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The Dangers of Working With Defective Power Tools

The Dangers of Working With Defective Power Tools

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Although using power tools entails a significant amount of risk, when people choose and use this equipment correctly, they expect to remain safe. Sadly, defective power tools are responsible for many serious accidents each year. With their high levels of pressure, precision and strength, these tools are made to do things that people are unable to do without them, including bore through metal and wood, cut through concrete and force nails through solid surfaces.
Whether used in construction and industrial environments, or at home for improvement projects and personal hobbies, when power tools break or malfunction, the resulting injuries can be devastating. Read on to learn more about the dangers of working with defective power tools.

Design Defects That Lead to Disaster

During the initial development of power tools, product designers must account for the high levels of stress that these units will be subjected to. Excess friction and heat can cause tool components to snap, melt or malfunction. There are a lot of variables that product designers must consider including slight variations in the materials that are being cut, sawn, punctured, heated, or otherwise manipulated.
Although companies put their products under comprehensive tests to determine how they will react to different conditions and demands, not all factors are accounted for. Moreover, unless consumers are specifically warned against using these products in potentially dangerous applications, they won’t be prepared for the related malfunctions.
Design defects in power tools can include:

  • Motors that overheat in high-stress applications
  • Auto or emergency shut-off buttons that don’t engage
  • Safety guards that do not provide adequate protection
  • Cutting, boring or sawing components that snap, retract or protract
  • Nail guns that misfire or fail to hit their target

Even when wearing the appropriate safety gear, defects can result in severe burns, lacerations, loss of extremities, loss of limbs, head injuries and more.

Defects That Are Introduced During the Manufacturing Process

Despite diligent efforts to design safe and high-performing power tools, there is also the risk of having defects and other flaws introduced during the manufacturing process. These can be the result of:

  • Contaminated materials
  • Low-quality or degraded materials
  • Poor training or negligence at the assembly line
  • Weak or low-quality components that don’t stand up to manufacturing and shipping-related stress

When manufacturing defects occur, companies have the opportunity to catch and correct them before sending their products out. This is accomplished through quality assurance testing. If defective products make it to store shelves, this indicates insufficient or inadequate efforts in overall quality control.
With poor quality control, many units from a specific manufacturer or model design may function perfectly while others malfunction in ways that lead to serious physical harm. Thus, even if you sustain injury with a high-quality and well-rated product, it is still important to contact a lawyer.

Insufficient or Inadequate Features for Mitigating Accidents

All high-powered equipment should have emergency shut-off switches or auto-stop features. Built-in safety systems can detect when these units are overheating or otherwise malfunctioning.
However, when these systems don’t exist or when they’re poorly designed, product users do not have a reasonable opportunity to stop injury accidents or minimize the level of physical harm that these events cause.

Electrocution Injuries

Deep cuts and lacerations are among some of the most common injuries sustained from defective power tools, as are loss of toes and fingers and loss of limbs. When they malfunction, power tools can cause blinding injuries, crushing injuries, concussions and severe brain injury among other things.
However, what may be surprising for those who routinely use power tools is that electrocution injuries are also quite common. Frayed cords and wires, poor interior design and other defects among electrical components can result in neurological damage, cardiac arrest and severe electrical burns.
Many consumers believe that the greatest dangers in using power tools can be avoided by wearing the proper safety gear, and by using these tools according to manufacturer instructions. Unfortunately, when these products are poorly designed, poorly manufactured or made using substandard materials, unexpected malfunctions can lead to serious and debilitating injuries. In fact, when these products malfunction, not only can they cause damages to those who are using them, but they can also cause serious harm to bystanders. If you’ve been hurt by defective power tools, you should contact your lawyer to determine next steps.


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