Is our work assistant such a safe tool?

Recommendation points

All kinds of instruments have become so tightly embedded in our lives that we not only stopped noticing them, but also stopped seeing them as a danger. But this is the worst thing. We forget that any tool in inexperienced hands and in violation of safety rules becomes just a terrible weapon. Remember the funny comedy “Operation Y”, when Shurik at a construction site “fired back” with a pneumatic jackhammer. It is precisely about such cases that I would like to talk.

Think about it and try to honestly answer yourself to the question – how often did you use such simple personal protective equipment as special protective glasses when working with a conventional drill, hammer drill or angle grinder? Alas, there are very few such people. As a result of such carelessness, the user’s eyes are at great risk..

Small metal shavings, wood shavings, pieces of brick or concrete, drill bits can seriously damage the eyeball, which very often leads to complete loss of vision. Imaginary savings on such personal protective equipment, which are safety glasses (the cost of the simplest Chinese-made products is only about $ 1), a contrived inconvenience in work (modern safety glasses can even be worn over ordinary glasses for correcting vision) leads to irreparable results. So, for example, Ecolux glasses are open-type glasses (they do not fit tightly to the surface of the face), with a sufficiently large side protection, also, thanks to the sliding arms, they have a universal size. The material from which the glasses are made is a special shock-resistant transparent polycarbonate, which will protect the eyes and face of a person from various kinds of solid particles flying at speeds up to 45 meters per second. Agree, the injury that can be caused by the same metal shavings flying at such a high speed can be significant.

Our health depends on ourselves. To do this, you only need to make a little effort..

An elementary careless attitude towards the instrument itself can cause eye injuries. It is enough to put a drill or a hammer drill on construction waste (sawdust, brick fragments, shavings) and you have every “chance” to suffer as a result of such negligence. Any tool has special ventilation holes, which are designed to cool the electric motor of the tools during operation. It is in these holes that construction debris gets into, which can not only cause the tool to break, but also injure you when the tool is turned on..

Passive safety of instruments as one of the quality indicators

All well-known tool manufacturers are constantly striving to ensure that their products are safe for the user. Using automotive terminology, all these measures can be divided into active and passive safety. For example, DeWalt has patented the yellow-black color of its instrument. The main idea was not only to make the tool of this trademark recognizable, maximally protected from counterfeiting, but also to make the tool safer for the user. Against the gray background of the construction site, the yellow tool is very noticeable, which means that the risk of not being noticed is minimized. After all, each tool is connected to the network and it is far from safe to step on it..

Passive safety

It is also possible spontaneous switching on of the tool, and a break in the cord, followed by an electric shock to a person. The METAVO company practices the installation of red power cords on its instruments. On a subconscious level, a person perceives red as the color of danger and, as practice has shown, builders step on a red power cord much less often than on a standard black power cord. These examples can well be attributed to the so-called passive safety, because the color of the tool or cord itself does not have any protection against possible injury. And what can be attributed to innovations that actively help to avoid dangers when working with various kinds of tools? The same METABO company has applied a completely non-standard solution in some of its instruments – the METABO CODE system for coding against unauthorized use. The main purpose is to protect the tool from theft, however, when the user leaves such a tool on the construction site and turns it off in such a way that it prevents other people from using it and makes the tool safe.

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Innovations, modern technologies and individual means of protection are on the guard of our health

Other ways to make the tool safe for the user include developments by BOSCH. More recently, this company presented an angle grinder equipped with a system for detecting a blocking of the working part (cutting wheel) and instantaneous shutdown of the electric motor – the KickBack Stop system in the GWS 24-230 LVI angle grinder. A disc jamming during operation is one of the biggest troubles that can await you when working with an angle grinder. It is this system that allows you to avoid injuries that a person can get. Another advantage of this system is that not just some kind of mechanical fuse is triggered, but the electrical part of the tool is completely turned off. In addition, special protection is installed on some types of tools, which prevents the tool from spontaneously turning on after a short-term voltage loss in the network. Without pressing the start key again, such a tool will simply not turn on. Naturally, all these options increase the cost of the instrument itself, but, you see, life and health are much more expensive.

Innovative means of protection

As for angle grinders, the most important thing is to properly install and operate the machine without removing the protective cover. An abrasive disc bursting at high speeds has tremendous destructive power and can cause injuries that are incompatible with life. For this reason, when working with angle grinders, it is imperative to use all the protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer, namely, safety glasses (we considered one of the options above), work gloves and strong shoes. The ideal option would be to use a helmet, but at home this personal protective equipment is usually neglected, believing that such a look will cause a grin among family members. The listed means of protection must be used when working with any tool.

Many may be surprised to find the need for sturdy shoes, but look at it the other way around. When working with a jackhammer or hammer drill (even with a light one, weighing 2-4 kg), there is always a chance of chipping a large and heavy piece of concrete from the wall, which, if dropped, can cause serious injury. It is specialized shoes, due to their design, that will avoid all kinds of foot injuries. The toecap of these shoes allows you to withstand high loads and strong impacts without hurting your feet. In addition, many manufacturers equip such shoes with special anti-puncture insoles, these shoes perfectly withstand high temperatures, they are quite lightweight and very comfortable. Naturally, such products will be of little interest to home craftsmen. But, if you constantly work with all sorts of tools, are on construction sites, professionally engaged in repair work, then you should think about purchasing such protective equipment.

