Using Portable Electric-Power Tools Safety
Failing to properly use and maintain electric-powered tools
causes thousands of cuts, punctures, pinches, amputations, and
electrocutions each year. Tools can seriously injure or kill the
user if not properly maintained or used. Everyone who uses tools
must learn to recognize the hazards associated with the different
types of tools and the safety precautions necessary to prevent
those hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
has specific rules for using electric-powered tools. Following
these guidelines, along with using your own good judgment will
help keep you safe.
Before you use a tool:
- Verify that it bears an electrical test label to indicate
it successfully passed inspection and tests for
electrical safety within the previous six months.
- Know the application, limitation, and potential hazards
of the tool. Operate according to the manufacturer's
- Inspect the cord for the proper type. Electric-powered
tools must either have a three-wire cord with ground or
be double insulated. Never use a plug that has its ground
- Inspect the tool for frayed cords, loose or broken
switches, and other obvious problems. Tools that fail
this inspection must not be used. These must be removed
from service and labeled "Do Not Use" until
repairs are made.
When using the tool:
- Do not use electric-powered tools in damp or wet
- Keep guards in place, in working order, and properly
adjusted. Safety guards must never be removed when the
tool is being used
- Avoid accidental starting. Do not hold a finger on the
switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool.
- Safety switches must be kept in working order and must
not be modified. If you feel it necessary to modify a
safety switch for a job you're doing, use another tool.
- Work areas should have adequate lighting and be free of
- Observers should remain a safe distance away from the
- Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance.
- Do not wear loose clothing, ties, or jewelry when
- Wear appropriate gloves and footwear while using tools.
Servicing and storing tools:
- Never modify a tool to use for a job it's not intended to
- Disconnect power tools while servicing or storing.
- Do not wrap the cord around the tool for storage.
- Store tools in a dry place.
Consult the proper safety training for more info