Many workers use tools to get their job duties done. Regardless of what type of tools you’re using, you should ensure you understand the proper ways to use them. All tools have hazards that you might face as you’re using them.
For employees who are using tools, safety starts with their employer. The employer should have safety protocols in place, as well as a training program. They also need a plan for what happens if a worker suffers an injury. Personal protective equipment must be provided in all cases.
What are some of the risks of using tools?
Tools often have sharp edges that can lead to cuts. Making sure you keep the sharp spots away from your body is important. This is critical if you’re using something like a saw or ax that can easily amputate a body part.
Power tools have the risk of electrocution, so they should be inspected often. Any sign of broken or frayed wires means that the tool should be taken out of service until it’s repaired or replaced. All power tools should be kept away from water, so the floors near the tool and where the worker is working must be free of all liquids.
Tools often have safety guards in place. The tools shouldn’t ever be modified to remove those safety guards because workers can suffer injuries without the guards. This includes special plates and stops on power tools that keep the moving components away from the user.
Any injured worker should ensure they obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they’re due. This might be challenging, so it’s best to work with someone who’s familiar with these situations. Some options, including appealing if something isn’t correct, are time-sensitive.