Jackhammers are very useful in construction. They make the demolition process easy, especially when drilling into thick concrete, pavements, and other hard surfaces. Jackhammers, however, are also one of the most difficult tools to handle. The machine itself is really heavy and should only be operated by qualified personnel.
Pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric
Most jackhammers are pneumatic – they utilize high air pressure from an air compressor. Hydraulic jackhammers are powered by hydraulic energy and electric jackhammers run on electricity.
Jackhammers have replaceable tips and blades that differ in size depending on the type of job needed.
Safety tips when using a jackhammer
Here are a few safety tips on how to use a jackhammer without losing a limb or life.
- Secure the area where you plan to use a jackhammer to prevent children, animals, and unauthorized personnel from getting near the equipment.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes safety glasses, boots, earmuffs, gloves, and overalls. When shrapnel starts to fly, you want to make sure your entire body is protected.
- Consider wearing ear plugs as the loud noise from a jackhammer can cause permanent hearing damage. Gloves help reduce vibration fatigue, which is known to cause muscle and nerve damage after prolonged use. Work boots should have a steel-toe tip to protect your feet from falling debris.
- Always check the jackhammer before use. Make sure that safety features such as drill bit locking mechanism, trigger control, and automatic release are working. Examine the handles for torn or loose grips. Check the jackhammer for any visible damage. If something is wrong, even a small crack, do not use the jackhammer.
- Choose the right tip. Wide blades spread the load while pointed tips concentrate it. Use a rock tip for breaking rocks, a spade tip for asphalt, and a chisel tip for concrete.
- To start the jackhammer, push down firmly against the surface. Hold the jackhammer at a slight angle towards you to prevent the tip from getting stuck into the surface. This also gives you a better grip to keep the jackhammer from spinning out of control. When moving the jackhammer, lift from your legs and not your back to avoid injuries.
- Do not drill the jackhammer beyond the depth of the cutting tip.
- If the jackhammer gets stuck, try to move it back and forth and side to side. If that doesn’t do the trick, install another bit into the tip and work at an angle.
Ask Your Equipment Rental Company for Safety Tips
Do not use the jackhammer for long periods. Take frequent breaks to avoid extended exposure to vibration and noise. If your project is really big, schedule the use of a jackhammer over a few days. If you employ multiple workers, rotate them to prevent fatigue. Every time you leave the work site, unplug the jackhammer and shut off the air supply.
For other safety tips and recommendations, make sure to ask a trusted equipment rental company.
Written by Lindsey Rentals. Lindsey Rentals offers the best equipment rentals in Columbia, MO.