The thrill of a power tool is often the attraction to aspiring handymen. But as exciting as they seem, used incorrectly and you could quite easily end up in the emergency ward. Learning how to use your power tools correctly is extremely important, but let’s take a look at the five most high-risk power tools out there.
- Table saw
- Band saw
- Circular saw
- Nail guns
There appears to be a strong consensus that the table saw stands proud at the number one top spot for most dangerous power tool. Why? The table saw has the ability to cut finer strips than anything else out there. (That’s one sharp blade!) It’s all well and good wearing your safety gloves but the fact of the matter is you have to put your hands pretty damn close to its sharp 10-inch rotating blade. When you using a table saw there is some serious precision involved. You wouldn’t be the first person in the world to get distracted and not realise just how close your finger tips are getting. Serious damage can be done, in fact, it has been.
Commonly used for cutting irregular shapes, the band saw is used predominately in woodwork, metal work, and lumbering. Band saws consist of a long sharp blade with toothed metal stretched between 2 or three wheels. They are used a lot in the meat manufacturing industry where band saw injuries are not uncommon. Safe Work Australia 2012-2013 data revealed:
“there were 95 accepted workers compensation claims and $400,000 paid in compensation due to powered saws in Australia’s meat and meat product manufacturing industry.”Source: Content.Safetyculture.com
One slight slip of a hand and you could be in for some serious trouble. Southern Meats OH&S is a meat manufacturing company in New South Wales who actually invested in the new technology BladeStop. The BladeStop Band Saw is a smart piece of technology that stops the band saw blade within 15 milliseconds of human contact. It is a massive breakthrough in the power tool industry as it acknowledges human flesh and knows not to cut.
You can see a bit of a theme emerging, right? The word “saw” is popping up quite a bit! The circular saw has an even faster blade than the previously mentioned table saw! Spinning at around 193 kph, it’s not hard to imagine what a power tool like this can do. A study in Australia’s Hazard Magazine found that of all reported saw injuries, circular saws make up the largest group at 30% (Popular Mechanics).
A common power tool in the modern day household. Whether you’re in the construction industry or just a keen handyman fancying a bit of DIY around the house, the nail gun is an essential. Used incorrectly, and it could be drilling a lot more than a few nails. In 2013, it was reported that the amount of Nail Gun Injuries are actually on the rise. The Australian Medical Association reported that:
“More than 80 workers a year being shot in their hands, feet, head and abdomen while working with the devices in Queensland alone”AMA.com.au
That’s a pretty hefty number for a commonly used tool. Nowadays, construction workers choose nail guns as their go-to tool over the traditional hammer. It is specifically Contact Trip Actuation nail guns that are proving to be the most dangerous. They are prone to unintentional firing, and when the gun can fire 133mm steel projectiles, you don’t want to be in the firing line!
Chainsaw kicks backs can lead to some serious loss of control. It’s vital that you’re familiar with chainsaw safety basics before you start handling your new power tool. In June 2016, a 68-year old man in Victoria luckily survived after accidentally cutting his face open with a chainsaw when he was cutting wood. He didn’t notice a large tree trunk behind the small branch he was cutting. The chainsaw kicked back and sliced his face.
Anita Gambill from STIHL said:
“Chain-saw chaps cost about as much money as one stitch in the emergency room. Unfortunately, if you have an accident with a chain saw, you’re never going to need just one stitch.” Source: Popular Mechanics
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches!
But look guys, we can name all the power tool dangers under the sun, but what will help you is a thorough knowledge of how to use them. Do your research, and wear the correct safety equipment.