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Common mistakes that lead to power tool accidents

Power tools make some home improvement projects easier than they would be if you had to do them using only hand tools. That increased ease comes with an greater safety risk. Following proper safety procedures and using the power tools in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions are vital.

Over the course of a year, there are around 120,000 visits to the emergency room caused by nail guns, utility knives, table saws and circular saws. Those visits don't include the 200,000 visits to the ER each year because of eye injuries. A good portion of these happen while people are working at home.

Keeping your finger off the trigger of a nail gun is one safety rule that you must follow when you are using this power tool. Approximately 80 percent of ER visits because of nail gun accidents occurred when the operator had their finger on the trigger and accidentally pressed it.

Utility knives account for around an estimated 60,000 ER visits each year. Keeping your fingers out of the danger zone of the knife and properly setting up the materials are vital when using this tool.

Table saws account for around 35,000 ER visits annually. Of those visits, around 10 percent end in hospitalization. A variety of injuries occur because of kickback, which can be prevented by following the instructions in the owner's manual for the saw. You should also keep the blade guard on the saw to avoid contact with the blade. Contact with the blade accounts for 83 percent of the 35,000 ER visits each year.

Circular saw injuries lead to around 14,000 ER visits each year. One of the best ways to prevent these accidents is to avoid putting your hand behind the saw.

In some cases, the injury from a power tool isn't something that can be prevented. If you are injured by a power tool accident, learning if you have a claim for a product liability case is something you might choose to explore.

Source: Family Handyman, "Prevent Common Injuries When Working With Tools," accessed July 25, 2015

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