Tools are inherently hazardous irrespective of their shape, size and function.
All sorts of tools, especially the power operated ones can cause irreparable damage. It is therefore essential to train each and every worker – the ones who handle machinery and heavy equipment as well as those who use simple hand tools. According to our St. Louis work injury lawyers, it is the duty of the employers to ensure the safety of the workers and provide suitable safety gear to them.
Reasons for accidents related to tools
There can be many reasons for tool accidents. The most common are:
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Lack of proper worker training
- Workers working for long hours or under pressure
The most dangerous tools
Let us have a look at the 5 most dangerous tools, and the ways to use them safely.
- Chain saws may kick back and bruise the face or shoulders. Sometimes they cut through a piece of wood and hit a worker’s knees, shins, or feet. Every year nearly 30,000 workers sustain injuries while using chain saws. Bone fractures and damage of soft tissue results in permanent disfigurement. Therefore, it is necessary to use cut-resistant chap which is a suitable safety gear for chain saw users. Aside from this, workers should wear gloves, a face visor, hard hat, and sturdy boots while using this tool.
- Nail guns are very risky as they can easily puncture the fingers or hands. Even a very small nail gun may cause a serious injury as it fires off at one hundred and twenty psi. Many times, while making a door frame workers hold two 2 by 4 planks together and unfortunately the nail goes beyond both of them and punctures his hand. Workers involved in construction work should therefore keep their hands at a safe distance from such nailing areas. Records show that every year around 40,000 workers suffer due to injuries caused by nail guns.
- Table saws rotate at the speed of 100 mph. No wonder they cannot be stopped in the middle. Every year almost 60,000 workers have their fingers amputated while using table saws. Hence, it is necessary to wear safety googles and use the featherboard for pushing materials in the saw instead of hands. The splitter or a riving knife should be used to avoid the kick back of wood when it is passing through the table saw.
- Circular saws are simple and held in the hand. But they spin extremely fast and are much faster than the table saws. They hurt more than 120,000 workers per year. Besides kick back, they can fly freely as they are held in the hand and injure any part of the body. The utmost care should be taken while using them. First of all, the item to be cut should be secured using a C-clamp so that the hands of the worker are free to use the saw. The blade depth should not be more than what is necessary to cut the wood. Sawhorses or some sturdy surface should be used for cutting.
- Ladders cause the maximum number of injuries every year. It is estimated that over 140,000 workers have a fall and fracture their leg or foot. In fact, every few minutes a worker gets injured while working with a ladder. In order to avoid such accidents the worker should have a belt or a tool apron with him while he works on the ladder so that he can use his hands for climbing. He should balance himself in such a way that his weight remains within the ladder’s two sides. There should be three contact points while climbing. The angle of the ladder should be such that when the worker places his toes against the ladder’s base and stretches his hands, they should rest comfortably on the rung adjacent to his chest.