A jackhammer, also known as a pneumatic drill, demolition hammer, or concrete breaker is a powerful tool used for breaking concrete, asphalt, and other hard materials. While it can be a useful tool for construction and demolition work at home, it’s important to know how to use it safely to avoid injury or damage to property.
Having completed some work using a jackhammer in my own back garden recently, I thought I would share some information on jackhammer safety, reducing the risk of injury to yourself and others around you, and redcuing the risk of damage to property in your work area.
Below is a handy table of contents. Clicking on any of the article headers below will jump you straight to the place on this page you are interested in.
Table of Contents
⚠️ Safety is paramount when using any sort of DIY equipment around your home. ⚠️
Before using a jackhammer, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary safety equipment.
Safety equipment includes:
- hard hat,
- safety glasses or goggles,
- hearing protection,
- and work gloves.
Additionally, you should consider wearing steel-capped boots or shoes to protect your feet from dropped objects, heavy objects and sharp objects.
I cannot stress enough how important this safety equipment is, especially safety goggles or light eye protection.
I was using a jackhammer to break away some concrete edging in my back garden, and within the first two minutes, my light eye protection saved my eyes from having high velocity pieces of concrete debris striking them.
Once you have the necessary safety equipment, you should inspect the jackhammer to make sure it’s in good working condition, including the wiring and cables.
Check the jackhammer’s attachment to make sure it’s correctly inserted, and it’s not damaged or worn out.
Work Area Safety
Before beginning work, it’s important to secure the area to prevent anyone from entering the work zone.
Use caution tape or barricades to mark off the area (especially if you are in an area where other people could walk through, like your postman in your front garden for example), and make sure there are no people or vehicles in the immediate vicinity (you don’t want flying bits of debris hitting your car or anyone else’s car).
Similarly, if you have children around, ensure they are pre-occupied with something else – the last thing you want is them stood behind you, with the potential of pieces of debris hitting them.
How To Hold A Jackhammer Safely
When learning how to use a jackhammer for the first time, it’s important to know how to use it correctly.
Jackhammers, concrete breakers and demolition hammers can be heavy (depending on the make and model you have), so it’s extremely important to use it correctly to avoid strains and injuries.
⚠️ Using a jackhammer incorrectly will result in damage to not only you, but your jackhammer as well ⚠️
When you’re ready to begin work, hold the jackhammer with both hands and firmly grip the handles.
Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart to maintain your balance.
Position the bit against the surface you want to break and press the trigger to start the jackhammer.
It’s important to use the jackhammer in a methodical manner to avoid damaging the surface you’re working on.
Begin by making small holes in the surface, then move the bit in a circular motion to enlarge the holes. Once the surface is sufficiently weakened, you can use the jackhammer to break the surface into smaller pieces.
While using the jackhammer, it’s important to maintain good posture to avoid back strain. If you can (and it’s not always possible, especially with smaller jackhammers), keep your back straight and use your legs to lift the jackhammer, rather than relying on your back muscles.
As you work, keep an eye out for any signs of fatigue or discomfort.
If you start to feel tired, take a break to rest and stretch your muscles, making sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially in hot weather.
When you’re finished using the jackhammer, turn off the power at source (plug socket), avoiding leaving it unattended, especially if children are around.
⚠️ Spending a couple of minutes cleaning down your jackhammer after use will increase its lifespan ⚠️
Once you’ve finished using your jackhammer, do ensure you clean it thoroughly.
This includes removing any debris that may have stuck on any of the attachments you’ve used, and cleaning down handles or the body of the jackhammer.
You can do this by using a damp cloth, wiping the surfaces of anything that has become dirty, but remembering to dry anything off once you’ve wiped it down.
Once the jackhammer is sufficiently clean, ensure you store it in a safe, dry place, inside of the case it came with.
Good aftercare of your jackhammer will prolong its life and ensure it’s ready to go on your next job.
Jackhammer Do’s and Dont’s
While using a jackhammer can be a useful tool, it’s important to follow safety guidelines to avoid injury.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Never use a jackhammer above shoulder height. This can cause the jackhammer to lose balance and become difficult to control, and increasing the risk of injury to your back.
- Avoid using a jackhammer in wet conditions. Wet surfaces can be slippery, increasing the risk of falls.
- Always wear the appropriate safety equipment, including a hard hat, safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, work gloves, and steel-toed boots.
- If you’re working in a confined space, make sure there is adequate ventilation to prevent the buildup of dust and fumes, and always wear a dust mask or similar face covering to prevent you inhaling the dust.
- If you’re working on a surface that contains hazardous materials, such as lead or asbestos, take appropriate precautions to avoid exposure.
- Make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for the specific jackhammer you are using.
- If you’re using a jackhammer for the first time, consider taking a training course to learn the proper techniques and safety guidelines.
In conclusion, using a jackhammer can be a useful tool for home DIY projects, but it’s important to use it safely to avoid injury to yourself and anyone around you, or damage to nearby property or vehicles.
Following these guidelines will ensure that you are using your jackhammer safely and efficiently, whilst also successfully finishing your home DIY project on time and without incident.
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Questions & Comments
If you have a question or a comment on this article on jackhammer safety, please use the comments box below.
I’ll try my best to reply to each and every one of your questions, comments and suggestions.
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.