Are Power Tools Dangerous?
I have said it before and will say it again, power tools are not dangerous - it is the person using them that is the danger!
Accidents with power tools happen all the time, it's a fact and yet many people continue to do stupid things, ignore safety warnings, or cast aside any concerns for their safety. I have often been asked the question, "Are power tools dangerous?" to which my answer has always been that power tools are safe - it is the person using them that makes them dangerous.
Hop onto Google and search for power tool accidents and you will be amazed at how many articles pop up. Articles were people have been left crippled, in extreme pain or been disfigured or left disabled for one reason or another. But if you look deeper into these articles, the first thing that comes to light is the way the power tools were used.
BUY A WELL-KNOWN AND REPUTABLE BRAND
If you invest in a reputable and trusted brand that includes safety features in their power tools, and if you use the tools in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended guidelines, the built-in safety features are designed to protect you from harm. It is only when a person ignores the guidelines and proper use of the tools that accidents happen.
Don't be tempted to buy a less popular brand based solely on price. You may end up paying the price by injuring yourself or worse. Quality brands invest time and effort into ensuring their power tools are safe and you can expect to pay slightly more for these brands based on their reputation for use without harm.
DON'T BUY CHEAP OR NO-NAME BRAND ACCESSORIES
You might have invested a fortune in a leading-brand power tool, but people are always on the lookout for bargains as a way to keep the cost of their hobby - or their occupation - to a minimum, and this is where no-name brand accessories come into play as concerns the safety of a power tool.
There are plenty of sources who state that more than half of the accidents involving angle grinding accidents can be blamed on inferior-quality cutting wheels, unsafe use of an angle grinder, or operator misuse.
Injuries caused by flying fragments of shattered cutting or grinding wheels are commonplace, yet the use of a quality brand disc would prevent many of these injuries. The risk of shattering or breakage is greatly increased if you use no-name or cheap brands, and checking discs, proper mounting and following the required safety precautions would greatly reduce the risk of bodily harm. If you are still not convinced, take a look at some of these angle grinder injuries - not for the faint-hearted.
FOLLOW THE SAFETY GUIDELINES
One thing I bemoan on regularly is that few people tend to read the Instruction Manual that comes with the tool. If you fail to read through the manufacturer's guidelines for proper use of the tool you are unaware of the right way and wrong way to use the tool safely. Empower yourself with the knowledge to use any tool in a way that is safe and will not cause harm.
Give yourself a few practice runs before you start using the tool properly. Familiarize with its proper use in a safe and secure environment. Gaining confidence is the first step to use a power tool the right way.
WEAR THE PROPER SAFETY GEAR
After a few uses and gaining more confidence using power tools you tend to be more comfortable and lax when it comes to donning safety gear. This is when accidents can happen. Too much confidence is not good, neither is thinking yourself above accidents. The slightest slip and you can become a statistic.
• Always wear safety glasses when using power tools, even for simple projects that you might be doing.
• Gloves protect your hands from cuts, abrasions and splinters.
• Ear muffs or plugs ensure your hearing is not damaged by loud power tools.
• Dress appropriately. Clothing should not be loose and avoid hanging items like scarves, jewellery, etc.
• Tie your hair back so that it is out of the way.
• Wear closed or safety shoes to protect your feet.
You might not be comfortable wearing all the safety gear, but it could save you from harm - serious or otherwise.