Power tools account for an estimated 400,000 ER injuries a year. Due to modernization and cost reduction, power tools such as drills, power sanders, grinders, nail guns, circular saws, bench or table saws, chop saws, automotive tools, welding tools, and air compressor tools, are now widely accessible and affordable to the average homeowner or regular consumer.
The downside is that wood shop, carpentry, and machine shop are rarely taught in schools at the primary or collegiate level anymore. As a result, safety concepts, such as lock out/tag out, energy control and containment, and personal protective equipment, may not be common knowledge to the consumer or homeowner.
Generally, today’s consumer power tools attempt to design out hazards. But if hazards cannot be designed out because of the functional nature of the tool, they typically come with additional guarding, function enable or presence switches, electronic braking, or other safety features. A simple look at old power tools from 30 years ago reveals how much has changed compared to the present. Additionally, today’s consumer power tools typically have to come with warnings and instructions that meet ANSI Z535 standards.
A growing trend in today’s consumer power tools is the push to cordless or battery-powered tools. Battery power has grown over the past ten years, along with battery life and reliability. Battery-powered power tools used to have much less torque, strength, or performance than corded tools, but many of the battery-powered power tools have now caught up. Battery-powered tools give the user greater convenience in use and portability. There’s no longer a need to locate an outlet or drag around an extension cord. However, with greater convenience can come greater hazards with regard to handling and caring for the battery.
ARCCA experts have the multi-discipline background needed to help you with your power tool case or claim, including design analysis, path of travel, warning and instructions, foreseeable and unforeseeable use or misuse, and fire cause and origin.