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Safety Training

Employers and workforces aren’t always necessarily compliant to the regulations set forth by federal standard or rules, such as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. Did you know that employers are required to provide a safe working environment for employees? Also did you know that many states have their own workplace safety laws? If you are an employer, our Safety Training news feed will keep you up to date with current information regarding safety training and standards, such as OSHA Safety Training & DOT, Oil & Gas regulations, Maritime OSHA regulations, Forklift safety & compliance, Construction, HAZMAT and more. Some of our articles include tips on where to find current books, manuals, CDs, DVDs, videos, training materials, safety kits, forms & much more to make sure that you are compliant with not only the Department of Labor and Department of Transportation rules and regulations but also keeping you properly informed about how to properly protect your workforce on a day-to-day basis. Read & keep up-to-date on specific federal rules and regulations which pertain to your line of business. Understanding the Code of Federal Regulations isn’t for the faint of heart so follow our articles, keep your employees educated.
  • How to Reduce Fever - Tips, Instant Cold Compresses, and Medications & Tablets

    Reduce Your Fever

    Looking for ways to cool a fever? Try an Instant Cold Compress! A fever is a surge in body temperature above 100°F for adults. It is a common and essential response to viral infections like the flu (or COVID-19). Fevers typically go away on their own in a day or two, but they can be uncomfortable. Treating a fever with cold packs, baths, and sometimes medication, can help to keep you comfortable while your body fights off the infection. When using a cold pack to reduce your fever, wrap the pack in a small towel or a washcloth soaked with cool water. Place the wrapped cold pack on your forehead, the back of your neck, or groin. You may also want to take a bath in cool or lukewarm water. Make sure the water isn’t too cold, since that could cause your temperature to increase if you begin to shiver.

  • Protect Yourself with these Disposable Gloves - Large - 5 Pair Per Bag

    Take steps to protect yourself! With Vinyl gloves from Urgent First Aid.

    Help to protect from bodily fluids and the transmission of germs.

    Worried about Coronavirus Infection? COVID-19: The CDC and WHO recommend wearing of protective clothing (such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles) and the use of infection-control measures (such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectants.

    Use gloves before examining any wounds, burns or other injuries to prevent contamination of yourself and others.

    This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer.

  • Stay Safe! Clean BBP Spills Right!

    BBP Spill Kit with contents displayed.

    21 Piece Bodily Fluid Clean Up Pack / Bloodborne Pathogen Spill Kit

    Great as a standalone BBP kit or added to any First Aid Kit or Cabinet for Blood Pathogen and Spill protection compliance under 29CFR1910.1030(d)(3)(i). This one-time use pack contains the necessary products to provide personal protection at a bodily fluid spill scene. This Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) Kit provides a fast, efficient method for the absorption and disposal of potentially harmful blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) such as other bodily fluids. Our BBP pack contains the OSHA required items to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure from blood and other potentially infectious materials when a spill occurs. The (included) BBP quick guide helps differentiate infectious versus non-infectious waste and give simple directions on how to clean up and dispose of each type safely.

    BBP Kit / Refill Pack Contents - 21 piece kit, URG-3651 Includes:

    • (4) Disposable Vinyl Gloves
    • (1) Face Mask with Eye Shield
    • (1) Red Biohazard Bag 24” x 24”
    • (1) Scoop & Scraper
    • (1) Red Z Pouch 3/4 OZ
    • (1) Germicidal Wipe
    • (2) Twist Ties
    • (1) Impervious Gown
    • (1) Absorbent Towel
    • (1) Instruction/Contents Insert
    • (1) 8” x 10” Poly Bag
    • (6) Antiseptic Wipe (BZK)
    • (1) Paws Antimicrobial Towelette

    Meets federal OSHA regulation 29CFR1910.1030(d)(3)(i) Provision.

  • Sneaky Winter Hazards Safety Tips - #WeatherReady

    The Winter season brings many weather events that can "sneak" up on you.

    These are weather hazards that cause big impacts and make travel difficult without making big news. See our safety tips below to keep yourself safe. Please share the post with your family and friends. You may download and share by clicking the download link under each infographic. You must also see our Severe Weather & Winter Safety products!

