Using Power Tools Safely at Work
Spectrum 13 News recently reported that local firefighters were able to save a tree trimmer who was clinging 35 feet from the ground after the worker reportedly cut himself with a chainsaw. Fortunately, the worker, an unidentified man in his 20s, was reportedly in stable condition after sustaining a laceration from the power tool. However, the rescue posed several logistical challenges for the firefighters as the tree the injured worker was located in is the backyard of a large property with insufficient space for aerial-apparatus fire equipment. Removing the worker from the tree required a tower truck with a 35-foot extension ladder, ropes, a safety line, and the help of the injured worker’s coworker who remained in the tree but ultimately, the rescue was successful.
Understanding the Risks
Using a power tool can be an invaluable tool for expediting a project at work and helping a worker complete a task more easily and efficiently. But unfortunately, the same capabilities that make these tools so effective can also make them highly dangerous when they are used incorrectly or when the equipment itself malfunctions. According to statistics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over ten percent of work-related fatalities occur because a worker is struck by an object. This unfortunate statistic encompasses both equipment malfunctions and equipment strikes.
Tips for Using Power Tools Safely
One thing that makes these accidents so heartbreaking is that many of them can be prevented. Stay safer by doing the following:
- Familiarize yourself with your equipment before using it by reading the operating manual
- Make a habit of using provided safety equipment such as a hardhat, goggles, gloves when operating power tools
- Inspect gear and equipment each time you use it to make sure it’s in the same condition as the last time you used it
- Always attend your scheduled trainings and look at any handouts provided
- Never use drugs and/or alcohol before or while operating power tools
What if I am Injured While Using Power Tools at Work?
Fortunately, Florida’s workers’ compensation program generally covers losses for work-related injuries. That means that you may be entitled to compensation if you have incurred medical bills and lost wages due to an on-the-job power tool injury. In addition, you may even be entitled to other compensation if a third party, such as a worker employed by another company or the manufacturer of a defective tool, contributed to or was responsible for your injury.
We Can Help You Build a Successful Claim
If you or someone you know has been injured in the scope of employment while working with power tools, it is important to discuss the circumstances of the injury with an experienced attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, our dedicated team will fully investigate your case and work on your behalf in order to secure the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation so you can figure out your next steps.