Portable electric power tools are just what their name implies, power tools. And because they’re powerful, workers need to be aware of their limitations and potential hazards.

Use and maintain tools with care. Keep them sharp and clean for their best and safest performance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lubricating and changing tool accessories. Use the right tool for the job. Don’t force a small tool or attachment to do the job of a heavy-duty tool. It overstrains the tool and overloads the motor. Keep guards in place and follow lockout/tagout procedures. Unless its designed for it, never use a portable electric tool where there are flammable vapors or gases present.

If the tool is equipped with a three-prong plug, it should be plugged into a three-hold electrical receptacle. If an adapter is used to accommodate it to a two-prong receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground. Never remove the third prong.

Keep the cord in good condition. Keep it away from heat, oil, and sharp edges. Never carry a tool by its cord, or yank the cord to disconnect it from a receptacle and never carry a plug-in tool with your finger on the switch. Report any defective or broken plugs and insulation on cords. Take the tool out of service to be repaired or replaced.

The greatest hazard of power tools is electric shock, so make sure the tool is properly grounded before it’s turned on. It’s dangerous to use power tools in damp or wet locations or if the worker is perspiring. Moisture helps electricity flow more easily through the body. Rubber gloves and footwear are recommended when working outdoors where it’s damp.

Wear proper clothing and personal protective equipment when working with power tools. Loose clothing or jewelry can get caught in moving parts. Safety glasses or goggles can protect against flying particles or chips from entering the eye. Keep others out of the plane of rotation so they won’t be hit by flying particles.

Keep your balance and proper footing when working with power tools, being careful not to overreach. When you’ve finished with the tool, put it down or store it so that it can’t cause an injury to another worker. Keep the work area well-lit and clean. Cluttered areas and benches invite accidents.

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The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for medical advice or legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.

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