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InstituteSafety & HealthHand and Other Portable Powered ToolsPortable GrindersIn Depth Sub Topics (Level 4)General Industry SafetyTool SafetyTool SafetyEnglishAnalysisFocus AreaUSA
Operating controls and switches
- Several types of hand-held power tools need to have a constant-pressure switch or one that shuts off power when pressure is released, including drills, grinders, saws, and others.
The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with a constant-pressure switch or control that shuts off the power when pressure is released:
- Fastener drivers;
- Horizontal, vertical, and angle grinders with wheels more than two inches in diameter;
- Disc sanders with discs greater than two inches;
- Belt sanders;
- Reciprocating saws;
- Saber saws,
- Scroll saws, and jigsaws with blade shanks greater than one-quarter inch (0.63 centimeters) wide; and
- Other similar tools.
These tools also may be equipped with a “lock-on” control, if it allows the worker to also shut off the control in a single motion using the same finger or fingers. The following hand-held power tools must be equipped with either a positive “on-off” control switch, a constant pressure switch, or a “lock-on” control:
- Disc sanders with discs two inches or less in diameter;
- Grinders with wheels two inches or less in diameter;
- Platen sanders, routers, planers, laminate trimmers, nibblers, shears, and scroll saws; and jigsaws, saber and scroll saws with blade shanks a nominal one-quarter inch or less in diameter.
The constant-pressure control switch should be regarded as the preferred device. Other hand-held power tools such as circular saws having a blade diameter greater than two inches (5.08 centimeters), chain saws, and percussion tools with no means of holding accessories securely must be equipped with a constant-pressure switch.
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