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How construction workers can help prevent power tool injuries

Too many serious injuries in construction work are caused by power tools that are worn out, malfunctioning or just plain defective. Construction workers can help prevent these injuries by properly inspecting their power tools before they begin using them

Following are some red flags that there may be a problem with a power tool. Note that you should always unplug the tool from the power source prior to inspecting it or trying to diagnose the problem to help avoid electrocution.

It won't start or the power level is weak

If there's not a problem with the electrical source or power cord, it could be an accumulation of dirt and dust that's preventing it from working. Brush channels can also become worn. Check the brushes and replace them if necessary. If the problem isn't with the power source, cord or brushes, it's possible that the commutator or other part is damaged.

It is smoking or sparking

If this is happening, turn it off immediately and let it cool. Then look for debris or dust that may have gotten into the tool. If it's clean, there may be an issue with heat damage.

There's a burning smell

That can be a sign of a malfunctioning motor. If there's a drive belt, it could be broken. For tools without drive belts, the capacitors may need to be replaced. If you've been using the tool for a while, it may just be overheating. Put it aside for at least a half an hour and try again.

There's a high-pitched screeching noise

Make sure the tool is adequately lubricated. If it is, then look at the gears Your gear switch may be stuck. Move it back and forth and then try starting it again.

Whether the power tools you're using are your own or provided to you by your employer, it's essential to make sure that they're properly maintained. If you believe that your injury resulted from a poorly maintained or defective tool that you were given to use or if your own tool was defective, it may be worthwhile to find out what your legal options are for seeking compensation for expenses and damages resulting from your injuries.

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