Most companies that use physical labor, such as contractors or electricians, require the use of power tools while on the job. Because using power tools is so vital for your employees to do their job, it’s necessary that you make it apparent to your employees that they follow the proper safety features to avoid any injuries. Your company may avoid having to file any Massachusetts workers compensation claims, as well.
Whether it’s a band saw or a power drill, it’s always important to be safe regardless of your expertise in using the tool. Here are some precautions to share with your employees so they know what to look out for when using electric power tools:
• Disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing and cleaning and when changing accessories.
• Keep people uninvolved with the work away from the work. Using power tools requires space and a certain level of personal comfort for the user. Unless someone is guiding them during the process, try and keep a measurable distance.
• Secure work with clamps or a vise so both hands are free to operate the tool.
• Don’t hold the switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool.
• Keep tools sharp and clean. A dirty or rusty tool will not be as effective and may even lead to injuries by not working up to its maximum potential.
• Consider wearing tighter, rougher clothing and not loose clothes and jewelry.
• Take damaged electrical tools out of commission and label them so employees know they are broken and not to use them.
• Don’t carry portable tools by their cord and do not lower or hoist tools by their cord. Doing this may cause long term wear and tear on the cords, making employees susceptible to electrical injuries.
Now that we have the precautions down, here are some best practices for using power tools:
• Use gloves and safety shoes. Using gloves is very important because since hands are normally very involved while using power tools, keeping them protected is a must.
• Store power tools in a dry place and try to avoid using them in wet conditions.
• Keep work areas where power tools are being used well lit so workers have the proper vision to perform the job safely.
• Ensure cords do not present a tripping hazard. Tripping on anything—including a cord—can lead to mild or serious injuries.
At Wolpert Insurance and Risk Management we make it our goal to provide information for business owners so they can help their employees work safely while avoiding workers compensation claims in Massachusetts. For more information, contact our agency today.