Protection of a person from electric shock when working with tools

In modern construction, when carrying out all sorts of repair and finishing work, it is often necessary to mix various materials, dilute glue and paints, and make a solution. For these works, either specialized drill mixers are used, or ordinary metal mixers are used, which are clamped into the chuck of a conventional drill. And here lies a certain danger. Not every power tool manufacturer allows their drills to be used as mixers. Some products are not powerful enough, some are not adequately protected against electric shock. Not every consumer knows what class of protection his drill is. So class 1 drills have a grounding contact on the plug and it is prohibited to operate such a drill without proper grounding and personal protective equipment against electric shock..

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But drills of class 2 and 3 can not only be used without protective equipment, but it is also forbidden to ground. So what about personal protective equipment against electric shock? Of course, these are dielectric gloves. To have such a simple and inexpensive means of protection is simply necessary in the arsenal of a home craftsman. And if you do not know what class of protection your drill has, then do not risk it and use dielectric gloves when working with various kinds of solutions.

We should also remember about the power cords of power tools. This is the most vulnerable and most dangerous part for us. A short circuit in electrical wiring can have the most unpredictable and severe consequences. It is quite difficult to damage a quality cord. The wire has double insulation, inside the electric cable there can be a special nylon cord, which allows increasing the cable breaking load. However, over time, the wire can be interrupted, very often the wire inside the cable breaks from frequent bends. All manufacturers recommend not to twist the wire, not to isolate the places of insulation damage, but to change the power cord to a new one. And here it is very important not to pursue cheapness and not to put on the instrument everything that came to hand, but, naturally, if possible, replace the power cord with a “native” one that is intended for this instrument, or, knowing the characteristics of your instrument, choose electric cable of the required wire cross-section and a certain length. Remember that this is not so much about the performance of the product, but about your personal safety..

Respiratory protection from exposure to harmful substances

Few tool jobs are dust-free. We drill a hole in the wall, cut ceramic tiles with an angle grinder, make grooves for electrical wiring, paint any surfaces with a paint sprayer – all these works are associated with the formation of a large amount of dust. Some manufacturers produce tools that allow you to perform work and at the same time collect all the generated construction waste in special containers. And if earlier this applied mainly to grinding machines, now there are impact drills and hammer drills with a special built-in dust extractor. For example, BOSCH has developed the PSB 650 RA hammer drill, which is equipped with a special microfiltration system. This system effectively removes dust and small particles from the drilling zone, collects dust and debris in a special container, and passes the air through a microfilter.

Respirators and goggles

Some rotary hammers, such as GBH 2-23 REA, have similar systems for cleaning air from dust. This rock drill allows you to work “dust-free” not only when working with drills, but also when working with hollow drill bits. But, if your tools are not equipped with similar dust removal tools, then you should take care of your health yourself. To do this, you need to purchase the most common respirator. This will allow you to work in dusty conditions without harming your health. It is worth remembering that each type of respirator (protective mask) allows you to purify the air to a different extent. There is no hope that a simple gauze bandage will completely eliminate dust from entering your lungs, although even such a simple means of protection will be a better choice than just working in dusty conditions without using any personal protective equipment. One of the best ways to eliminate dust and dirt at the facility is to use special industrial vacuum cleaners that effectively remove dust and various construction waste. Many tools are produced in such a design that they can be easily used in tandem with any industrial vacuum cleaner..

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Using the tool as intended and using it correctly is an essential prerequisite for injury-free work.

It is very common for people to get injured the moment they replace consumables at their tools. The basic rule that you need to remember and strictly follow is that when replacing consumables, you must completely disconnect the tool from the network. Only in this way can you protect yourself from spontaneous switching on of the tool. Many in a hurry of work do not even think about what harm can be done to themselves by stopping the chuck of the drill with their hand, or by stopping the rotation of the angle grinder wheel using the gear fixing button. Cut and broken hands are the result of such rash actions, and such injuries often lead to disability. Don’t take that risk to cut down on time.

There are a number of tools that we use in garden plots, in the garage, in our home workshops. These are compressors, high pressure cleaners (washers), vacuum cleaners and many other tools. I think that many have seen how they try to clean work clothes, shoes from dirt and dust using compressed air, while completely forgetting that the air that comes out of the compressor receiver may contain metal shavings and other solid particles, which, when contact with exposed areas of the body may cause injury.

Improper use of the tool

It is also dangerous for such a purpose to use high-pressure cleaners, in the instructions to which it is directly noted that it is strictly forbidden to direct a stream of water at people, animals, since the working pressure that such high-pressure cleaners create can be from 100 or more bar.

There must be order everywhere. And in work clothes too

It would be appropriate to recall the clothes in which we work. Very often, old tracksuits are used as workwear, at best, denim trousers and jackets. Such a careless attitude towards clothes can cost you dearly. For example, when carrying out welding work, it is simply unacceptable that you are wearing things made of flammable fabrics, synthetic materials. Sparks that arise during operation can not only burn through such material, but also cause it to ignite. Overalls are made of fabrics that have a variety of properties – they can withstand high temperatures, do not burn, have a moisture-repellent effect, do not allow dust to pass through, very durable, resistant to chemicals (varnishes, paints, solvents, acids). Each type of activity has its own special clothing. Everyone understands that having a variety of different sets of clothing for all occasions will not work. But having one specialized work suit or overalls in the household is a must. But even the overalls must be properly used and put in order, they must be cleaned in accordance with the instructions so that they do not lose their properties..

Let’s summarize some of the results of our conversation. What conclusions should we draw for ourselves??

  • Before starting to operate any tool, you need to carefully read the instructions.
  • Take care of your health and do not consider it shameful to use personal protective equipment, such as workwear, shoes, respirators, goggles, special hats.
  • Remember that any tool is a source of increased danger and careless handling is not permissible.

We hope that these tips will be useful to you and you will only enjoy your work..

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