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Drill risks: Hand and face injuries

Using a drill isn't that dangerous, right? Think again: These devices cause a lot of construction site injuries every year. When you use a drill infrequently at your home, the chances might be slim that you'll get hurt. But when you use one of these devices on a day-to-day basis as your job, every time you use a drill your statistical chance of getting hurt goes up.

Hand and face injuries are the most common when it comes to drills. Let's take a look at how you can prevent these injuries on the job.

Drill safety: Hand and face injury prevention

Your hands, your fingers, your face and your eyes are the most at risk when operating a drill. On average one of these injuries can result in four to seven days of recovery for workers injured on the job. Here are some tips to prevent them:

  • Take a close look at the drill to ensure it is clean of dirt, rust or other problems. Don't use a dirty or corroded drill.
  • Ensure your drill and drill bit are right for the job. If you're drilling into metal, don't use a drill bit designed for wood.
  • Check the drill speed. Set the drill speed to the right amount for your project. Also, check the trigger to ensure that the drill starts and stops as it is supposed to.
  • Is the drill bit properly installed? If the drill bit is off center, you'll be able to see by testing the drill with the trigger. If it wobbles, it needs to be adjusted. Also, make sure that the drill bit itself isn't bent.
  • Be steady and careful when drilling into something, and hold the drill at a constant angle. A badly angled drill could promote the release of dangerous debris.
  • Find the right pressure. Soft metals drill easily, but hard metals require more pressure and different bits. Be careful to find the right balance so you don't overheat the drill or the drill bit.
  • Get trained on drill safety before using a drill.
  • Do a test of the drill before using it.
  • Use eye protection at all times during drill operation.
  • Use the right clothing when you're using a drill. Long sleeves and loose clothing are a no-no as they can get tied up in the drill. Also, keep your hair tied back.

Use common sense when operating a drill

Sometimes, the best injury prevention simply involves the use of your common sense. However, we can become complacent and overconfident when using drills day-in and day-out on the job, so be careful always to stay safe and aware. If you do get hurt on the job, regardless of whose fault it was, you may want to pursue workers' compensation benefits to pay for your medical care.

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