Let’s say, you have bought a brand new power drill to make a hole in your wall but you don’t know how to use a drill safely. As soon as you turn it on, the screwdriver at the front goes through your thumb, causing severe injury. That sounds terrific, right?
It might be surprising to you but definitely, you won’t be the first one to have this experience. Every mechanic or a common user of the drill has had a similar experience in their lifetime.
Drills are very convenient tools that save a lot of time and effort. But like all power tools, they need to be operated safely.
If you’re a regular user of a power drill and work in automotive or home improvement projects, you may already know the basic drilling safety rules.
Below are some safety tips that will protect yourself while drilling. Follow these tips to avoid getting injured.
Power Drill Related Injuries
In the U.S, approximately 90,000 injuries occur every year when using power tools. Out of the 90,000 injuries, 5800 injuries are attributed to power drills alone. Between the years 2001-2005, more than 35,000 people were treated for drill-related injuries. More than 40% of the patients were inexperienced in using it.
- People also die when using a power drill because most of them know little about how to use a Drill safely. Take the case of the 45 years old mechanic who was using a drill to make a hole in the wall of a one-storied building. To climb the distance he had to use a 20-feet ladder. Due to a minute of carelessness, he slipped from the ladder and fell off. His head came in contact with the spinning screwdriver part of the drill. You might have an idea of what happened next. That’s too terrible, right?
- Often the faulty design of the drill can contribute to accidents. In Queens, there was a famous case many years ago where a mechanic filed a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the drill. He got a shock while using an electric Drill made by the company which paralyzed one of his hands. After a long hard battle in the court, he was able to claim compensation of 50000$ for his injuries!
Puncture wounds are the most common type of injuries. They are similar to lacerations or amputations. It occurs when the screwdriver part of the Drill goes through a part of the human body.
- According to one victim of such injury, “Five years ago I accidentally put a drill through my thumbnail and destroyed my nail badly”. His nails have grown back by now but he still remembers the injury as if it happened yesterday. If not handled properly, power drills could even kill you or cause amputations for the rest of your life!
You might be wondering how a small device like the drill can be so dangerous! The answer is that it’s dangerous if you don’t know how to handle it properly. If you have a basic knowledge of using a drill safely then it’s likely that accidents will never occur. Many expert users of the drill think that they cannot get hurt by it. Accidents occur as a result.
Some Advice on How to Use a Drill Safely
I am sure that you have not looked at the manual on how to use a drill safely for even a second once you bought a new drill. You think that you do not need to. This is where you are wrong. The guide below will contain some advice on it but the manual which comes with it is the best place to look at.
- Do not forget to wear your safety goggles and helmet. These will not only protect your eyes from debris or head but can even save your life!
- Wear ear protection to reduce the noise of the drill. The sound produced by the drill is over 90 dB, enough to make you deaf. I am sure that you know this!
- Wear dust protection if the debris produced during the drill is bad for the lung.
- Wearing gloves can save your hand from the sharp front part of the drill.
- Be careful of the pressure you are applying to your object, apply only the pressure which is necessary.
- Make sure that you have secured the piece of metal or wood which you are working on. Clamp it down before starting to use it. You do not want it to move too much!
- For drilling harder materials, always use a drill stand. To make straight holes in an object, never forget to use a stand. It can prevent slipping.
- Some mechanics find it easier to insert a screw in a pilot hole which was drilled beforehand. You will find the holes straighter and also require to apply less pressure.
- The drill must be inserted in the chuck and tightened as much as possible with the Chuck key.
- Do not wear baggy clothing like a hippie while drilling. There is a possibility of the spinning action of a cordless drill to get caught up on any objects which are not fastened tightly.
- Remove any jewelry, wear short sleeves and tie your hair properly before starting to drill.
- Be wary of the torque in the drill. There is a series of numbers which indicate the torque. The higher it is, the more the rotation of the drill’s sharp edge will be.
- Only increase the Torque if you see that the pressure is not enough. Remember that most injuries have occurred because the operator used the wrong Torque!
- Do not get frightened if the drill heats up after using for a long time. Just give it a few seconds to cool down and start working after that. The best practice is to use a low Torque.
- A common mistake made by most people is that if the drill bit gets stuck inside an object, they try to take it out immediately. Use manual methods to take it out after separating the bit and the chuck
This guide discusses methods on how to use a drill safely but the manufacturer of the drill knows best about their own product. It is always a good practice to look at the safety manual which comes with the drill itself before starting to use it. This manual will not answer all your questions.
You always have the option to sue the company which made the drill if you get injured while using it. But I would advise you not to go through all the hassle of law and instead take precautions while using it. As the saying goes, prevention is the best cure.
We’ve reviewed three high-quality drills from the famous brand DeWalt. If you’re planning to buy a drill, then you can check our reviews of these three drills: