Baehman Law

Things that can go wrong with power tools


As part of their jobs, construction workers in Minnesota will daily encounter and probably use one type of power tool or another. While these tools no doubt make it possible for workers in the greater Twin Cities area to do their jobs efficiently and well, a lot of things can go wrong with these tools, and such problems can cause serious if not fatal construction accidents.

In fact, the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, has compiled a booklet, available online, that describes many of the dangers of the different types of power tools common at a construction site and offers some tips on how to prevent injuries.

To summarize, two big dangers with respect to power tools are their moving parts, which are often sharp and moving rapidly, and their power source, whether that source is electricity, gas, pressurized air or some other source of power.

In the case of moving parts, a power tool needs to have properly working guards or other safety features to prevent workers from suffering a severe cut or other wound that can cost the worker a limb or even his or her life. Likewise, any power source for the tool can present a hazard. Electricity can present the danger of electrocution or a severe electrical shock, and a tool powered with gasoline or other combustible fuel can explode or catch fire.

A defective power tool or a tool with inadequate or improperly working safety features can cause a serious workplace accident. When such accidents occur, Minnesota residents may avail themselves of the state's workers' compensation system to get some monetary relief for their bills and lost wages. These workers may also contemplate suing the maker of the power tool if a defect contributed to their injuries.

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