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Is it ever acceptable to remove a power tool’s guard?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2022 | Workplace Accidents

Even though your power tools improve both your efficiency and the quality of your work product, they also are inherently dangerous. Still, some of the tools you use regularly are more dangerous than others.

According to reporting from the Family Handyman, table saws, circular saws, utility knives and nail guns are responsible for more than 120,000 emergency room visits every single year. To protect you, many of these tools have safety guards.

Never remove a guard on a tool you are actively using

When you are using a tool, it is never acceptable to remove its guard. Furthermore, before turning on a power tool, you should inspect its guard for visible signs of damage or deterioration. If you notice any, you should discontinue the use of the tool until you make appropriate repairs.

These rules apply even if you have extensive experience with the tool, as you simply can neither foresee nor prevent every possible injury risk. Remember, when working with power tools, life-altering injuries can happen in well under a second.

Remove the guard only when it is safe to do so

Eventually, you are likely to need to repair, clean or service the power tools you use at work. Performing these tasks may require the removal of the safety guard. Before removing the guard, read through the tool’s manual. Also, disconnect the tool from its power source by unplugging it.

It is critical to use the appropriate tools and procedures to detach the guard from the tool. When you disassemble your power tool, pay special attention to the threads on the screws and bolts that hold the tool together. If you see any damage, it is advisable to replace the damaged parts.

Ultimately, by keeping the guards on all your power tools in good condition, you immediately reduce your chances of suffering a catastrophic injury in a workplace accident.