Slide Show: The 10 Most Dangerous Power Tools

2022-04-19 07:04:51 By : Ms. Julie zhu

The Forbes ranking of dangerous power tools is based on three factors. The first one is accident statistics: The number of injuries and/or deaths blamed on the tool in government surveys published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The second factor in our evaluations is the rarity of the tool. Lawnmowers account for a lot of accidents but then this is to be expected if almost every homeowner with a back yard has one. Table saws, on the other hand, do a lot of damage even though they are far less common. So we consider them more dangerous.

The third element is whether the tool commonly finds its way into the hands of rank amateurs. That's why we don't have jackhammers or industrial hoists here.

They make short work of framing, but power nailers also send 37,000 people a year to emergency rooms according to a CDC study covering 2001-2005, with 40% of injuries suffered by consumers. Thanks to their growing popularity, the number would be much higher if the survey were done today.

One terrible example: In 2006, a worker installing paneling set his nail gun to fire on contact according to a story in the Modesto, Calif. Bee and the gun touched his body. He ended up with a nail in his chest and died after calling his wife to tell her he was hurt.

Chain saws account for 36,000 ER cases a year, including a Bow, N.H. police officer who was trimming branches at his home in November when his chain saw bounced back into his chest. He called 911 but was dead by the time help arrived.

A Florida man was among the 29,000 a year who end up at the ER thanks to this popular tool. He was using a table saw when a board snagged in the blade and kicked back like a rocket. It tore the middle finger off his left hand. His suit against Home Depot was unsuccessful.

Come winter, these tools put 5,700 patients a year into the ER, with 600 finger amputations, and 19 deaths since 1992. One victim, according to the Denver Post: Former Colorado Avalanche player Joe Sakic, who suffered three broken fingers in a December 2008 accident.

ERs see 10,600 patients a year thanks to these common tools. Unfortunately one California carpenter didn't make it that far. He was cutting a purlin for a remodeling project while standing on a ladder and supporting himself on a piece of ceiling drywall. He had the saw's safety guard pinned back. The drywall gave way and the saw slashed his jugular. He died a few minutes later.

An average 37,000 people a year end up in the hospital (with 95 deaths) thanks to these ubiquitous suburban vehicles. In October, a Grand Junction, Colo. landscape worker drove a mower too close to a tree and ended up with his neck pinned against a branch, according to a story in the city's Daily Sentinel. Neighbors freed him with a chain saw. He arrived at the hospital in a coma but survived.

Compared to chain saws and snowblowers, drills seem downright friendly, yet they put 5,800 people a year in the ER. In one particularly horrible incident, a 25-year-old man fell from a ladder while using a drill to install lights for a New Year's Day celebration. The spinning bit entered through his jaw and skull bones and tore up an artery. He died after inhaling blood.

These hydraulic monsters are now available to any handyman with the money to rent one, but be wary. Even the pros aren't immune from disaster. Backhoes kill an average 38 construction workers a year. In 2004, two workers were working on a house foundation when one got off a backhoe to look at the bucket. When he got back on he accidently hit the boom control, causing the backhoe to swing into the other worker, pinning him against the house wall and killing him.

You'd think the tool at the other end of the hose posed the only danger, but compressors cause 2,400 injuries a year. In October, an Austrian worker was trying to clean out a concrete pumping tube with compressed air when a clamp slipped off and a fitting flew through the air, hitting him in the head. He died two weeks later.

Only 3 per year on average die using these tools. But their size and power mean it doesn't take much for the worst to happen. In November, a 14-year-old high school freshman in Poquoson, Va. was using a shovel to push debris into a wood chipper when he was drawn into the machine and killed, according to the Newport News Daily Press.