Jack Hammer Rental Safety
We have talked a little about safety in our original posting of the jackhammer rental blog. Here we will go into the matter of safety in more detail, describing different situations which may occur during use of a jackhammer. Safety is not just for beginners. Although those who’ve never used a jackhammer, need to investigate the various circumstances they may encounter and apply safety gear accordingly. Accidents do not only happen to those who have never used this tool before, but also to those have become too comfortable in its use. By this I mean, when an individual has used a jackhammer over and over many times they become relaxed with the dangerous nature of the tool. Once this level has been reached one becomes nonchalant, and may not pay full attention to the safety level use this tool demands.
Many individuals think they’re being tough when not applying the proper use of safety equipment while operating a jackhammer. An example would be, an individual who doesn’t feel they need to wear safety glasses. All it takes is for one slither of rock, asphalt, or concrete to bounce or ricochet into their eye to realize they’ve made a mistake.
Safety glasses are a must, safety goggles are an even better choice, as broken pieces can come around the front of the safety glasses and hit the eye from the side. Safety shields may be a better choice when working closer to material, that way your whole face is protected. Another way to protect more of your face is to wear safety goggles, along with an industrial dust mask. The kind with two straps that have the metal strip that you pinch over your nose. This way your eyes and most of your face is protected. Also your respiratory system is protected from any airborne dust and contaminants that may be in the material you’re breaking.
Many jackhammers are over 100 dB, this sustained noise level can damage one’s ears. It would be wise to wear earmuffs similar to what one would use at a gun firing range. These hearing muffs usually decrease the sound by 19 to 30 dB, depending on the quality of protection. Additional sound levels may be lessened by utilizing ear plugs, which range from 12 to 19 dB, again depending on their quality. Some more expensive ear plugs and earmuffs will offer greater protection. Another advantage to using earmuffs is that they protect ones ears from flying pieces of cut material. The sound level of the tool can be decreased from 31 to over 50 dB or more by using both ear plugs and muffs. This is good for your ears but bad if someone’s trying to get your attention by yelling. In this case, your helper will have to get your attention by visual means or by cutting the power supply to the device.
Properly fitted hardhats will protect the majority of your head from flying pieces, as well as stop your hair from becoming a dust mop. In the event where the use of a hard hat may be overkill, a dew rag will protect your head and forehead from flying chips, and your hair as well.
Repeated vibration to one’s hands is a problem, especially if you are going to spend hours using the jackhammer. There are gloves made with extra padding in them to help with excess vibration. One also can tape bubble wrap around the handle(s) of the jackhammer to less the vibration even more.
Proper clothing is a must to avoid cuts and bruises from material being chipped by the jackhammer. Jeans or at least long pants will help protect your legs, and long sleeves will protect your forearms. However, if it is hot out, short sleeve shirts can be worn; if you don’t mind the occasional flick of cut off material hitting your arms. Shorts can be worn but be aware. Due to the closeness of the jackhammer and the material being cut, one will experience continuous hits from pieces being cut and lots of dust (unless you’re using a spade bit and cutting through clay). Steel toed work shoes or boots are advisable. Especially if one accidentally gets too close to their feet with the tool.
Another good idea is to take breaks. The constant vibration of a jackhammer may cause loss of blood to the fingers and hands. Frequent breaks will stop your hands from getting numb, which also will lessen accidental slips and or placement of the tool for cutting.
If using an electric and/or pneumatic jackhammer there will be cords and or hoses involved. These can become tripping hazards, so be aware of their locations at all times. If the material to be broken is particularly dusty, one may lose visibility quickly and may not see a hazard. In this case it’s good to have a helper to watch for problems.
Hopefully by using the proper safety equipment, common sense, and the suggested safety practices by the tool manufacturer or rental agent; ones jackhammers use will be a safe one.