Power tool use leads to thousands of injuries each year—injuries that can be prevented with a little care and planning. So before you power up to start those spring projects, ensure your success and survival with a power tool safety review:
·Choose the right tool for the job: Using the right equipment is critical to the project outcome as well as your safety. Avoid improvisation, and if you don’t own the right tool, consider renting it. Renting tools is surprisingly cheap and can make a job safer.
·Read and heed: Be sure to read all instructions and warnings for a tool, especially if you’re about to use it for the first time. Also register the product online or by mail-in card so that the manufacturer can reach you in the event of a safety problem, recall or modification.
·One step at a time: Plan your work and work the plan, including plenty of breaks in your work schedule. And avoid shortcuts along the way—home improvements on any scale are labors of love, and can’t be rushed.
·Protect yourself: Gear up with eye and ear protection. Power tool noise can easily exceed the hearing damage threshold, and flying debris can hurt both you and your project assistants. Add a respirator to your arsenal when you tackle jobs involving dust, paint and other pollutants.
·Work within your ability: Don’t take on more than you can handle, because that’s truly where trouble begins. Doing home improvements can save you money, but the economics don’t work out if an emergency room visit becomes necessary.
The safety-first approach applies to hand tools, too: believe it or not, the simple screwdriver causes about 10,000 workshop injuries every year. Plan, prepare and proceed with caution, and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy project results without nursing an injury!