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Power tool safety – Things that every DIYer should know

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Man cutting groove in wood with power tool safety equipment on

Whether you are a DIY hobbyist or a skilled tradesperson, power tool safety should be a top priority before starting any job.

According to House Grail (citing Injury Claim Coach), there are around 960,000 injuries per year caused by power tools, with more injuries occurring in non-occupational settings than in work environments.

Without adequate training or proper knowledge of all the tools at your disposal, things can go wrong very quickly.

So it’s important to educate yourself in order to avoid any serious injuries when using power tools. Below are the main dangers we believe you should be looking out for when working with power tools.

Inspect all your tools before use

Before you even think about plugging in a tool or putting a battery in, you should inspect your tools for any faults. Your checks should include:

  • Inspecting cords for any damage to avoid electric shocks
  • Structural damage to the tool itself
  • Exposed areas on the tool where internal electronics could be visible
  • Wet tools. Let them dry completely before checking for electrical damage
  • For cordless tools, make sure battery terminals are secure and not damaged

You can always refer to your user manual if you are unsure about the condition of a tool. Once you’re satisfied with the condition of the tool, you can then plug it in or attach the required battery.

Wear the correct PPE

Power tool safety isn’t always about the tool. You need to make sure that you are well protected, too.

No matter what tool you are using, it’s good practice to wear safety glasses, protective gloves, and safety shoes. Other tools may require you to wear a face mask, ear defenders, or even a hard hat.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that any clothing you’re wearing is tight-fitting and doesn’t have any loose areas. Baggy clothing can easily get caught in rotary or cutting tools. Not only will this ruin the clothing, but potentially jam tools as well.

Use the correct tool for the job

We’re not suggesting that anyone is going to be using a drill as a hammer. However, the correct tool for your application will go a long way to maximising efficiency and reducing the chance of injury.

If you’re using a powered saw for example, is it the right saw for the material you’re cutting? Not all saws are designed to cut through metal, so you could end up shattering blades or sending sharp debris everywhere.

Another common mistake less experienced DIYers make is using a drill to drive in screws. Although most drills can do this, they are not always powerful enough and you could end up burning out the internal motor and potentially causing a fire.

Stay focused and alert

You may have checked everything and think you’re good to start working, but if you’re not fully awake or healthy, accidents are bound to happen.

Never start working if you are feeling unwell or tired. At the same time, make sure you are free from any distractions when you are working. Any drop in concentration levels could mean serious injury, so make sure you’re in the right frame of mind before you begin.


Do you have any other advice that you would give to someone just getting into DIY? Leave a comment below.

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