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Choosing Power Tools to Reduce the Risk of Injury

Many of us recently went through the exercise of putting up hurricane shutters when Hurricane Matthew stormed in towards south Florida.

Those lucky enough to have accordion shutters simply…well…shut them. To those of us who have panel shutters – or no shutters at all, instead relying on the old-school plywood method – the simplicity and lack of physical exertion when deploying accordions sounded pretty darn good. One thing that makes the installation of panel shutters a little easier is power tools. Cordless drills were the tool of choice, and many neighborhoods rang with the buzz of these handy and ubiquitous power helpers!

It might surprise you to know that tools are not one-size- fits-all, and choosing the right tool for you makes a big difference when it comes to ease of use and injury prevention. Some common problems related to hand tool use include carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonopathies, and Raynaud’s Syndrome (reduced blood flow, primarily in the fingers and toes).

Symptoms include:

  • Tingling in your arm, hand or finger
  • Numbness
  • Discoloration of extremities
  • Pain
  • Discomfort

We tend to think of these types of issues as being related to long-term overuse. However, in a situation such as mounting hurricane panels where you’re under pressure to do a lot of work in a short amount of time, it can be equally problematic if the tools you’re using aren’t right for the job or are not ergonomically correct. Things to consider when choosing power tools include:

  • Weight
  • Balance
  • Handle shape and grip
  • Trigger position
  • Power
  • Vibration exposure

Because these things vary from person to person depending generally on physical size and strength, it may be worth it to invest in more than one of the same type of power tool. In the case of hurricane shutters, many hands make light work – and for a family home some of the hands will probably be smaller than others!

Dealing with leftover pain from the hurricane “weekend warrior” prep fest? We can help! Call for your complimentary consultation (561-278- 6055) – and choose your power tools wisely.

Next time you’ll be all set to rock the shutter installation safely and securely.

The Miller PT Team

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