5 Dangerous Construction Tools

Working in a construction environment can be very dangerous if the correct health and safety precautions are not followed. As well as immediate injuries, construction equipment can cause long term health concerns after extensive use. In fact, almost every piece of equipment that is used in the construction sector can cause an injury if it is mishandled, including the paper that the plans are written on! Here we list 5 potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that are regularly used on building and construction sites around the world, in no particular order.

  1. Pneumatic DrillPneumatic drill

Pneumatic drills can cause a whole host of problems for users if the correct care is not taken. The most immediate health effects come from the misuse of the drill bit. A large amount of force powers the drill and this can cause piercing injuries if it is pointed at the wrong thing. Shrapnel, debris, dusts and sparks can all be created during drilling, which may become health risks. Heavy duty clothing, including gloves, goggles and a face mask, should be worn when using the machinery.

Drill users also risk long term health consequences if the correct procedures are not followed. When the drill is in use, it creates a loud noise which can cause hearing damage to the user. The user should always wear ear protection when they are drilling. The extreme vibrations of the drill can actually cause nerve, muscle and circulation damage over time. To reduce the risk of vibration-related health concerns, users should take regular breaks.

  1. LadderLadders

Even though ladders may seem like a fairly innocuous piece of construction equipment, they are actually one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment that are used on construction sites. If a ladder is placed on an uneven or unsecured surface, then a ladder can easily slip once it has the weight of a person pressing down onto it. A person who is holding onto the ladder whilst they are climbing could easily break their wrists if their hands get trapped underneath the ladder during the fall.

A poorly maintained ladder can also be very dangerous, if the structure fails. Ladder users should take the time to check over their equipment before they use the ladder to reduce the chances that the ladder will bow or break when it is in use. It is important to take notice of manufacturers tolerances (e.g. maximum weight and recommended angle of use).

Ladder users must also be mindful of the structure that they are climbing with the ladder. Resting a ladder up against something can place high pressure onto the structure, which can then damage the structure which is being leant on. This can put the ladder user at risk. Putting a metal ladder against an electrical component could also put the ladder user at risk of electrocution.

  1. Motorised sawMotorised Saws

Motorised saws are extremely dangerous, because they have sharp blades as well as fast moving mechanisms. In addition to this, sparks, dust or debris can be thrown up by the saw whilst it is in use. To mitigate the risks that are posed by motorised saws, it is important to only use the saw with the correct guards. Always wear goggles to prevent anything from hitting you in the eye. Do a full maintenance check on the saw before each use.

  1. CraneCrane

Some of the largest construction accidents in recent years have been caused by crane collapses. The collapse of a large crane can lead to large numbers of casualties. Cranes must be suitably anchored to prevent them from falling or moving too much when they are in use. Crane handlers must react to the weather conditions to ensure that the crane is only operated in safe conditions. When it is not in use, the crane must be secured in position to prevent any risk to the public.

Crane handlers must be able to communicate effectively with those on the ground, so that they are able to raise and lower cargo without putting people at risk. Manufacturers’ guidelines on weight and tolerances must always be observed when moving objects with a crane.

  1. Nail gunNail Gun

A nail gun can cause serious harm if it is not used correctly. Nail guns should never be pointed towards the eyes or the face, even if the gun seems to have some sort of jam. The gun could accidentally fire in these circumstances, which can cause extremely painful facial injuries. You should also take care about hand placement when you are using a nail gun, so that you can avoid firing a nail into your own hand. Wearing thick gloves can help you to avoid more serious damage and splintering caused by the nail gun. This type of accident is fairly common amongst people who enjoy DIY construction and who have not had adequate safety training.