A handheld drill uses a multiple-cutting-edged rotating tool to remove wood and produce a hole in the stock. Normally, drills have variable speeds and feeds.
The drill operator may or may not be a skilled worker. The common drill is often used by anyone in the shop and injuries can occur because of carelessness. The operator must position the stock, install the drill, operate the drill, and maintain housekeeping. The operator also must also change speeds and feeds when required.
One of the most common causes of accidents involving a drill is poor operator judgment. Often the operator will attempt to hand-hold the stock while drilling. When the drill enters the work, it can catch and twist the stock from the operator, which results in an uncontrolled rotating piece of wood. Other point-of-operation hazards include the rotating drill, which is rarely guarded, and hot chip generation.
The only reason this machine is less hazardous than others is because of its simple operation; nevertheless, familiarity with its operation is required.
Guarding at the point of operation is difficult because of the nature of the drilling process. The drill gradually feeds into the work, it is changed very often, chips must be able to escape, and the stock must be moved around. All of these factors reduce the possibility of using guards on the drill. If guards are used, they probably will have to be removed during the actual drilling process. Whenever possible, a hold-down fixture should be used rather than the hands.
Good housekeeping and operator training are absolute musts.