    First Snow

    While lots of snow in the middle of winter can certainly cause dangerous travel conditions, many times it’s the first little bit of snow of the season that can cause accidents. Be extra careful as you and other drivers adjust to driving in poor conditions. Slow down, don’t use cruise control, and keep your distance from other vehicles. Don’t let the first snow sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: First snow.

    Dense Fog

    Visibility can change quickly in fog, creating hazardous driving conditions. Slow down, use your low-beam headlights, and leave plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. Don’t let fog sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Dense fog.

    Sun Glare

    Even on a nice winter day, the low sun angle can make driving hazardous. Freshly fallen snow can add more glare to your drive. Have a pair of sunglasses on hand, slow down, and leave plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. Don’t let sun glare sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Sun glare.

    Rain with a Temperature Near Freezing

    Rain may seem like less of a winter driving hazard than snow, but when temperatures are near freezing, that’s not the case. Ice can form quickly and make roads slick. In these conditions, slow down, don’t use cruise control, and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. Don’t let this winter hazard sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Rain with a temperature near freezing

    Snow Squalls

    Snow squalls are short, intense bursts of snow and wind that can catch people off-guard. They can reduce visibility and cause dangerous travel conditions. If possible, avoid or delay travel until the squall passes. If you’re caught in one, slow down, turn on your headlights and hazard lights, and try to exit the road. Don’t let snow squalls sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Snow squalls

    Freezing Drizzle

    When surface temperatures are below freezing, drizzle will form a thin layer of ice on the roads. This difficult-to-see ice can cause very dangerous travel conditions. When it’s drizzling in the winter, slow down, don’t use cruise control, and keep your distance from other vehicles. Don’t let freezing drizzle sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Freezing drizzle

    Flash Freeze

    Even when it’s not precipitating, wet roads can quickly turn icy as temperatures dip below freezing. These unexpected slippery conditions can make driving hazardous. When roads look wet in the winter, stay cautious, slow down, and don’t use cruise control. Don’t let flash freezes sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Flash freeze

    Rain After a Long Dry Stretch

    You wouldn’t think a little bit of rain could make the roads slippery, but after a long dry stretch, it can happen. This is because oil and debris accumulate on the road during the dry period. Once the rain starts falling, roads become slick. Slow down in these situations. This is one of those hazards that can sneak up on you!

    Sneaky Winter Hazards: Rain after a long dry stretch.

  • Prestan Professional AED UltraTrainer Pads

    Adult/Child Replacement Training Pad Set (2 pads total) with Pad Sensing System for the AED UltraTrainer

    The unique Pad Sensing System automatically detects when each pad is placed on the manikin. Programming runs through a sensor in the center of the pad's adhesive which most realistically simulates a live AED, allowing for a more realistic training experience. No remote control is necessary, although available for the Professional AED Trainer if desired.

    The high-quality pads last for over 100 applications and the pad adhesive adheres and removes well to any manikin on the market without leaving messy residue. No more damaged pads or cleaning adhesive off your manikins. Pad replacement is affordable and easy, just replace the pad not the cord.

    The state-of-the-art training pads will assure a true-to-life training experience.

  • Training for New Emergency Managers

    While every new Safety Manager needs an OSHA Dictionary, and the OSHA Safety Orders... there's a lot more to it than that!

    OSHA DictionaryFEMA’s National Emergency Management Basic Academy is the entry point for individuals pursuing a career in emergency management. The Basic Academy offers the tools to develop comprehensive foundational skills needed in emergency management. For those who are new to emergency management, the Basic Academy also provides a unique opportunity to build camaraderie, to establish professional contacts, and to understand the roles, responsibilities, and legal boundaries associated with emergency management.

    The Basic Academy curriculum consists of five courses: Foundations of Emergency Management; Science of Disaster; Planning: Emergency Operations; Exercise Design; and Public Information and Warning. Upcoming courses in the program are Science of Disaster, a three-day, 24-hour training being held August 8-10, followed by the Planning course, a two-day, 16-hour training being offered August 11-12. Applications for both courses are due by June 27. The courses will be delivered by the Emergency Management Institute at FEMA’s National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. For more information, visit the EMI website or send an email to Note: courses may be taken even when participants are not planning to receive a Basic Academy certification.

