Saturday, September 30, 2023

Rotary Hammer Safety

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The rotary hammer is a very useful tool with a very wide field of work. This instrument is used by hundreds of people in countless activities, for which this tool was designed. When buying or choosing the appropriate model it is important to consider certain variables, such as those that we have exposed in this technical article.

Due to the nature of its design and its use, a series of safety instructions must be taken into account when using and maintaining a rotary hammer in good condition.

How to use the rotary hammer

When using this tool, certain rules must be followed, for the protection of the operator and the instrument itself:

  • The rotary hammer must only be used for the purpose for which it has been designed, and must always be used by personnel authorized and trained for its use.
  • Pay particular attention to all warning and information labels on the tool.
  • You should familiarize yourself with the use of the tool before using it for the first time.
  • You must know the abilities and limitations of the tool and the purpose of the safety devices of the tool.
  • You should not force the mechanism to perform work that does not correspond to it.
  • The rotary hammer should not be used if any abnormality is detected during the daily inspection or during use.
  • Maintain proper balance on your feet at all times. Do not reach for something on the machine or cross when it is running.
  • Hold the power tool by the insulated supporting surface when performing an operation in which the cutting accessory may come into contact with internal wiring or its own cable.
  • Keep the ventilation slots uncovered.
  • To make changes to the operating mode, direction of rotation, or drilling / hammering device, you must wait for the tool to come to a complete stop.

Safety elements necessary when using the rotary hammer

In addition to the instructions for the correct use of the tool, certain elements must be implemented to complement the safe execution of the work.

  • Wear the appropriate clothing. Do not wear loose clothing, neckties, or jewelry that can get caught in moving parts. Do not wear slippery footwear. Use some hair protector to retain long hair.
  • Wear gloves to avoid contact with sharp objects and to reduce the transmission of vibrations.
  • Wear eye protection. Always use appropriate safety accessories, such as goggles, face shields, and dust masks, when working with materials that emit metal parts, chips, or chemical powders.
  • Use a clamping device or vice to hold the workpiece steady.
  • Use ear protectors when performing services that make noises greater than 85 dB.
  • Use auxiliary handle (s), if provided with the kit.

Precautions in the environment of use of the rotary hammer

Check other jobs that are being carried out in nearby areas, which may generate risks such as obstacles, dirt, poor visibility, etc.

  • Check that access to the workplace is comfortable and safe.
  • Never work standing on walls, columns, formwork panels, ledges, or any unstable structure, etc.
  • Verify the existence of adequate protections when working at height must be carried out.
  • Verify that there is no risk of objects falling from a height caused by working with the rotary hammer, or by carrying out other work at higher levels.
  • It is recommended to use localized air extraction systems when working in closed places.
  • If lighting is insufficient, work must be stopped until adequate visibility is ensured in the workplace.
  • In the case of outdoor work, the activity must be suspended if the weather conditions are adverse, such as fog, rain, among others.
  • The tool must not be used in potentially explosive atmospheres.
  • Make sure you know the type and content of the material on which the rotary hammer is to be used. You must know precisely the existence and location of underground conduits such as water pipes, gas pipes, sewage networks and electrical cables. (this topic was discussed in reference to detectors)

Preventive maintenance of a rotary hammer

Proper and preventive maintenance of the tool is necessary for its proper functioning.

Before starting any activity related to the installation, adjustment, repair or maintenance of the instrument, you must disconnect the cable from the electrical outlet.

  • When installing an accessory such as drill bits or chisels, they should be lightly cleaned and lubricated prior to insertion into the tool.
  • You should always keep the tool and cord clean, especially the ventilation slots.
  • Never use caustic agents to clean the plastic parts of the rotary hammer.
  • After operation, use compressed air to clean the rotary hammer and remove dust deposits, especially to allow the ventilation slots to be permeable.
  • It is necessary to check the technical condition of the carbon brushes of the electric motor. Dirty or worn brushes can cause excessive sparking and loss of speed of the rotary hammer shaft.
  • The carbons should be checked periodically, and always be replaced by an Authorized Service Center when they have worn out. After they have been replaced, have the new carbons inspected for free movement in the carbon holder and request that they turn the tool on and keep it on for 5 minutes to match the contact of the carbons and the commutator. Be sure to use genuine carbons, as out of spec carbons can damage the engine. When changing the coals, the two coals should always be changed.

If the tool should fail even though it has been cleaned and maintained with extreme care, it must be sent to an Authorized Service Center, thus extending the useful life of the product.

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