Power tools have, over the last century, transformed the ways that construction, repair, and home maintenance is done. Initially developed for professional use in the construction industry, the increasing cost of home repair and the advent to the DIY culture saw them evolve into the equipment that a home handyman will have at his disposal. Even the more expensive equipment, such as small cement mixers, which are very rarely used and so impractical to buy, can be easily rented as needed.
Power tools are to be seen in every home. Anything that uses a motor to replace the power of the human muscle is a power tool. By this definition, even the food processor or mixer in the kitchen is a power tool (certainly you still do not make mash potatoes by hand). But it is the ones that are used for construction, home maintenance, and repair that are the most dangerous. Power tools are used for cutting and drilling wood and metal. Think how easy it is for them to cut and drill through human flesh. These tools take a lot of the donkey work out of home repairs, produce better finishes, and save a huge amount of time. But they need to be used with care to prevent serious injury.
If you need to complete some construction, home repair, renovation, or maintenance done that requires the use of power tools and you are uncomfortable using them, having the work done by a professional is always the safer option. You will find information on construction, home repair and maintenance experts in your area online and by calling in these professionals, you can stay safe and be sure that the work will be done to the highest standards (you need to have some standards though before you hand out your address or let anyone into your home). Here are 10 of the most dangerous construction tools.
Gruesome chainsaw murders are a Hollywood staple. Sure, it’s a messy way to kill someone, but it works well and destroys a lot of evidence. All jokes aside, the fact is that chainsaws can be deadly and are among the most common causes of serious injury, including severed limbs. The size and weight of a unit and the huge cutting saw, running at high speed make this tool dangerous despite the safety features that now come with this power tool.
The table saw can produce finer cuts than almost anything else. The danger here is that the shaping of the pieces to be cut requires that your hands are always in close proximity to the cutting blade. A slight slip can result in a nasty cut or even worse. While wearing gloves is essential when working with a table saw, the fact remains that the blade is designed to cut through materials far tougher than a protective glove. It easy to become so focused on getting the precision cut just right that you forget how close you are to the blade.
It is called a nail gun for a reason. It works like a gun – it fires out a nail with such force that it penetrates inches into hard wood. Of course it doesn’t shoot the nails out over a distance such as a normal gun, but the safety mechanism that prevents this from happening can become defective. Never point a nail gun at anyone, ever. And always be careful when using one.
A snow blower is the most effective way to clear snow from drives and walkways. But never forget that the machine uses rapidly spinning blades to first break up the snow in front of it and then shoot it far away. Although snow is usually soft, the power of the motor that runs a snow blower is more powerful than most people realize and any part of the body that comes into contact with the blades or blower can suffer serious injury.
A circular saw is a compact piece of equipment and looks easy to use. All you need to do is hold the rapidly spinning blade against the surface to be cut and the saw does the rest. But the blade is spinning at a very high speed and it will cut through anything it comes into contact with, including you or someone working next to you. When using a circular saw, ensure that you are at a safe distance from others and that you are wearing the right protective gear.
Riding a lawnmower can be a very relaxing job. But never forget that there are sharp blades below it cutting the grass. Standing to close to a mower that is on could allow your toes, feet, or legs to get too close to the blades and before you know it, you’re on your way to the emergency room. The spinning blades are usually covered but the machine still should be turned off if you are not sitting directly on it.
If a spinning drill bit comes into contact with any part of the human body, it can drill through it as if your body was made of butter. Always position the drill firmly against the surface it will be working on before pulling the trigger.
Ladders are not power tools, but they are a major cause of accidents. Old, broken, or weak ladders can give way at any time, and the resulting fall can result in a major injury. Improperly placed ladders can easily slip and give way under the person stranding on it. And using a metal ladder while conducting any electrical work means that any shock you may receive while working will be carried through the metal after passing through your body.
Unlike drills and saws, the air compressor has no sharp cutting parts. That often leads users to think that it is not dangerous. But the rubber tubes that usually connect the compressor to the tool it is powering contains immense air pressure and if one comes loose, it can flail around like a whip, causing injury. The pressurized air from the compressor can also blow dust, metal filings, and other objects into someone’s eyes (or a pet’s).
The wood chipper is a staple of many horror movies. It is an ideal way to get rid of a body. And while this is now a tired cliché, this machine is dangerous. If you should fall or be jerked into one, you may lose a hand or even worse.
A significant amount of work that would earlier have required a team of professionals can now be done by the homeowner, thanks to power tools, capitalism, ingenuity, and the human spirit. But they are not an unblemished blessing. If not used correctly, injuries can ensue, presenting the case to make the home improvement a DIFM project. Learning the right way of using them, observing all the safety precautions, wearing the required protective gear, ensuring they are properly maintained and never forgetting, while using them, the kind of injuries they can cause, are the best ways to ensure that you stay safe while accomplishing your personal mission.