Skip to content

Competencies covered

MSFFL2001: Use flooring technology sector hand and power tools

General safety

Image for slide 1
Audio for slide 1 (mp3 |6|KB)
Set out below are some basic principles for using power tools safely.

Although they can be applied generally to all tools, there are specific references to tools that have a rotary action and are powered by electricity.

This makes these principles particularly applicable to tools such as circular saws, drills and planers.

hearing icon
Image for slide 2
Audio for slide 2 (mp3 |6|KB)

Basic safety procedures

  1. Wear the correct personal protective equipment for the job at hand. This will generally include safety glasses, ear muffs and steel capped boots.

    Depending on the job, it might also include a dust mask, gloves and maybe specialised safety gear, such as a full face shield.

    Remove any loose clothing or jewellery, and tie back long hair.
hearing icon
Image for slide 3
Audio for slide 3 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Keep cutting edges sharp.

    Inspect the saw blade, drill bit or planer cutters before you plug in the tool, and make sure that they are in good condition, properly fitted and sharp.
hearing icon
Image for slide 4
Audio for slide 4 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Make sure that the guards are in place and correctly adjusted, and that spring-loaded mechanisms or other moving parts are working normally.
hearing icon
Image for slide 5
Audio for slide 5 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Secure the material firmly before you start the job.                                            
    This could mean using a G-clamp or bench vice or some other clamping system.
hearing icon
Image for slide 6
Audio for slide 6 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Always allow the motor to reach normal operating speed before letting the tool come into contact with the job.

    This helps to avoid the problem of 'kickback', and of overloading the motor.
hearing icon
Image for slide 7
Audio for slide 7 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Listen to the sound of the motor when you start up the tool and while you're operating it.

    If you hear any unusual sounds, stop the tool, unplug it, and look for the problem.

    If you can't fix it on the spot, tag the tool and take it to your supervisor or maintenance person for servicing.
hearing icon
Image for slide 8
Audio for slide 8 (mp3 |6|KB)
  1. Keep the work area clear of off-cuts, sawdust build-up and rubbish that might get in the way.

    Don't let off-cuts and rubbish build up under your feet. It can pose a serious trip hazard, especially if you're concentrating on the work and not paying attention to where your feet are positioned.

    By tidying up as you go, you'll also make the general clean-up at the end of the job much easier.

    This will help you to sort out which pieces can be recycled or used again and which items need to go straight into the waste bin.
hearing icon

Learning activity

Audio 9 (mp3 |6|KB)

Point 5 above refers to the problem of 'kickback' in power tools. This happens when the blade or cutter is allowed to contact the material to be cut before the motor has had a chance to reach full speed.

What exactly is kickback? See if you can describe it in words.

If you're working with a partner, try to come up with an explanation together.

hearing icon

  Go to  Drill operation