The wide variety of hand and portable power tools available today allow us to perform more tasks more efficiently. However, if misused, hand and power tools can cause injury. Use protective equipment and follow proper work practices to operate hand and power tools safely.
When working with power tools, it is essential to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep yourself safe from potential hazards. PPE for working with power tools should include safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, dust masks or respirators, and work gloves. Safety glasses or goggles should fit snugly and provide both side and front protection from flying debris and dust.
Hearing protection should fit comfortably and securely over the ears; choose products that reduce noise safely, as determined by OSHA regulations. Dust masks or respirators must be chosen based on the type of materials you are working with and their toxicity levels to ensure proper protection for your lungs. Work gloves should be chosen based on the type of materials you are working with and their size and fit. Always inspect gloves before use to ensure they are free from holes or tears.
Failure to wear the proper PPE when working with power tools could result in severe injury or even death. Workers must take all necessary steps to ensure their safety, such as following all safety guidelines and wearing the proper PPE while operating power tools. By taking these preventative steps, workers can reduce their risk of severe injury or death caused by working with power tools.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Clothing
- Wear PPE that is proper for the type of work being done.
- Do not wear gloves when operating a grinder.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothes or jewelry that can get caught in moving parts.
- Do not roll up long sleeves. If you wear long sleeves, be sure they are properly buttoned.
- Do not wear flammable clothes.
- Wear safety-toed shoes to protect your feet and toes.
- Protect your eyes, face, head, and scalp. Only wear ANSI-approved industrial-quality safety glasses or safety shields.
- Pull back long hair in a band or a cap to keep it from getting caught in moving parts.
- If necessary, use a proper dust, half-face or full-face respirator.
- Avoid distractions. Keep your mind on your work. Talking, running, pushing, and scuffling can lead to accidents.
- Work only at operating speed. Do not use a power tool before it has reached operating speed or while it is coming to a stop.
- Do not force a tool by applying too much pressure.
- Use both hands. Use both hands to hold and guide material being sawed.
- Stand in a safe location. Position yourself to avoid being hit if the tool kicks back.
- Do not allow wires, cords, or other objects that could get caught in equipment.
- Do not stand directly behind the equipment.
- Keep safety guards in place and proper working order.
- Do not use blades that are cracked or kinked.
- Keep saw blades sharp and set properly.
- Know the switch location so you can turn off the tool quickly.