Jackhammers are an enormously beneficial piece of equipment to various industries. Their primary purpose of breaking rock, concrete and asphalt is one that would take a whole lot more time and effort without them.
Given their size and power, jackhammers can also cause serious accidents at work and severe workplace injuries if not used properly.
There are a few key elements to staying safe whilst using a jackhammer…
Clothing: Employees tasked with using a jackhammer must have appropriate Protective Personal Equipment (PPE). This may include goggles and face masks for eye protection, steel-toe capped boots, ear muffs for hearing protection, long sleeved tops and trousers, and safety gloves.
Training: Anybody using a jackhammer needs to have been trained in how to do so to prevent causing themselves or anyone else an injury at work. Accidents on construction sites can have extremely serious consequences for anyone involved.
Placement: The compressor for the tool ought to be placed as far away from the area of work as possible in order to reduce the levels of noise and limit the threat of industrial deafness, especially if the jackhammer is going to be used for long periods of time.
Inspection and maintenance: Workplace accidents and injuries can be avoided providing the tools are properly looked after. All components of the jackhammer need to be regularly examined to ensure they are complete and free from damage. Air hoses should be checked for cracks and it should be ensured their rating is sufficient for the task at hand. Electrical cords should also be checked for frays and wear and tear. This should be done before each use of the jackhammer.
Personal safety: Actions such as keeping the electrical cord slung over your shoulder can help prevent electrical accidents at work. Wherever possible, use a lighter jackhammer as they are easier to control.
Check the settings: Make sure you check that you have the rock point attached for breaking rocks, the spade point for asphalt and the chisel point for concrete.
Barriers: The work area should be barricaded as much as possible to prevent other people causing a jackhammer accident.
If you suffer an accident at work, be it because of defective work machinery or another reason, then Accident Advice Helpline can establish the strength and validity of any work accident claim. Call them free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
They can take your case from initial consultation to an accident at work compensation payout.
Date Published: January 15, 2014
Author: David Brown