Our third topic in a series of blogs about workplace injuries covers the dangers of hand and power tools. Jobs that require the use of hand and power tools put employees in danger of flying debris, harmful dusts, or flammable sprays that can lead to all sorts of severe injuries or illnesses.
Greensboro work injury lawyers want to remind workers that employers have an obligation to provide you with adequate training and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of North Carolina hand and power tool injuries at work.
Most of us use hand or power tools in our everyday lives, so we often don’t think about the dangers involved. The construction industry wouldn’t be able to survive without the use of hand tools and power equipment. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration provides a set of standards and directives to be used by all employees who use hand and power tools at work.
OSHA provides these examples of hand tool hazards:
-A wrench may slip and hit someone if the jaws are sprung.
-A wooden handle on an axe or hammer that is splintered, cracked or loose can cause the metal part of the tool to fly off and hit another employee in the act of using the tool.
-Impact tools with mushroomed heads such as chisels or wedges can shatter on impact which sends sharp fragments in scattered directions through the air.
To avoid power tool injuries, follow these safeguards:
-Free both hands to operate the tool by securing your work object with vises or clamps.
-Keep work area clean and obstacle or cord-free. Anyone not working on the task should stay clear of the work area.
-Never allow hoses or power cords to get near sharp edges, oil or heat.
-Refer to the user’s manual for instructions on how to change accessories or how to lubricate the tool.
-Always have good balance and proper footing while operating a power tool.
-Never wear loose or dangling jewelry or clothing like ties or scarfs. They present a danger of choking among other things if something gets caught.
-Never carry a tool from point A to point B with your hand or finger pressed on the power button.
-Always unplug power tools when not in use, before servicing, while changing blades, bits or cutters and before cleaning.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources requires that employers train all employees using hand and power tools. Employees should be trained to pick the right tool for the task at hand, know the dangers of all tools, how to use the tool correctly, how to maintain and routinely inspect the tools and how to store tools properly.
If you are injured at work by a hand or power tool and haven’t been trained properly by your employer, contact the North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for advice about your rights. Call for a free appointment at 1-800-8 1965.
More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Teen Work Accidents Governed by Specific Labor Laws, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 4, 2010
OSHA Launches Photo Contest to Raise Awareness for North Carolina Workers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 14, 2011