Injury can happen if tools are not handled or used appropriately. Use caution with power tools. Do not use a tool unless you have been trained to do so. Use the right tool for the job.

Work Environment
Before you begin using your tools each day, check for conditions that may be hazardous. Be sure to check that the work area is free from water. Remove the water hazard before operating the tool. Also, be aware of other tools and building materials nearby that may cause you to slip, trip, or fall while using a power tool. Work in a well-lit and clean workspace. Be sure that if a ladder is to be used, that it is inspected and confirmed safe for use. Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the tool in use. Keep cutting edges sharp, if needed, so the tool responds as expected. Secure your tools when working from heights so they do not fall on a worker below. Do not place sharp tools in pockets where they could later become impaled in one’s body.   

Electrical Safety
Burns and electrical shocks are common with power tool use. Do not underestimate the dangers presented by electricity. Make sure that power tools are in good condition. Check the wiring and cords for frays, cuts, and damage. Verify that wiring does not run along sharp edges that can cause damage to occur. Do not carry tools by their wires or unplug them by their pulling on the wire. This causes separation from the protective outer sheath and the prong and/or entrance to the tool. All tools are to be properly grounded. Double-insulated tools are recommended. On all construction sites, it is important that ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) be used in order to sense for a current imbalance. Monitor and control the amount of water levels on the jobsite. When plugging tools in, make sure it is powered off.  

Damaged Tools
Faulty equipment should not be used. If a tool is determined to be no longer suitable for use, set it aside and clearly mark it to warn employees that it is out of service. 

Do not wear clothing that may get caught in tool movement. Also, take note not to wear long items that may droop or dangle like necklaces that may also be caught in the power tool. Tie back hair to reduce the likelihood of it getting caught in the tool. If dust, debris, or other flying objects are likely to be present, wear safety glasses and a dust mask, if needed.

Be alert and aware if sparks are created by the power tool. Clear the area of flammable items and always maintain a clean work environment. Locate the nearest fire extinguisher. Wear appropriate gloves if sparks are generated.

Ensure that proper guards are on tools. Do not remove guards from tools. 

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
(385) 351-8103

Ask a Safety Consultant

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.