5 Safety Tips for Correctly Using a Jackhammer

5 Safety Tips for Correctly Using a Jackhammer

Does your next construction job require extensive pieces of concrete and pavement to be broken up? To get the job done correctly and efficiently, the best option will be to use a jackhammer.

In general, jackhammers are used to break up pavement, rock and any other form of concrete that needs to be removed. A huge plus point is that you don’t have to purchase a unit for just a single job. Fortunately, jack hammer hire has become very easy and makes breaking rock and concrete easier than ever!

Safety Tips to Enforce When Using a Jackhammer

Essentially, a jackhammer works by driving an internal hammer up and down. Firstly, the hammer is forced down to strike the ground and then bounces back to the original position to repeat the cycle. How effective the jackhammer is depends greatly on how much force the operator applies to it.

If you’ve ever seen a jackhammer in use, it might look relatively easy. There are however several safety tips that you should be aware of to avoid serious injury.

Tip 1: Necessary Training

Many tools you’ll use on your work site, or yard renovation, can be operated with very little instruction. Since jackhammers typically operate using powerful pneumatic or hydraulic power, some form of training is needed to ensure safe operation.

Before allowing anyone to use this tool, consult the rental contractor to provide you with an instruction manual or a short instructional course. It’s important to learn the correct way of operating this tool.

A good idea would be to train a specific person in your team to use this tool. This person can then be responsible for the gear and procedures that go along with it.

Tip 2: Obtain and Use the Right Safety Gear

Accidents can happen in a split second and even a seasoned jackhammer user needs to use the correct safety gear. Lack of necessary safety gear can result in serious injury. The safety gear needed include the following:

  • Protect your eyes: Always wear eye and face protection to avoid injury from debris and dust that may fly up from the broken concrete.
  • Protect your ears: Jackhammers can produce an average of 110dB of noise. Since anything louder than 85dB is considered “too loud” it’s important to ensure the operator wears ear protection to avoid ear damage.
  • Avoid electrocution: Ensure cables and cords are slung over the operator’s shoulder rather than allowing them to lie on the ground where they could accidentally be struck. Doing this will avoid potential electrocution. It will also tidy up the worksite to avoid tripping.
  • Reduce body stress: Excessive use of jackhammers can lead to musculoskeletal illness and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Advise the operator to use their legs to carry the weight of larger jackhammers to prevent back injuries. Reduce strain and fatigue by alternating with other team members. It’s a good idea to train at least two employees on the jackhammer operations.
  • Take regular breaks: The operator should take regular breaks or rotate workers, as extended use can result in over-exertion.

Tip 3: Inspect the Equipment

The rental contractor will no doubt inspect the tool before releasing it to you. You should however do your own inspection as well. Check for faults, damages and loose components. Ensure the air pipes aren’t broken or cracked.

Performing a thorough inspection will protect the user from possible injury. It will also save money on repairs that result from damaged components. If you aren’t sure what to look for, ensure the rented tool is inspected in your presence before you sign for it.

Tip 4: Use the Correct Tips and Bits

It’s important to be very specific when discussing your plans for the jackhammer when you’re arranging the rental. Since jackhammers function with a host of different bits and tips, it’s crucial to get the right bit needed for the specific material that needs to be broken up.

The tool should never be used with a broken or cracked bit or tip, as this will result in damage and potential injury. Always turn the air supply off and relieve the pressure in the nozzle before attempting to change the bit.

Tip 5: Position Yourself Correctly

Part of using a jackhammer tool effectively and safely is the way the user holds it. The body of the tool must be leaned backwards at an angle toward the user, directing the bit away. Doing this won’t only prevent jamming but will allow the operator to maintain greater control over the tool while it’s in use.

Final Thoughts

Using a jackhammer is without exception the most efficient way to break up concrete and pavement. If not handled correctly, these powerful tools can be very dangerous and could result in serious injury.

Following these precautions will ensure the job gets done timeously, efficient and without injury!

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