August 1, 2008, Newsletter Issue #87: Workplace Power Tool Safety

Tip of the Week

Federal law requires that employers provide a safe work environment for those using power tools. That requirement, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA regulations, says employers must "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees".

If you are on the job with equipment that has compromised power tool safety features, frayed power cords, or other safety problems, it's your right - and responsibility - to turn these power tools over to a supervisor and request replacements. Do not work or allow others to work with malfunctioning tools or tools in poor repair. If you find yourself in need of evidence to make a case for the replacement or repair of such tools, it is a very good idea to use a cell phone camera or small digital camera to take photos of the tools in question, paying particular attention to the defects where visible, and any company logo or identifying stamp. These photographs make a very strong case for getting the tools replaced. They can also be considered evidence in cases of employer negligence cases.

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