About two weeks ago I was working on a project with someone close to me, whose name I won’t mention (yet). They broke just about every single one of my safety rules! Here’s a list of the violations that everyone should keep in mind to avoid when working on their own projects:
Insufficient Personal Protection Equipment
No safety glasses or goggles, and no hearing protection. Corrective lenses do not provide enough coverage to protect against stray drilling and cutting debris and projectiles.
Did Not Read a Power Tool’s User Manual
This is obvious by the fact that the circular saw blade was installed OVER the washer. The bolt by itself does not provide enough support to use the saw safely, and the blade was too close to the guard. It looks like the blade likely damaged or warped, and the inner surface of the blade guard appears to be slightly physically damaged as well.
Insisted on Rushing
Rushing with power tools is not a good idea. At the very least it can result in mistakes (as we later witnessed), at worse injury or grave bodily harm. You kept saying “we need to work faster”, but I tried to take my time.
The workpiece was not securely clamped down to a surface. We didn’t need to go out and buy a JawHorse, but we could have come up with a better arrangement, especially for when we used the jigsaw.
Cutting Towards a Body Part
NEVER EVER cut towards a body part. If the workpiece slipped and you were not quick enough, where do you think the saw would have been lunged into. If you absolutely have to cross an arm or hand in front of a jigsaw or any saw, take proper precuations and reduce the forward-force placed on the tool. Don’t let me see you holding a workpiece and using a power saw cutting towards your arm or hand, I won’t ever allow that again.
Using Dull Blades
News flash – that spade bit you were using was DULL – that’s why you had so much difficulty with it. A sharp bit would not have jammed up like that.
Back with the circular saw blade – I’m fairly certain that you warped or damaged the teeth by rubbing them against the metal blade guard. That blade should have been discarded and certainly not used for additional cuts.
Never Use a Hole Saw Without the Pilot Bit Engaged
Once a hole is drilled with a hole saw, you cannot widen it by cutting an arch with the saw. Without material for the pilot bit to engage, the cutting is going to be erratic and uncontrolled at best, dangerous at worst.
This wasn’t a safety violation, but a precation. New tool users unfamiliar with the use of the power tools are prone to injury. But so are pros who know the ins and outs of their tools. The more familiar you are with a power tool, the more you let your guard down. Don’t be cocky – just because you’ve used a particular tool for decades doesn’t mean you should feel comfortable enough with it to neglect common safety practices.
Well, that’s about it for now, although I’m sure I’ll remember additional safety violations once I think about it more.