When working with tools, the following guidelines should always be followed:
- Use the tool in accordance with the operating instructions and guidelines
- Wear appropriate clothing and PPE
- Give yourself room to work and keep your work area tidy
- Ensure you are competent to undertake the job in hand and use the correct tools
- Do not rush or cut corners
- Keep tools in good order, maintaining them as required
When using power tools, an RCD is essential to protect you if something goes wrong. These are inexpensive and should be commonplace in prep rooms already.
Know your power tool before use and make sure you are aware of any dangers or risks involved in using it. If using a power tool for the first time, read the instruction manual thoroughly and get advice or a demonstration from someone who knows the tool well if possible.
Always disconnect the power before changing blades or drill bits. Don't just switch the plug off, physically remove it.
Always wear the correct PPE for the tool you are using. Eye protection should be worn when using any tool and a labcoat or apron is always a good idea. If in doubt what PPE you should be wearing, consult your school's health and safety rep or your technology department who should have PPE guidelines.
Hearing protection may be necessary when using some power tools.
Always make sure your tools are well maintained. Keep saw blades, knives and chisels sharp. Sharper blades give a cleaner cut and are less likely to kick back or slip because of the extra pressure that needs to be applied to blunt tools.
More information about tools and health and safety can be found at the Government's health and safety executive: www.hse.gov.uk.
General Health and safety advice can be found at CLEAPSS: www.cleapss.org.uk.