POWER TOOL SAFETY IS IN YOUR HANDS
Boone REMC reminds do-it-yourselfers that a small project can turn dangerous if electric power tools are used carelessly. Tools aren’t just powered by electricity; they run on compressed air, hydraulics, belts or chain drives, too. Knowing the dangers these tools are capable of is the first step in keeping you and those around you safe.
“Power tools possess a tremendous amount of energy and, if you use them, you must control that power,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Hazards from power tools affect not only the person using them, but also those working close by.”
It’s important to operate these tools within their design limitations. Always read and follow the instruction manual to ensure you are using them correctly. Before using any tool, put on gloves, appropriate footwear and eyewear, if needed. When you’re finished using it, carefully disconnect the tool, never yanking by the cord, and store it in a dry place.
Electrical shocks, which can lead to injuries such as heart failure and burns, are among the major hazards associated with electric-powered tools. Under certain conditions, even a small amount of electric current can result in atrial fibrillation (AFib) and death. An electric shock also can cause people to fall off ladders or other elevated work surfaces and be injured due to the fall.
Do not use electric tools in damp or wet locations unless they are approved for that purpose. To protect users from shock and burns, electric tools must have a three-wire cord with a ground plugged into a grounded receptacle, be double insulated, or be powered by a low-voltage isolation transformer.
The safety of consumers is important to electric cooperatives, but they want you to remember it is your responsibility to practice electrical safety when using equipment that can put you in harm’s way. For more information on how to stay safe during home projects or at work, contact Boone REMC.