to make you lose a finger, cause blindness and more. In many cases of power tool injuries, complacency is the cause. It is best to always work with the worst-case scenario in mind to make sure you remain alert to the potential hazards.
Typical power tool injuries
When working with power tools, following safety standards is essential, even if you have used them for years without mishaps. Remember that complacency can have any of the following devastating consequences:
- Power drills: The most common injuries involving power drills are puncture wounds, often caused by the drill bits catching loose clothing. Drilling into live wiring can cause electrocution.
- Nail Guns: Unintentional firing of a nail gun causes most injuries, but misfires and ricochets are also common. Reportedly, nail gun injuries, mostly to hands and feet, cause about 40,000 visits to emergency rooms each year, and severe injuries could cause death.
- Grinders: Face and head injuries are the most common injuries for workers using grinders. While inexperience could be blamed for some injuries, experienced workers often remove manufacturers’ safeguards, exposing them to the moving parts and sparks.
- Power saws: Regardless of the size of a power saw, the blade’s speed poses serious hazards. Distractions or the lack of concentration can remove one or more fingers in the blink of an eye.
Safety precautions that could keep you out of the hospital
Workers must use all power tools with caution and by following the manufacturer’s usage requirements and security precautions. Always wear personal protective equipment such as safety goggles, safety boots and a mask. Avoid wearing loose clothing and never use power tools when you are tired or fatigued. Use each tool only for its purpose because repurposing of tools to save time could have devastating consequences.
The final, but equally important, matter is electrical safety. Tools powered by electricity will always pose electrocution hazards. However, even using a hand screwdriver, you should handle it with extra care around electrical wires. When working in proximity to electrical wiring, the best practice is to turn off the circuit breaker and use hand tools with insulated grips.
What happens if you are injured?
You might find comfort in knowing that California workers’ compensation insurance will cover your medical expenses and lost wages if you were to suffer work-related injuries. However, no compensation can replace missing fingers or lost eyesight. Still, regardless of the amount of care you take, accidents happen.
Some injured workers find the benefits claims procedure challenging and choose to secure an experienced workers’ compensation attorney’s services to navigate the claims for them.