    The Basic Academy is the first of a three-level Academy series in the Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). The EMPP curriculum is designed to provide a lifetime of learning for emergency management professionals and includes three separate, but closely threaded, training programs. The program builds from the Basic Academy to the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, a program to develop the next generation of emergency management leaders who are trained in advanced concepts and issues, advanced leadership and management, and critical thinking and problem solving. The EMPP culminates in the National Emergency Management Executive Academy, a program designed to challenge and enhance the talents of the nation’s emergency management senior executives through critical thinking, visionary strategic planning, challenging conventional concepts, and negotiation and conflict resolution applied to complex real-world problems.

    Emergency management professionals should visit for more information about which academy best suits their needs.

    OSHA Dictionary

    This is the OSHA reference book every safety professional needs. This one-of-a-kind book contains ALL the terms and definitions from OSHA 29 CFR Parts 1903, 1904, 1910, and 1926 (inspections, recordkeeping, general industry, and construction). Look up a term and discover its different definitions in various sections of OSHA. For instance, "competent person" has 6 different definitions from 9 different OSHA regulations, and each one is listed. The definitions are also followed by the section and paragraph number of the regulations from which they were taken. Important related tables and illustrations have been included to aid in understanding.

  • Heat Stroke First Aid Treatment

    Image of surfer laying down next to surf board suffering from heat stroke

    How to treat Heat Stroke

    • Call 9-1-1 or activate EMS immediately! A delayed call could be fatal.
    • The main objective of first aid treatment for heat stroke is to lower the casualty’s body temperature as quickly as possible.
    • Move the casualty to a shady or cool place.
    • Loosen and/or remove any sweat-soaked clothing.
    • Cool the casualty’s body by immersing him/her in cold water or if unavailable, sponging him/her down with cold compresses.
    • Fan the casualty with a magazine, cardboard, or an electric fan.
    • Do not give the casualty anything to drink unless their condition stabilizes. Once stabilized, small sips of water can be given. Do not give caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

    Read more: What is Heat Stroke?Sun SafetyExtreme HeatHow do Hurricanes relate to Extreme Heat?

    Content excerpted from the Urgent First Aid Guide used by permission Copyright 2013
    All Rights Reserved. Get a full copy of the First Aid Guide for under $1!

    Heat Emergencies range from discomfort to life-threatening! Learn the Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Find out about LIVE OSHA Standard First Aid & Emergency Care at your location... check out American CPR Training®

  • Fall Protection and Prevention

    In the construction industry in the U.S., falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities.  Each year between 150 and 200 workers die, and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falls at construction sites.  33% of all construction fatalities are fall related. Falls from 11 feet or more result in an 85% death rate.

    Whenever potential fall hazards are recognized, employers and employees must do the following:

    • Select fall protection systems appropriate for the work and/or situation;
    • Train workers in proper selection, use, inspection, maintenance and storage of all fall protection/prevention devices and systems to be utilized;
    • Use proper construction and installation of safety systems;
    • Supervise employees properly; and
    • Use safe work procedures.



    Same Level Falls / Slips and Trips

    Falls from Heights – Lifts, Scaffolds & Ladders, and Structural

    Steel and Decking


    Fall-ClimbThe trigger height is that level at which fall protection/prevention is required.  Federal standards require fall protection at 6 feet, while individual states impose a variety of trigger heights according to the task that is being performed.


    • Identify specific work that may expose workers to fall hazards
    • Identify what workers, trades may be exposed



    • Distance
    • Impact Surface
    • Body Position
    • Objects / Structures Impacted
    • Victim’s Age and Weight


    • Guardrails
    • Safety Nets
    • Personal Fall Protection Systems
    • Limited Access Zones


    Defined as a barrier erected to prevent workers from falling to lower levels, a guardrail system must be used:

    • On unprotected sides or edges of a ramp or runway.
    • On unprotected sides or edges of holes.
    • To restrict access to hoist areas when not used for hoisting.
    • No openings can be more than 19” apart.
    • When holes are used to pass materials, no more than two sides of the guardrail may be removed at a time.
    • Never use a guardrail as a place to tie off!
    • Guardrails must be inspected as often as needed

    Guardrails must meet the following criteria:

    • Must resist a 200 lb. force within 2” of the top edge in an outward or downward direction at any location along the top rail.
    • Midrails must resist a 150 lb. force along any point of the rail.
    • Toeboards must resist a 50 lb. force along any point.
    • Guardrails may be constructed of wood, pipe, roping or wire.
    • Guardrails may never be used as anchor points for Personal Fall Arrest Systems.


