Is your power tool’s cord more dangerous than its blade?
If you use power tools to perform your job duties, you probably have a healthy respect for sawblades. After all, these blades can cause life-threatening injuries in well under a second. Still, the cords that supply power to your tools may also be hazardous to your health.
While you never may be able to remove all the risks that come with working near or with power cords, you can minimize the dangers they present. Understanding what makes power tool cords treacherous is the first step.
According to the EHS Daily Advisor, electrocution is one of the fatal four risks construction workers face. When working with power tools, your electrocution risk is three-fold:
- A damaged power cord may cause a short that causes electrical currents to pass through your body.
- Moisture around or inside the cord may conduct electricity, leading to your electrocution.
- An overloaded cord may malfunction and electrocute you.
Slips, trips and falls at construction sites often contribute to catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, nerve damage and traumatic brain injuries. When working with a power tool, you must keep close tabs on its cords. That is, a cord may cause you to lose your footing.
If you use extension cords to allow your power tools to reach high places, you may be in danger of strangulation. Specifically, the cord may wrap around your neck, cutting off your supply of air. This is especially true if you fall when working with an extension cord.
Now that you understand why the cords on power tools are dangerous, you can take steps to mitigate your risk. Ultimately, though, if you suffer a cord-related injury at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.