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The hazard of battery-powered tools

Coates reminds workers to treat their battery-powered hand tools with care.

We all know that our electrical power tools should be inspected, tested and tagged on a regular basis. We do this because we need to protect ourselves and our mates when we spend all day with electrical tools.

But have you considered the hazards posed by your battery-powered tools? Most battery tools operate at very low DC voltages, somewhere between 9V and 24V. So the risk of electrocution is not as serious as it is in a mains-connected tool.

However, one of the most common risks on battery-powered equipment is the carrying accident. A lot of injuries occur because of how people carry their battery-powered tools on to, and off, the job.

A common one is caused by workers carrying a battery-powered tool – for instance an angle grinder or a drill – in their arms. The tool gets into the wrong position and it switches on, and before the worker knows what is happening they are lacerated in their arms, hands or torso.

The injuries caused by these carrying injuries can be severe and often involve the victim having to take time off work.

These days the manufacturers make power tools with several safety switches that make these injuries less likely. Yet still they occur.

At Coates we recommend that battery-powered tools are carried in their designated carry-case, or if carried loosely, the battery should be disengaged from the tool. Take Five on your Tools – your battery-powered tools can be a hazard.

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