    Safety net systems are used to catch people or tools, material or equipment.  Debris nets are not the same thing.  Debris nets are used for catching equipment only, not for catching people, and are not fall protection equipment.

    Safety nets must be installed as close as practical under the surface where employees are working.  Note:  Safety nets must never be more than 30 feet below the working surface.

    Safety Net Requirements:

    • The safety net must be installed so that if something falls into the net, it will not touch structures or surfaces below.
    • The fall area between the working surface and the net must be free of obstructions.
    • Tools, scrap, or equipment that fall into a net must be removed as soon as possible,
    • Mesh openings cannot be larger than 36 square inches, or longer than 6” on any side.
    • The border rope of a safety net must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs.
    • Safety nets must be inspected: weekly for wear, damage and other deterioration, and after any use that could affect the net

    Safety nets must be drop-tested, on site:

    • before  use
    • after any major repair to the system
    • every six months if left in one place for extended periods of time.

    Drop-test is done by by dropping a 400 lb. sandbag, 28” to 32” in diameter, into the center of the net.


    Fall-SlingA PFAS is a system used to protect an employee in a fall from a working level.

    It consists of:

    • An anchorage,
    • Connectors,
    • A body belt or body harness
    • And may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these.

    Since January 1, 1998 the use of body belts for fall arrest has been prohibited!

    • Employers must plan the rescue of the worker.
    • Damaged equipment may not be used. 
    • Knots in tethers and lanyards decrease line  strength by 50%.
    • Free fall distance on lanyards is limited to 6’. This includes the sum of the fall distance and the deceleration distance.
    • Deceleration distance must not exceed 3.5’.
    • Anchorage points, lines, lanyards, and connectors must be able to withstand a force of 5,000 per worker.
    • Equipment may not be modified in any way
    • Equipment must be inspected before and after each use.
    • Equipment must be taken out of service if any defects are found.


    • A  is for ANCHORAGE POINT
    • B  is for BODY HARNESS
    • C  is for CONNECTION POINT
    • D  is for DEVICES – such as horizontal lifelines, hardware, lanyards, etc.

    Fall Protection Safety Training:

    fall-protection-tileFall Protection - OSHA Safety Training: Falls are the second leading cause of death each year in the United States (after traffic accidents)! Over 10,000 people are killed every year as a result of falls...and 200,000 to 300,000 people are disabled. Eight-five percent of all falls that occur on the job result in "lost work time".

    Our training products on "Fall Protection" provide the information employees need to work safely when they are "off the ground", and assist in satisfying the major training requirements in the OSHA Standard on Fall Protection. Topics covered in these products include:

    • The seriousness of fall hazards.
    • Types of environments where falls may occur.
    • The "Fall Protection Plan".
    • Concentrating and keeping a clear head.
    • The importance of housekeeping in preventing falls.
    • Measures that can be taken to protect against falls.
    • Protective equipment.
    • and more.

    Get a Quote for a Class:
    Fall Protection Live Instruction Training Courses at YOUR Location

  • Laboratory Safety

    Today, more than ever, safety considerations are extremely important in our laboratory environments.  Yet often we are so caught up in the work we are doing that we forget or ignore safety practices and procedures.  As a result, accidents and injuries in the laboratory have become all too common.

    There are a number of reasons that we need to pay more attention to safety in our environment.  We work with increasingly complex equipment and apparatus while, at the same time, something as simple as a crack in a piece of glassware can be enough to create a significant problem.

    Lab-SafetyWe have always known that many of the materials that we use can be hazardous if not handled correctly.  That is true today perhaps more than ever before.  Knowing where to go for information about potential hazards, such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s), can make the difference between running a safe experiment or a dangerous one.

    Another thing that has significantly affected our laboratory operations are recent OSHA regulations.  The OSHA Laboratory Standard deals specifically with the handling of hazardous chemicals.  The Bloodborne Pathogens regulations address bloodborne diseases and the ramifications of working with infectious materials.  And with the passage of these regulations OSHA has become much more active in overseeing and inspecting laboratory facilities.

    There are many elements that are crucial to the establishment of a safe lab environment. Understanding the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), safe handling of glassware, vent control, and even proper housekeeping all affect the overall lab safety.  Additionally, knowledge of hazardous chemicals, container labeling and the steps to take in the event of a spill or exposure have become very important in performing our jobs safely.

