Sparks Electrical News

In the competitive and dangerous field of electrical contracting, safety issues are vital. If a contractor has too many job-related accidents and an unsatisfactory safety rating, it could directly impact the company’s productivity, performance, insurance rating and bottom line. Having a trained safety professional on-site can help improve not only the company’s work habits but overall productivity as well. It also frees up the owner to focus on planning for future growth rather than keeping an eye on proper safety practices.

Use and care for tools properly

Proper care of tools for better performance and safetyAn electrician’s tools are precise and unique to the trade. The right tools make a job easier, eliminate repetitive-use injuries and reduce work-related impairment. Hand and power tools created for an intended use must adhere to their manufactured purpose.

Hand tools

Have enough spare wire cutters, pliers, hacksaws, screwdrivers and socket sets so all workers have access to them when they need them. Replace hand tools when they begin to slip, fail or no longer cut precisely. Too often, simple activities like tightening a screw or nut can cause unnecessary injuries because of old or damaged tools. Check the condition of tools at the start of each day to help prevent easily avoidable accidents.

Power tools

Proper training and appropriate instruction are critical before allowing any worker to use a power tool of any kind. Your safety person or foreman can help ensure employees know how to use tools safely and correctly. When disconnecting power tools, hold the plug instead of tugging on the line. At the start of each day, check that cords, plugs and other power tool parts are all working correctly.

Battery-operated tools

Battery-operated tools are convenient, but just because they are battery operated does not mean they’re any less dangerous than a standard power tool. Dropping or mishandling them can render them useless, and a crack in the case of the battery cell is dangerous. Remind your employees that they should use and care for these tools just as respectfully as corded power tools.

Extension cords

A worn extension cord with exposed wires or tape is hazardous and should not be used. Extension cords must be appropriately repaired to meet safety standards. Be careful about where the cord runs as well. If cords rub against sharp objects or get pinched, their insulation can be scored or severed, which is a major safety concern.

Protective gear

The most basic safety gear consists of rubber-soled steel-tip boots, adequately fitted helmets, arc shields, rubber gloves and goggles. Check protective gear before and after use. Visually inspect gloves for holes each day, and discard and replace as necessary. Inspect other safety equipment as often as possible and repair or replace it as needed.

Other tool safety tips

• Tie back long hair or loose clothing that could catch in a revolving power tool.

• Pull wrenches toward you rather than pushing them, which can result in them slipping out of your hand and causing injury.

• Avoid using dull knives or wire cutters. They won’t cut as effectively and present a great risk for injury.

• To prevent kickback, secure a pipe in place before cutting it.

• Tag and lock out circuit breaker panels while working on the lines. Not taking the time to do this could cause serious injury.

Storing your tools

Keep your electric tools stored in their original cases and containers. This will keep them free of dust and dirt while they are not being used. Proper care of your electric tools is key to making sure that they last for many years. Buying good quality power tools will also guarantee that they will last. Use the brand names you know and trust when it is time to buy new power tools. A little research of consumer reviews will give you a good indication of which tool is the best for your use.

Only use your tools for the job they were intended. Using a tool to perform a task that it was not intended to do is a sure way to break it. Cutting tools should only be used to cut the materials they were designed to cut. Keep blades sharp and ready to go so that the tool does not have to work as hard to cut a single item.

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Contact Sparks Electrical News

Title: Editor
Name: Gregg Cocking
Email: sparks@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Carin Hannay
Email: carinh@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

 
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