August 27

The Most Dangerous Tools Used By Artisan Contractors

Mishandling and the improper use of tools is one of the most dangerous exposures that artisan contractors come across day to day on the job. Inexperience in using tools can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injury. However, even the most experienced contractor is susceptible to injury when using their tools.

One of the most basic techniques of mitigating risk is identifying where the risks are in the first place. Keeping the knowledge that a tool is dangerous in the back of one’s mind when they begin to use it is an effective way to prevent injury.

Some of the most dangerous and commonly used tools include:

Table Saw
These tools are dangerous enough to have their own specialized accident litigators. With a 10-inch blade spinning at about 3500 rpm and an outside edge humming along near 108 mph, it’s not hard to imagine why. Table saws account for about 60,000 recorded injuries each year (an average of over 150 each day). About 3000 of those injuries result in amputations.

Nail Guns
Nail guns come in all shapes and sizes, from massive framing guns all the way to petite brad staplers. For the most part, nail gun injuries are puncture wounds to the hands and fingers. There are, though, the occasional stories of freak accidents.

Between 1990 and 2005, ladders sent 2.1 million people to the hospital. These numbers translate into an average of 140,000 injuries a year, or one every 3 minutes and 45 seconds–that’s more than twice as many as a table saw. The most common injuries are likely to be fractures to the legs and feet.

Circular Saw
Everyone has a circular saw, so they can’t be that dangerous, right? Maybe that’s the problem–the tool lures you in with its apparent ease of use, but could take your hand off with its ferocious kickback. Circular saws have faster blades than table saws, with an outer edge spinning at about 120 mph, and they can cause some serious damage if used incorrectly or recklessly.

The most commonly used tools among artisan contractors are the same ones that are responsible for thousands of injuries per year. It is always important to treat power tools with respect and exercise the greatest amount of caution one can in order to ensure personal safety. Should an accident happen, it’s important to have a program in place that won’t leave a contractor in a coverage gap.

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