Safety is important. Imagine that when you are striking a nail with a hammer, part of the hammer’s handle breaks off and hits you in the eye. How about breaking bones when your hand is crushed by a press you were attempting to adjust with slippery pliers instead of a spanner?
Keep Safety in Mind
Hand and power tools are such a common part of the job that we often take them for granted. However, their use can be extremely hazardous if the right safety procedures are not followed. To keep yourself safe, follow these basic rules:
- Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
- If a wooden handle on a tool is loose, splintered or cracked, the head can fly off.
- Or the jaws of a spanner are sprung, the spanner can slip.
- Similarly, if impact tools such as chisels, wedges or drift pins have mushroomed heads, they can shatter on impact.
- Use the right tool for the task.
- Examine each tool for damage before using it and never use damaged tools. Alert your supervisor that these tools need repair.
- Spanners must not be used when the jaws are sprung; they can slip and lead to injury.
- Tools used for cutting edges must be sharp. Dull tools can be more hazardous as you must press harder when using them.
- Operate tools according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Iron or steel tools produce sparks that can ignite flammable substances. Check for spark-resistant tools made of alternative materials when you are around flammable gases, volatile liquids or other explosive materials.
- When using sharp tools, direct the tools away from aisle areas and away from other employees working close to you.
- Use the right personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Loose clothing, ties or jewellery should never be worn when using hand or power tools.
- Store and transport the tool properly as soon as you are done with it.
- Put the tool away as soon as you are done with it. Leaving the tool in a pathway presents a tripping and impalement hazard.
- Transport tools in a toolbox, trolley or a tool belt. Never carry pointed tools in your pocket.
- Never throw tools to another employee. Always pass them with the handle towards the receiver.
- Use a bucket for lifting or lowering tools from one level to another.
- When carrying a tool on your shoulders, pay attention to clearances and other workers.
If you have any doubt about the safe use of a hand or power tool—or about any safety issue on-site—talk to your supervisor.
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The content of this document is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. © 2010-2013, 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved