Almost all of us use hand tools either at work or at home. Tools are such a common part of our lives that it is difficult to remember that they may also pose hazards. It is estimated that about 8% of industrial accidents involve the unsafe use of hand tools. These accidents result from using the wrong tool for the job or using the right tool incorrectly, failing to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, or failing to follow approved safety guidelines.
The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance. Employees who use hand and power tools are exposed to the hazards of falling, flying, abrasive and splashing objects, or to harmful dusts, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases.
Basic Safety Rules
- Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
- Use the right tools for the job.
- Inspect each tool for damage before use.
- Do not use damaged tools.
- Use tools according to manufacturers' instruction.
- Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) when using a tool.
- Know the purpose of each tool and use them for the specific task for which they were designed.
- Never use any tool unless you know how to safely use it.
- Keep cutting edges sharp.
- Select the right size tool for the job, don’t use cheater bars.
- When working on ladders or scaffolds, be sure that you and your tools are secure.
- Carry tools correctly, never put sharp or pointed tools in your pocket.
- Use the right tool for the job. Don't use your wrench as a hammer. Don't use a screwdriver as a chisel, etc. Go back to the tool house and get the right tool and the right size for the job.
- Don't use broken or damaged tools, dull cutting tools, or screwdrivers with worn tips.
- Cut in a direction away from your body.
- Make sure your grip and footing are secure when using large tools.
- Carry tools securely in a tool belt or box. Don't carry tools in going up the ladder.Use a hoist or rope.
- Keep close track of tools when working at heights. A falling tool can kill a co-worker.
- Pass a tool to another person by the handle; never toss it to them.
- Use the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. Follow company instructions for selecting and using safety eyewear, steel toed shoes, gloves, hard hats, etc.
- Select ergonomic tools for your work task when movements are repetitive and forceful.
- Be on the lookout for signs of repetitive stress. Early detection might prevent a serious injury.
- Always keep your tools in top condition. A dull blade or blunt point can lead to injury.
- Store tools properly when you stop work.
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