Get the gear to stay safe on the job

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Tools

While work­ing on house ren­o­va­tions, you need to pro­tect your­self from in­jury caused by noise, dust, sharp edges, danger­ous mech­a­nisms, and chem­i­cals when us­ing tools. Safety equip­ment for hand, eye, ear, and breath­ing pro­tec­tion are all read­ily avail­able from hard­ware stores and spe­cial­ist safety equip­ment com­pa­nies.

Gen­eral tips for work­ing safely with tools in­clude:

Keep tools well main­tained with good cut­ting edges.

Only use them for their cor­rect pur­pose.

Use a dust mask when cut­ting or sand­ing.

Use eye pro­tec­tion. Wear ear muffs. Al­ways use a resid­ual cur­rent de­vice (see be­low) when us­ing power tools.

Work­ing with elec­tric­ity

Fol­low th­ese guide­lines when work­ing with elec­tric­ity:

Al­ways use a resid­ual cur­rent de­vice (see be­low) when us­ing elec­tri­cal equip­ment out­doors, or close to any damp ar­eas.

Al­ways turn off the power be­fore re­plac­ing fuses, light switches or other power out­lets.

Take ex­treme care when work­ing out­side around over­head or un­der­ground power lines – dis­con­nect the power if work­ing near sup­ply lines.

Avoid over­load­ing cir­cuits by hav­ing too many tools or ap­pli­ances run­ning at the same time.

In­spect ap­pli­ance cords and ex­ten­sion leads for signs of dam­age – check the plug and socket for loose/ frayed con­nec­tions and poor cord an­chor­ages.

You can do a limited amount of elec­tri­cal work your­self, but for all other work use a li­censed elec­tri­cian.

Resid­ual cur­rent de­vices

Resid­ual cur­rent de­vices (RCDs) have su­per­seded iso­lat­ing trans­form­ers. An RCD con­stantly mon­i­tors the elec­tric cur­rent flow­ing along a cir­cuit.

If some­one touches a live wire or faulty ap­pli­ance, pro­vid­ing a route for the elec­tric­ity to flow through them to the ground, the RCD senses the loss of cur­rent and quickly shuts off the elec­tric­ity to re­duce the chance of se­ri­ous in­jury.

Th­ese are very use­ful when us­ing power tools, where it is easy to accidentally slice through the power cord.

Al­ways use an RCD when us­ing elec­tri­cal equip­ment out­side and al­ways test the de­vice be­fore you start – press the test but­ton to make sure it’s work­ing prop­erly.

RCDs are avail­able in sev­eral forms:

Be safe: Safety equip­ment for eye, ear, and breath­ing pro­tec­tion when us­ing tools are all read­ily avail­able from hard­ware stores and spe­cial­ist safety equip­ment com­pa­nies.

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