We would never want to question your knowledge or experience on operating your own machinery.
But we can't deny the fact that our beloved construction industry is still one of the most dangerous fields to work in.
In fact, every year, one out of ten construction workers get injured, with falling as the number one cause.¹
And while falling is one thing, we can only imagine the outcome of falling down while operating a power cutter rotating at 5000 RPM.
This is why the construction industry sees a non-fatal injury rate that is 71% higher than that of any other industry. ²
Now, we can't promise that with the help of this article we are able to get our injury rate down to IT-industry levels, but we can sure try.
To help you understand the dangers of certain very common situations, we sat down with JK Smits technical experts to create a safety top 5 related to the use of our diamond tools.
"I don't need all that uncomfortable safety gear. I know what I'm doing and I've always been fine"
Where others see a sunny day, we can feel our body temperature rising to fever-like temperatures, covered well enough to might as well go to battle in 1750 England.
We see our colleague's lips moving but have no idea what they're saying while the condense in our face shield is starting to build up.
"Only 3 more meters" you're mumbling to yourself while wondering if you've made the right career choice.
Does this come close to your first day on the job, when you actually bothered to follow all the safety precautions?
Skip forward a few years (or maybe only hours), and it becomes a common practice to wear hard hats backwards, put hearing protection on improperly, or wear those scratched safety glasses "one last time", even though your visibility through them is poor.
Though we do understand the discomfort it brings on the job, our technical experts can't stress enough how important it is to wear:
- Gloves, to end the day with all 10 fingers
- Safety glasses, to avoid getting debris in your eyes
- Safety shoes, in case your machine slips from your hands
- Ear protection, because a continuous exposure to 100 decibels sure won't increase the quality of your hearing ability (4)
But especially one whose importance is often overlooked
- A Dust mask
Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's uncomfortable. Yes, the outside air smells great in spring.
But, not only does cutting through asphalt, concrete or marble release a great amount of dust, it might contain particles that are poisonous and therefore a direct health risk, potentially leading to lung problems.
"My workplace? Messy? I'm not expecting a visit of the Queen anytime soon"
In our industry it isn't always easy to keep things neat. However, a lack of housekeeping may result in a dirty or messy work area.
And can you guess how we classify a dirty or messy work area?
It's absolutely dangerous.
Spilled oil will turn the place in a slip-and-slide ride, making your fall worse when the walkway is obstructed.
Remember the falling-while-drilling scenario?
You don't have to be able to eat from the floor, but let's keep that work area as tidy as possible.
"I am wearing a dust mask and my work area is clean. I am now ready to rumble"
Hold your horses, cowboy.
Did you make sure that the equipment you are about to use is in proper condition? Meaning that there is no visible cable breakage on your machine and your blade shows no signs of damage.
Thousands of injuries are caused each year by the failure of removing faulty equipment and machinery in time.
Often times someone knew ahead of time that the equipment was not functioning properly. Removing the faulty equipment in time will ensure that it does not cause injury to you, your colleagues or anyone else deciding to "give it a go".
Now that you are refreshed on how to operate our tools safely, have a look at our collection!
References:¹ Occupational Safety and Health Administration
² Accident Analysis & Prevention
³ Safest jobs 2016