Mechanics often find themselves operating power tools in what would be considered one of
the most dangerous conditions possible. So, at the top of our list, should be keeping an
extra careful eye out for the surroundings and the dangers involved.
Almost every danger presented on the list below, confronts even the simplest
installation in a boat. Maybe someday, boat builders will supply a blue print with each
boat so that we would know where everything is hidden, but until then, always map the work
area out yourself to verify routing and potential obstructions. And even though it may be
a pain in the neck, Buy a good pair of safety goggles and wear them.
ALWAYS READ AND SAVE ALL TOOL INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUTURE USE, Before use, be
sure everyone using the tool reads and understands these manuals as well as any labels
packaged with or attached to the tool .
1. KNOW YOUR POWER TOOL. Read the manual carefully to learn your tools
applications and limitations as well as potential hazards associated with the type of
2. GROUND YOUR POWER TOOL: even if your tool is Double Insulated. Extension cords are
always a concern in a boat yard. Unfortunately, many boat yards and marinas don't have
adequate electrical outlets. (See Extension Cords and Grounding .)
3. AVOID DANGEROUS ENVIRONMENTS: (Here's a tough one)
Do not use your power tool in rain, damp or wet locations, or in the presence of explosive
atmospheres, gaseous fumes, dust, or flammable materials. Remove materials or debris that
may be ignited by sparks . (Even when cutting fiberglass panels in a confined area, try to
utilize a shop vac to collect the dust.) Use the boats built in blower system, check for
fuel leaks, batteries being charged, and painting and cleaning solvents stored in the boat
before you start.
4. KEEP WORK AREA CLEAN AND WELL LIT: Cluttered, dark work areas invite accidents. The
bilge of a boat typically offers limited access and lighting, so always bring plenty of
5. DRESS PROPERLY. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry. Wear a protective hair
covering to contain long hair. These may be caught in moving parts. When working outdoors,
wear rubber gloves and insulated non-skid footwear. Keep hands and gloves away from moving
6. USE SAFETY EQUIPMENT. Everyone in the work area should wear safety goggles or
glasses with side shields complying with current safety standards. Wear hearing protection
during extended use and a dust mask for dusty operations. Hard hats, face shields, safety
shoes. etc should be used when specified or necessary. ALWAYS, Keep a fire extinguisher
nearby, and when working on a customer's boat, verify it's location before starting work.
7. KEEP BYSTANDERS AWAY. Children and bystanders should be kept at a safe distance from
the work area to avoid distracting the operator and contacting the tool or extension cord.
8. PROTECT OTHERS IN THE WORK AREA from debris such as chips and sparks. Provide
barriers or shields as needed.
9. SECURE WORK: Use a clamp, vise, or other practical means to hold your work securely,
freeing both hands to control the tool.
10. USE THE RIGHT TOOL. Do not use a tool or attachment to do a job for which it is not
recommended. For example, do not use a circular saw to cut tree limbs or logs. Do not
alter a tool.
11. USE PROPER ACCESSORIES: Using un-recommended accessories may be hazardous. Be sure
accessories are properly installed and maintained. Do not defeat a guard or other safety
device when installing an accessory or attachment.
12. CHECK FOR DAMAGED PARTS: Inspect guards and other parts before use. Check for
misalignment, binding of moving parts, improper mounting, broken parts, and any other
conditions that may affect operation. If abnormal noise or vibration occurs, turn the tool
off immediately and have the problem corrected before further use. Do not use a damaged
tool. Tag damaged tools 'DO NOT USE' until repaired. A guard or other damaged part should
be properly repaired or replaced by a tool service facility. For all repairs, insist on
only identical replacement parts.
13. REMOVE ALL ADJUSTING KEYS AND WRENCHES: Make a habit of checking that adjusting
keys, wrenches, etc. are removed from the tool before turning it on.
14. GUARD AGAINST ELECTRIC SHOCK: Prevent body contact with grounded surfaces such as
pipes, radiators, ranges, and refrigerators. When making blind or plunge cuts, always
check the work area for hidden wires or pipes. Hold your tool by insulated non-metal
grasping surfaces. Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) to reduce shock hazards.
15. AVOID ACCIDENTAL STARTING: Be sure your tool is turned off before plugging it in.
Do not use a tool if the power switch does not turn the tool on and off. Do not carry a
plugged-in tool with your finger on the switch.
16. DO NOT FORCE TOOL: Your tool will perform best at the rate for which it was
designed. Excessive force only causes operator fatigue, increased wear and reduced
control. Hole saw usage is especially troublesome. But it is a good idea to keep the drill
17. KEEP HANDS AWAY FROM ALL CUTTING EDGES AND MOVING PARTS.
18. DO NOT ABUSE CORD. Never carry your tool by it's cord or unplug it by yanking the
cord from the outlet. Pull plug rather than cord to reduce the risk of damage. Keep the
cord away from heat, oil, sharp objects, cutting edges, and moving parts.
19. DO NOT OVERREACH, MAINTAIN CONTROL: Keep proper footing and balance at all times.
Maintain a firm grip. Use extra care when using tool on ladders, roofs, scaffolds, etc.
(Yes marine mechanics do use ladders once and a while.)
20. STAY ALERT. Watch what you are doing and use common sense. Do not use a tool when
you are tired, distracted, or under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any medication
causing decreased control.
21. UNPLUG TOOL when if is not in use, before changing accessories or performing
22. MAINTAIN TOOLS CAREFULLY: Keep handles dry, clean, and free from oil and grease.
Keep cutting edges sharp and clean. Follow instructions for lubricating and changing
accessories. Periodically inspect tool cords and extension cords for damage. Have damaged
parts repaired or replaced by a service facility.
23 STORE IDLE TOOLS: When not in use, store your tool in a dry secured place. Keep out
of reach of children.
24 MAINTAIN LABELS and NAME PLATES: These carry important information, if unreadable or
missing, contact a service facility for a free replacement. Most tool manufacturers will
gladly supply one.
Milwaukee Tools publishes a guide line for maximum bit size
for each model power drill they manufacture. This page shows a small sample.