With the DIY revolution now in full swing many people are now getting familiar with power tools previously left in the hands of licensed professions. Whilst doing some jobs yourself can save you a lot of money and also be very rewarding there are some risks.
A recent study (1) examined the use of power tool injuries causing hospital admissions from 2005 to 2015 and examined what the risk factors are in injuries leading from accidents around power tools.
So what are they ?
Firstly having a penis seems to be a massive problem. Males accounted for 96% of power tool injuries compared to only 4% for females.
So if you do happen to have penis be aware that you are are far more likely to have a power tool injury. The idea that just being male allows you to use power tools safely is unfortunately a dangerous myth.
If you are female be aware that 40% of injuries caused to females are from lawnmowers so again its worth increasing your protective equipment when using mowers. Injuries to the lower limb is the most common lawn mower injury so thick cotton trousers are worth working in and even considering some additional protection from flying stones or shattering blades may be a good investment.
This is obviously meant to be tongue in check. Obviously far more men are attempting these jobs than females would account for most of the statistics but I think it’s fair to say that males tend to assume that their skills and knowledge on how to use a particularly tool safely is far higher than reality.
So what tools cause the most problems ?
Yep. It’s the angle grinder
Angle grinder injuries caused 147 presentations which was about 25% of all injuries presented. That’s nearly double the next contender on our list. The circular saw.
If you are using an angle grinder you really must have quality safety glasses at all times or ideally one of the of those full face shields. The blades can easily fracture as they spin and given the speed of even a battery powered angle grinder you are going to have a very bad day once this start to fly out in all directions.
Thick leather safety gloves may also save you nasty gash if you slip. I think because of it’s non sharpened edges maybe we don’t give the angle grinder the respect it deserves but the speed of the angle grinder easily makes up for its lack of sharpened edge in it’s cutting power.
Number 2 on the list is saws. In previous studies saws used to be number 1 but recent safetly advances such as covers that slide over as soon as the saw loses contact have help things here.
Saws howerver can jam and kick at strange times so ensuring what you are cutting will not jam up that you are properly braced is very important. Take your time setting things up and think about what can go wrong before it does.
In short stay safe with DIY, take the time to learn how to use each tool safely and always wear quality eye protection for even the simplest of jobs.