Student Handbook

Power Tools

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Power tools are dangerous unless they are handled with care and respect. If a power tool is treated roughly, dropped, banged around, or gets wet, the insulation may weaken and present the possibility of a shock hazard. If the operator is standing on a wet conductive surface, the shock can be fatal. What is more, secondary wounds can occur even during mild shocks if the operator loses control of the tool.

Never carry power tools by their cords and never shut them off by yanking the cord from the receptacle. This puts too much stress on the cord and other connections. Insulating platforms, rubber gloves, and rubber mats provide an additional safety factor when working with electrically powered tools in damp locations.

Regular inspection and maintenance is important. Check the tool over before using it. Make sure it is clean and grounded and that the cord is in good condition. Check the trigger to make sure it works easily, that it does not stick, and that the power goes off quickly when the trigger is released.

When using power tools during construction, Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) protection is required. Test the GFCI device to see if it is functioning properly. Portable GFCI devices are available and should be used when operating tools while standing on an outdoor grade or damp concrete.