Electrical Contracting News (ECN) November 2016 - Page 37

TOOLS Ensuring you are equipped with tools designed specifically for the task at hand is the first step. Historically, side cutters were manufactured with a one size fits all approach, manufactured with an obtuse cutting angle to provide the strength needed for cutting through high tensile steel wire used in the construction industry. Until now, there has been a distinct lack of choice for side cutters that are specifically designed for the effortless cutting of wires that electricians deal with, day in, day out. Independent testing E POINT Cutting through wire is one of the most repeated tasks during a workday for an electrician, a basic task that requires the use of an incredible 42 hand muscles. Through an exhaustive testing program, CK tools redefined the cutting geometry of its side cutters to define the optimum blade angles for the effortless cutting of copper and aluminium cables. Independent, controlled testing has shown that this fusion of engineering expertise has a marked impact on the ease of cut and blade durability. To put this in context, the average pressure saving to make a cut is 74 Newton meters, with the average electrician making over 10,000 cuts per year – there is a resultant personal saving of over 75 tons of pressure. In addition to trigger finger, injuries as a result of contact with electricity or electrical discharge present a huge risk to electricians and their ability to work safely. With volts as low as 50 able to cause significant damage it’s no surprise to hear that there were two workplace fatal injuries in 2014/2015 as a result of contact with electricity, and that a further 230 workers were forced to take in excess of seven days off work as a result of electrical injuries. One simple preventative method is to ensure that your chosen tools are tested as safe to use up to a high voltage. FEATURE For many years, tools on the market have been branded ‘insulated’, only meaning that the tools are coated with a material that is not a conductor of electricity. However, only by choosing a tool marked VDE are electricians safe in the knowledge that each tool has been individually tested to 10,000V – a sizeable voltage in comparison to the mere 50V that can cause substantial injuries. VDE certified VDE tested tools are designed specifically to reduce the user’s risk of injury plus reduce the risk of damage to electrical circuitry. Electricians need to be aware of cheaper, non-VDE certified tools as they could cost them their lives. VDE tested tools are a vital element in the health and safety mix, something that should never be ignored or underestimated. Within the electrical industry, where efficiency, quality and safety are paramount, compromising on any of these elements could result in a nasty shock. Ensure your safety and invest in quality tools fit for purpose. Your hands are your most treasured possession, your bread and butter, and they need looking after. Superior quality is the key to a good tool and, in turn, healthy hands. Investing in quality tools, fit for purpose, ensures a quality job done, time saved, money earned and a fit bill of health. VDE tested tools are designed specifically to reduce the user’s risk of injury plus reduce the risk of damage to electrical circuitry. but over time trigger finger can easily develop and worst case scenario, could leave a tradesman incapacitated for weeks, impacting negatively on profits. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 27.4 million working days were lost due to work related ill health or workplace injuries in 2014/2015. For the self-employed time is indeed money. Time lost due to unnecessary injuries will make a significant dent in your wallet, so preventative action is extremely important. November 2016 | 37 36-37 Tools – CK.indd 37 11/10/2016 13:01