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Safety a vital component of DIY projects

Many homeowners enjoy DIY projects around the house. Weekend warriors should recognize that having the right tools and using them in a correct manner is essential to successful, safe projects.

Tools are vital for projects, but without proper understanding and usage, they can cause grave injuries. Studies published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that certain tools are more likely to cause injuries than others. Power nailers, for example, are among the most dangerous tools DIYers can use. Chain saws, table saws, circular saws, and riding mowers are some additional tools that have very high injury rates.

The following are some safety guidelines all DIYers should heed when using power tools.

• Use tools that are the right size and right type for the job. If you are uncertain about which tools to use, watch online tutorials, contact tool manufacturers or seek advice at home supply stores.

• Always wear eye protection and the right safety equipment when manufacturers recommend doing so. Gloves, sturdy work boots, hearing protection, and hard hats can protect DIYers from injury.

• Keep cutting tools sharp and in good condition to reduce kick back and potential injuries.

• Regularly inspect tools to make sure they are in working order.

• Never carry tools up a ladder by hand; use a bucket or bag to hoist tools.

• Never leave tools lying out in any area where they can present a hazard. Unplug power tools when not in use.

• Secure work with a clamp or vice grip when appropriate to keep things from slipping.

• Ensure that the handles of tools like hammers and axes fit tightly into the head of the tool.

• Keep work environments tidy to avoid clutter, as cluttered workspaces can contribute to accidents.

• Read the manual and operate the power tool as instructed.

• Do not force open a safety on a power tool or modify a tool to override safety features.

• Cut away from yourself when using chisels and other edged tools.

Let common sense prevail when using tools. If it doesn't seem like a good idea, it probably isn't. Safety is important to avoid injuries and help prevent delays on the job.

The Twin-City News