In the construction industry or as an independent tradesman, using power tools and other types of equipment is simply part of the job – however, getting injured isn’t. According to figures shared by the Health and Safety Executive, fatalities among construction workers increased from 27% to 38% last year. All tools used by workers should be covered by workplace regulations, this includes but is not limited to hammers, drilling machines, saws, lifting equipment and dumper trucks.
The regulation is referred to as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation 1998 (PUWER), is there to protect employers and employees, ensuring all tools and equipment meet the requirements of being suitable, maintained and well inspected before being used. There also needs to be a suitable level of safeguarding for those using tools such as appropriate workwear and training.
So, how can you ensure you meet these regulations and keep your employees or yourself safe? Carry on reading for an in-depth guide on all you need to know.
Jobs and projects that may require tool rental
The construction sector consists of all kinds of manual work, from labouring and building to domestic roles such as plumbers, electricians, decorators and general repairmen. Many, if not all of these jobs will require tool hire at some point – after all, clients are hiring these professionals to complete the job that they don’t have the experience or equipment to complete themselves.
Here we explain the type of jobs that may require tool hire.
Labourers are employed to complete most of the manual work of construction whether that be on domestic or commercial sites, roads or in demolition. This includes tasks such as laying foundations, building walls and fitting windows – they also assist more specialists tradesmen with their work. The type of work they’re usually assigned to, therefore, requires them to often operate heavy machinery, making their job a potentially hazardous role. Builders also operate a range of machinery but are more likely to be found using more standard tools such as drills, cement mixers, saws and specialist ladders.
Whether they’re totally renovating a garden or simply doing some garden maintenance, outdoor tools are needed. If new constructions are being built in the garden, such as a decking area or a garden snug, digging of the garden’s surface may be required in order to create level ground or simply get below the normal surface area. In this case, diggers may need to be used, and for regular maintenance or smaller projects, lawnmowers, saws, and trimmers could be top of the list.
Sawing and cutting, unblocking and pumping, carpenters and plumbers both benefit from equipment hire. Whether you require bespoke shelves to be installed, fitted furniture, staircases or doors, handheld saws as well as electric saws are needed to cut accurately, as well as sanding equipment. Plumbers on the other hand, often use powerful unblocking equipment to flush out drains and remove lodged items from pipes.
‘Safey first’ is a motto regularly enforced in types of work, but in construction, this is something that should not be taken lightly. Wherever work is taken place, stringent health and safety regulations is paramount, keeping your employees safe and maintaining a good reputation for your business. Below we explain some important ways that you can ensure power tools are used safely.
When using new equipment, all employees should always be trained in how to operate it properly. Have an experienced employee or specialist train all new employees on how the equipment works, so they are confident when using it. Training should not be a one-time thing, to ensure that everyone is up to date and hasn’t forgotten anything learnt in previous sessions, have regular training sessions – this allows people to ask questions and reinforces the importance of handling equipment safely.
Before conducting work or starting a new project, it’s important that a risk assessment is conducted to ensure all potential dangers are spotted and dealt with. Is the flooring level? Is the area clear from obstructions? How could people be harmed? What can make the process safer? All of these questions should be thought about when assessing an area, helping you to minimise risks, make your employees feel confident about conducting work and potentially save you money on lawsuits if anything were to go wrong that should have been prevented.
As well as full risk assessments, you should make it best practice for all potential hazards to be reported as soon as they arise. Perhaps a change of circumstances means that there aren’t enough employees to safely carry out a job, or maybe someone has left construction materials in a dangerous place? Whatever it is, encourage your staff to keep an eye out for dangerous situations and never complete work if they’re uncertain..
You should always supply your employees, or yourself for that matter, with safety equipment to be worn while operating any type of tool. Here we explain the most important types of safety wear that will reduce the chances of getting hurt.
Hard hats – working in construction is a hazardous setting and sometimes unpredictable, with workers often working at different heights, it’s imperative that everyone protects their heads with a hard hat. Collapsing structures, dropped tools and falling objects can cause serious injuries, but wearing a hard hat will reduce the impact if anything were to come in contact with your skull. Their bright colour also make you visible from a distance, so if anyone is using movable equipment they can easily spot you before an accident happens
Reflective wear – it’s not uncommon for construction workers to complete work at night, especially on the road, so reflective clothing is needed to ensure they are visible. This means that when operating hire tools, workers can see exactly who’s around as well as be noticeable to other road users and pedestrians.
Gloves – the majority of all tools are powered by hand, putting them at risk of cuts, scrapes, and breaks. Protective gloves will help you grip the tools you’re using and stop your hands from becoming sore.
Boots – heavy equipment can be difficult to manage, so you don’t want to end up dropping anything on your feet whilst wearing inappropriate shoes. Steel-capped boots are designed to protect your toes from impact, so whether you drop a drill or spanner, your feet will be kept safe at all times.
Ear protection – whether you’re drilling or using other loud tools yourself, or perhaps it’s your fellow workers, nevertheless being exposed to loud noises can damage your ears if they aren’t protected. Industrial headphones will muffle the sound, and stop it from penetrating the fragile areas of your eardrum.
With over 20 years of experience in the business, basically tool hire is a tool rental service offering everything you need for your construction site or project. From large machinery to standard equipment hire such as saws, drills and cement mixers, we have it all and our broad network allows us to deliver everything you need to all areas across East Scotland and Edinburgh. With some of the most reliable brands available, ensure your work is completed to a high standard by hiring from us today. Get in touch for more information.