An accident on a building site in Wodonga has highlighted the need for safety adherence when working with power tools such as angle grinders. The 44 year old worker involved in the incident suffered severe lacerations to his thigh and had to be taken to hospital for treatment, which will probably involve specialist surgery.
The hazard presented by power tools is one that needs to be addressed by principal and subcontractors on building sites. Employers should first attempt to have the hazard removed, however occasionally power tools are the only means of fulfilling a job on site and cannot be removed or substituted by a less dangerous means. In this case those in charge of site safety should assess the risk involved with power tools and develop controls to minimise the harm that can be done to workers.
Workers should also be trained on proper and safe use of power tools, as well as other tools on construction sites. In addition to being properly trained it is important that workers are provided with the necessary personal protective gear to prevent them from suffering serious injury if an incident with the power tool did occur.
Read what can happen when work with power tools goes wrong, the excerpt is taken from a post on SafetyCulture.com.au:
A 44-year-old worker was brought to Albury Hospital on Monday when his thigh was severely lacerated with an angle grinder.
According to a Border Mail report, the accident happened on a building site in Wodonga. Paramedics were called in to the site at 9.20 am. Several of the victim’s colleagues assisted the paramedics in carrying him off the site.
Paramedic, Mike Fuery, said the man will need surgery to repair his muscle tissue which was deeply lacerated during the accident.
“This was quite a deep laceration but it managed to avoid any major arteries and veins or nerves, although there was significant muscular damage,” said Mr Fuery.
“This patient’s going to require some specialist surgery to repair his muscle tissue.”
The building site will be subject to an investigation by WorkSafe inspectors.
Another aspect which requires attention when it comes to power tool safety is “guards”. Guards should be provided to protect workers when operating power tools. Hazardous moving parts of the tool should be safeguarded. If employers fail to do this and an accident occurs they will be held liable and accidents such as the one above are likely to occur. Safety guards must never be removed when a tool is being used – they are there for a reason.
Safety Switches also provide an invaluable safety mechanism. An on/off switch should be present and fully operational on power tools such as drills, tappers, fastener drivers, horizontal, vertical and angle grinders etc.