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How to Avoid Accidents With Power Tools

Updated on November 9, 2015

If you've ever tried to do some woodworking, you will probably know that woodworking and power tools tend to go hand in hand. Without the use of at least one power tool, it's almost impossible to get anything done that is correct and on time. Wood workers therefore need to use power tools on a consistent basis as there is no way around it.

However, power tools can be very dangerous. Injuries can range from minor cuts to death in the most extreme case. To avoid bodily harm, it's necessary for anyone who comes into contact with power tools to keep a few precautions in mind. Doing so can prevent a lot of major problems from occurring.


Only use power tools that are properly made

It's important that you only use tools of the highest quality whenever you need to get some work done. Before you begin using something, make sure that the tool to be used is made by a reputable company that will stand behind its products. They may be more expensive, but the medical bill from an accident will be even greater.

By using equipment from a well-known brand, you minimize the risk that the tools you're using are of substandard quality. It's therefore better to stick with known products as tools from lesser known brands are more likely to fail and result in an accident. That is something you want to avoid.


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Dress appropriately when using power tools

Be sure to always dress appropriately while using machine or power tools as it can make a big difference. Loose clothing is more likely to get entangled with moving parts that are often found in power tools, which can result in serious injuries.

To prevent this from happening, avoid anything that can fall off or get loose while you're busy working. Take off anything that is not essential and put it somewhere else for the time being. That includes items such as necklaces, chains and so on. Once you're done, you can put it back on.


Read the fine print before getting started with power tools

Learn how to correctly use each power tool before you get started. That includes reading the fine print that accompanies each tool. It may take some time, but it's well worth it. What may be right for one tool, could be entirely false for another. Don't assume that every tool is the same and you already know everything.

The manufacturer may have changed something that is different from an older product. A newer version can react differently, even though the tool looks identical to the older version from the outside. Don't be caught by surprise as the consequences may be too severe.


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Always treat power tools with care

A power tool is not a toy and you should always be careful while operating one. You should be mindful during operation of placing your hand in such a position that it could come into contact with a cutting tool by accident.

Turn off the electric power if something seems wrong, gets stuck or doesn't work properly. Don't try to fix something when it still has access to power, even though the tool may appear to have stopped functioning. Looks can be deceiving.

Avoid any distractions while handling a power tool and don't try to do two things at once. Concentrate and give a tool your full attention. If you need to discuss something, do it afterward and not while you're working.

You should also never try to surprise someone while he or she is working with a power tool as that can lead to an accident. Keep your distance, approach them from an angle where they can see you coming and let them know of your presence.


Don't lose sight of power tools

Machinery is not to be left unattended and you should keep an eye on it. If you need to go somewhere else, then turn off the power and wait until it has come to a complete stop before leaving. Always try do this, even if you need to leave for just a moment, as accidents can strike when you least expect it.

Keep in mind that it's better to be careful now than to be sorry later. You don't want to regret something later as it may be already be too late by then. Remember, you can't go back in time to undo something that you've already done.


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Minimize the use of power tools by using a plan

Finally, try to minimize the amount of time needed to operate a power tool as much as possible. That is because the less often you use a tool, the less likely it is to cause an accident. Only use a tool when it's absolutely necessary and try to keep it short.

You can do this by knowing beforehand what you need to do and how you can accomplish this. Using a woodworking plan can help and you should make use of one whenever you need to get something done, especially if it involves a large project.

A good plan will contain not only a design, but everything else that you need to turn it into reality. That includes telling you what materials you need, how much of it, what goes where and so on. A good woodworking plan is therefore highly recommended as it can help you save time and prevent accidents and injuries.


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    • jbosh1972 profile image

      Jason 2 years ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

      Most of the tips are common sense. I do in fact like the suggestion of trying to minimize power tool use in a design to reduce risk of injury.

      It might be a good idea to also suggest that users do not use power tools when extremely tired or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

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