President's Prescription: Power Tools

President's Prescription: Power Tools

Thousands of do-it-yourselfers take up power tools every weekend, especially during the warmer months. But, if you are not careful, tools that make jobs easier can be incredibly dangerous. This week, Dr. Tedd Mitchell gives the best tips for handling power tools.

It doesn't matter if you're a weekend tinkerer, or a professional carpenter, most of us at some point in our lives have used power tools. And while they are very affective at getting things done around the house, its important to know that they are very dangerous as well. In fact, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, up to 400,000 people are injured every year due to power tools.

Here's how to stay safe:

Check your workspace. Keep your workstation clean and well lit. Also check for flammable substances, since electric power tools can create sparks that may ignite the substance.

Know the risks of electricity. Don't use your power tools in wet or damp conditions. Check the cord for damaged areas and replace it if is even slightly damaged. Follow manufacturers' guidelines when powering your tool with an extension cord.

Protect yourself. Wear safety goggles, earplugs and appropriate clothing. Secure long hair, and never wear gloves, loose clothes, or jewelry as these may be caught in moving parts.

Prepare yourself. Read the tool's operating manual and other instructions carefully. Never operate a power tool if you are tired or under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medications.

Maintain your tools. Store your tools in a dry environment to keep it working properly

If you injure yourself with a power tool, make sure to see a doctor. It may be as simple as getting a tetanus booster. This is particularly in the case of getting an electrical injury because electrical injuries can actually cause internal damage to your organs. If you see someone injured with a power tool, make sure you apply pressure over the wound until you can call 9-1-1. For maintaining good health, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell.