Health and Safety Around Tools at Work – The use of power tools has revolutionized a whole range of industries – from manufacturing to construction to agriculture. The use of these tools does, however, present a few risks. These are worth considering as part of your business’s broader health and safety policy.
Why does tool safety matter?
Safety around power tools matters for all of the same reasons that safety matters in general. Injured workers are less productive – especially if they’re forced to take time away from work.
The same can be said of workers who fear being injured, or feel that their employer wouldn’t much care if they were. A lack of a comprehensive and well-communicated health and safety policy can therefore result in depressed morale.
We should also consider the potential legal ramifications. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employees are entitled to a safe working environment. Employers that fail to provide such an environment might find themselves on the receiving end of legal action.
How Can You Ensure Proper Health and Safety Around Tools at Work?
How can you manage the risk?
Fortunately, there are several ways we can anticipate problems with power tools, and avoid them.
The most fundamental step is a periodic risk assessment. Only once you understand the shape of the risk, after all, can you be expected to take steps to reduce it. But exactly how might the risk be mitigated?
Workers should not be entrusted with power tools unless they have the expertise needed to use them safely. Often, a few minutes of instruction can prevent a lifetime of regret. This applies especially when rotary blades are being used. Milwaukee mitre saws are essential for construction work, however, they need proper training before use – this risk can easily be minimised through proper technique.
Using the right tool
Certain kinds of power tools are extremely versatile. The aptly-named multi-tool might spring to mind. Others are more specialised. Knowing which tool is appropriate for which task can not only help you to get the job done to a higher standard: it will also reduce your risk of injury.
Personal protective equipment can help you to guard against particular hazards, like flying debris. If you’re slicing through timber all day, then the chances are good that a stray splinter is eventually going to fly into your eyes. When this happens, you’ll be glad you’re wearing goggles.
Tool maintenance and replacement
If tools are allowed to fall into disrepair, then they’ll pose a risk to the people using them. For this reason, it’s worth setting out a procedure for regularly inspecting, maintaining and replacing tools. For example, replacing the blade on the mitre saw might help you produce cleaner cuts, reduce friction, and reduce the risk of kickback.