Play it Safe around electricity and power tools
Safety is serious business regardless of your age
Local farms, homes and businesses are places where many electric hand and power tools are used to make work easier. Power tools allow us to accomplish more work easier and few of us would want to give them up. Just think about the inconvenience when power is lost following a storm and having to cope without the benefits and convenience of electricity. Unfortunately, these wonderful aids can also be dangerous to those using them and those in proximity if used improperly. All tools pose some amount of danger; however, electric hand tools have the added danger of speed, power and electrical currents that can shock and even kill when used incorrectly. Teaching proper use of hand tools and the precautions that are necessary for their safe use is an excellent way to teach safety prior to learning to handle power tools safely. Proper use of hammers, screwdrivers, and shovels teach children respect before they grow up to using potentially more dangerous items like power tools.
- Pick the right tool for the job.
- Replace or repair damaged tools.
- Make sure cords are in good repair when using electrical tools.
- Wear personal protective equipment such as ear plugs when operating loud equipment, and dust masks where there is dust from sawing, drilling, or sweeping.
- Always wear safety goggles when using electrical hand tools.
- Make sure all shields are in good shape to protect from flying debris and moving parts.
- Make sure the area around tools is kept free from clutter to prevent falls.
- Tools can be a real help when working around the house or on the farm, but can also be very harmful if not used with respect.
- Train young workers to work safely and respect power tools.
Source: Adapted from information supplied by Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, a non-profit organization working to promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth.
Page last updated: October 29, 2012