Makita tools are high quality and workers should observe basic power tool safety when in use.
Power tools are just that—powerful. If used incorrectly they can be dangerous and accidents may result, sometimes even fatal injuries. It is always better to acquaint yourself with knowledge of how to use power tools safely.
Now, nobody is discounting the enormous boon that power tools have been for tradies all around the world. The ease and convenience of these high tech tools has made things a whole lot easier for working people everywhere and we certainly wouldn’t advocate going to back to hand tools exclusively because they’re safer to use than power tools.
The important thing is to understand what you should and should not do with power tools.
Using Makita Tools Safely
Always use your Makita tools safely! Let’s take a look at national statistics for work place injuries for the construction industry from Safe Work Australia:
Serious claims overall statistics, 2017–18p*
The preliminary data for 2017/8 show there were 107,335 successful workers’ compensation claims for serious injury or illness in the Construction industry. The Construction industry accounted for 11% of all serious workers’ compensation claims. On average there were 39 claims each day from employees who required one or more weeks off work because of work-related injury or disease.
Source: Safe Work Australia
As you can see, there are thousands of work related injuries every year in the construction industry and it seems highly likely that at least some of these could be prevented if power tool safety was observed.
Can I work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has advised that workers should work from home wherever and whenever they can. You should also check the latest advice from official sources in your state or territory regarding working from home in response to COVID-19.
Whether working from home is a reasonably practicable measure at your workplace will depend on the specifics of the work you do, the facilities available for you to work remotely and the ability for you to do your work effectively and safely from home.
Under the model WHS laws, your employer has a duty of care for the health and safety of workers and others at your workplace. This duty extends to identifying and managing the risks of exposure to the COVID-19 virus and putting appropriate controls in place.
If work can be completed at home, and the risks that arise from working remotely can be effectively managed, your employer may determine that encouraging or directing you to work from home is the best way to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
In assessing whether you should be working from home, your employer must take into account that vulnerable people are, or are likely to be, at higher risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. Vulnerable people include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
- people 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions. Conditions included in the definition of ‘chronic medical conditions’ will be refined as more evidence emerges.
- people 70 years and older, and
- people with compromised immune systems.
As public health conditions change, any working from home arrangement your employer put in place in response to COVID-19 may also vary.
As with all work health and safety matters, employers must consult with you and any elected HSRs in relation to returning to the normal workplace.
6 Tips for Power Tool Safety
Here are 7 tips for using Makita tools and other power tools safely.
- Don’t carry a power tool by its cord.
- Disconnect power tools before cleaning or servicing them.
- Be sure to stay on a level footing that affords good balance.
- Never hold your fingers on a switch button when handling a power tool.
- Secure your work piece with clamps to secure the pice you are woeking on an dfree up both hands.
- Keep everyone not working a safe distance from operation of the power tool.
Use these 6 safety tips to stay safe while using Makita tools!
Working from home
- Assess who can do their jobs from home. Give those workers the option to do so.
- Provide guidance to your workers on how to set up a safe home work environment (see, for example, SWA’s working from home information and diagrams).
- Require workers to complete a self‑assessment checklist to ensure they comply with good ergonomic practices (an example is Comcare’s Working from home checklist).
- Appoint a contact person in your business that workers can talk to about any concerns.
- Set up ways to communicate with workers online (e.g. through Skype or Zoom) and communicate with them daily.
- Provide information to workers about the supports available to them, for example through an employee assistance program.
Its always great to plan ahead in general and during the Pandemic. Nominate a worker or a team of workers to champion safe practices in the workplace and teach their colleagues the proper procedures listed above. Develop a plan to ensure business continuity if there is a suspected or confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 in your workplace.
Consider what you will do if one of your workers is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, including how you will support that worker and what you need to do to ensure the workplace remains safe for other workers. Consider if you have appropriate cleaning products and personal protective equipment available to disinfect your workplace following an outbreak.
If you do not, consider options for hiring a cleaning company to do this work. Put a protocol in place for reopening your workplace after an outbreak or quarantine period.
Instruct workers to clean personal property that comes to work, such as sunglasses, mobile phones and iPads with
disinfectant, such as disinfectant wipes. Instruct workers to wear gloves when cleaning and wash their hands thoroughly with soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after wearing gloves
Direct workers to stay home if they are sick, and if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 ask them to call the National Coronavirus hotline (1800 020 080).