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Safety Tips | Power tools

Use caution with portable power tools

January 1, 2010

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Unsafe habits can develop from using portable power tools at home, and these habits can creep into the workplace, according to California OSHA. Such equipment may be commonplace, but that does not reduce the potential danger.

Cal/OSHA reminds workers who use portable power tools to:

  • Examine the tool, cords and hoses prior to use. If a tool is found to be damaged or defective, immediately remove it and clearly label it with a tag reading “Do not use.”
  • Avoid accidental starting. Do not place fingers on the switch button when carrying a plugged-in tool.
  • Never carry a tool by the cord or hose, or yank the cord to disconnect it.
  • Keep cords clear of heat, oil and sharp edges.
  • Do not modify equipment or its use. Use tools only for their intended purpose.
  • Never disable or modify guards or automatic “off” switches on power tools.
  • Always wear eye protection and other required personal protective equipment. Loose clothing, jewelry and ties can get caught in a tool’s moving parts.
  • Disconnect tool from energy source and compressed air (when in use) before performing repairs or maintenance, and before replacing bits, blades and cutters.
  • Maintain tools in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, lubricating when necessary, and keeping them clean and sharp.
  • Secure work with clamps or a vice, freeing both hands to operate the tool. Be aware of hand placement and avoid putting your hands in the line of operation. Maintain good footing and balance.
  • Always store tools properly after use.

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