Poorly designed tools lead to on-site injuries


A new survey by Bahco, the hand tool manufacturer, has revealed the majority of electricians blame poor tools for on-site injuries.

Bahco found 90% of electricians blamed inappropriate, poorly designed or uncomfortable tools as the main cause of on-site injuries. Yet the overarching factors electricians consider when purchasing hand tools are not the quality of the tool, but the ease of use and the brand. 50% stated these are what they look for prior to purchase. This differs greatly from other professional trades; for plumbers, the main focus is on cost (57%), but joiners base their purchasing decision on the tool brand (57%).

The survey suggests only 10% of electricians prioritise ergonomic features when purchasing hand tools, yet surprisingly nearly all (90%) electricians use tools that have been ergonomically designed. In fact, 70% of electricians are willing to pay more for ergonomic design, which shows how highly they really value the benefits.

The majority (90%) of electricians surveyed said comfort, speed and efficiency of working are the core benefits of using ergonomically designed tools.

The survey also revealed, compared to builders, fewer electricians felt their distributors provided advice on ergonomic tools. Only 20% of electricians stated their distributors advised them compared to 44% of builders. This highlights the need for more product information and advice to be provided by electrical distributors when selling hand tools.

Kevin Parkes, customer care centre manager at Bacho, said: "These results show good quality tools ensure high quality of work. Each time a electrician grips a tool 42 muscles are being put to work. By subjecting themselves to the strain this causes daily electricians risk overexertion, pain
or numbness in parts of their hands. That's why ergonomically designed tools are essential part of any electrician's toolkit."