Power Tool Safety
The same yard tools that help us trim, edge, weed and mow can pose outdoor hazards if safety is ignored. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that 8 percent of accidental electrocutions in the United States each year are related to small appliances. Another 7 percent are attributed to power tools, and 4 percent are linked to lawn, garden and farming equipment.
The following list offers tips to help people avoid injury while making the most of labor-saving yard and gardening equipment. Before flipping the "on" switch, a basic inspection is in order to see that:
- The tool is intended for outdoor use and is certified by a recognized testing lab. A tag or label on either the tool or the power cord will indicate proper usage.
- Cords, plugs and wiring are in good condition.
- Extension cords are intended for outdoor use. Cord gages should match the amperage rating of the power tool.
- Safety guards or shields on mowers, saws and other outdoor tools are in place.
Once tools and accessories are inspected, the following safety rules will help protect you as well as children, pets, and other bystanders:
- Carry power tools by the handle, never by the cord.
- When using an electrical device, hold it by the insulated gripping surface to avoid electrical shock.
- Turn off and lock appliances when installing attachments such as mower baskets or saw blades.
- Never leave a power tool unattended, even temporarily. If there is a key, remove it.
- Wear safety goggles or other protection when mowing, trimming or edging. Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in moving parts.