Some things are designed to go fast — race cars, rockets, saw blades and grinder wheels, for example. The people using them are assumed to be properly trained and capable of handling them safely. Other things, like setting up a lathe or punch, working from a ladder or making a precision cut, require patience, precision, and procedures to arrive at a quality result.
We all want to get things done quickly, but at what cost? Here are some examples of what can go awry when you take shortcuts.
Falls from ladders and chairs
If you haven’t done it before, you’ve probably thought about it. It’s easy to justify using an office chair or bar stool just to grab something on a high shelf or quickly change a light bulb. But that doesn’t change the risk.
Similarly, it might be tempting to reach beyond the side rails of a ladder to access something without having to reposition the ladder. But the few seconds you might save aren’t worth a high-stakes fall that could leave you injured.
Taking a few minutes to reposition a ladder or find a step stool before you start your project could save you from an unnecessary injury.
Power tool injuries
If you use power tools, you might have been tempted to run a tool hands-free with the trigger lock engaged. This is an injury waiting to happen. You could easily saw through your arm, leg, or finger if your power tool doesn’t respond when you try to release the trigger.
At work, there are safety regulations against running a power tool with the trigger lock engaged. When you’re operating machinery at home, you should take the same precautions.
It’s faster to yank a power cord from a wall than to remove it from the outlet carefully. But there’s good reason to take a few extra seconds to do it right. Yanking a power cord can create an unseen short or damage the plug or cord, setting you up for an electric shock the next time you try to use the machine.
Hand tool injuries
Have you ever tried to use a hand tool to do something it wasn’t designed for? Improper use of hand tools, like using a screwdriver to pull nails, is a common cause of home improvement injuries. The tool could easily penetrate your hand, resulting in a painful injury and significantly impacting your quality of life. It could take months for your tendons, nerves, ligaments and skin to heal — and that’s if you’re lucky.
All of these examples have happened in real life because people prioritized speed over safety. Taking a few extra minutes to do things right could save you from a lifelong injury.
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