    Topics for consideration:

    • What are some types of PPE used in your lab, and under what situations are they used?
    • What are some of the various potential emergencies that may be faced in a lab environment?  Discuss the steps to be taken in response to these emergencies.
    • What are the primary reasons for clearly labeling all chemicals in the workplace?
    • What types of information should be present on a warning label? What are some of the symbols and codes you are likely to find on a container of potentially hazardous material?

    Flammables and Explosives

    A flammable can be described as a substance that can readily catch fire and burn under certain conditions.  Conditions that will affect a substance’s likelihood of ignition include the temperature, the concentration of the substance in the atmosphere, and the proximity of other types of chemicals, among others.

    We use a number of flammable substances in our laboratories, and even some materials that are potentially explosive.  The damage caused by either one of these types of materials can be severe.  We need to be able to use methods that allow us to work safely with flammable and explosive substances.

    Being aware of flashpoints, limits of flammability, ignition temperatures and other information governing the way flammables and explosives act is therefore very important to us.  Likewise, knowing how to protect ourselves when working with these materials and what to do if an emergency should occur is also important.

    Topics for consideration:

    • What do the terms “flashpoint,”  “limits of flammability,” and “ignition temperature” mean?
    • What are some examples of common laboratory activities or situations that could ignite flammable or explosive materials?
    • What is the “Fire Triangle?”

    Preventing Contamination

    Handling hazardous chemicals and specimens requires a great deal of caution.  If we don’t contain them, these materials can spread and contaminate the things around them… including you.

    Every day our work calls on us to safely handle substances like Toxins, Corrosives and Carcinogens.  We thing we spend a lot of time protecting ourselves, but are we really doing all we can?


    Topics for consideration:

    • What are the sources of information we can use to find out about potential hazards?
    • What are some of the potential contamination hazards faced at your facility?
    • Discuss some of the methods we can use to protect against contamination.

    Laboratory Hoods

    Many of the materials we work with give off fumes, mists, vapors, particulates and aerosols that are hazardous.  To minimize exposure to these materials we need to take special precautions.  In many cases, this means working within a “hood.”

    Hoods can protect us in several ways.  Their sashes provide protection from hazards like chemical splashes and sprays, as well as fires and minor explosions.

    A hood also creates a protective barrier by pulling air into and through the workspace.  This inward airflow helps keep hazardous fumes and vapors from escaping and reaching us.

    Hoods should be used in much of the work that we do.  To use them most effectively we need to be familiar with how they operate and the proper procedures for using them.

    Topics for consideration:

    • From what potential hazards can hoods protect us?
    • What is Face Velocity?
    • How can you test a hood for proper functionality?

    Handling Compressed Gas Cylinders

    Compressed gas cylinders exist for one reason, to hold large amounts of gas in comparatively small spaces.  By this process of compression, the gas is placed under extreme pressure, and the resulting potential for sudden release or explosion is increased.

    Usually, compressed gas cylinders are very safe.  However, there are a number of situations that can cause problems to occur.  Even a small leak can quickly disperse a cylinder’s contents over a large area.

    In the laboratory, we use compressed gas in a number of situations and, as a result, we need to understand how the cylinders work and how to handle them safely.

    Topics for discussion:

    • What are some potential hazards of improperly handling or storing compressed gas cylinders?
    • What are some of the methods of safely storing pressurized gases?
    • What are some safety considerations that should be observed when moving or transporting compressed gas cylinders within a facility?

    Safe Handling of Laboratory Glassware

    Laboratory glassware is a well-crafted, highly versatile tool for use in the work environment.  As with any glass however, there is the risk of damage or injury from dropping, bumping, excessive pressure, or drastic temperature changes.  If a piece of glassware should break, there is the possibility of injury from sharp edges or from the release of its chemical contents.

    In order to safely handle this type of equipment, it is necessary to understand its risks and limitations, as well as proper inspection methods, handling techniques, and disposal procedures.

    Topics for consideration:

    • What are some of the proper techniques required for safely carrying or transporting glassware?
    • What different types of PPE should be used when handling glassware in different situations?


    1. Material Safety Data Sheets in the Laboratory
    2. Electrical Safety in the Laboratory
    3. Laboratory Safety Series: 12 Program Package
    4. Orientation to Laboratory Safety
    5. Laboratory Ergonomics
    6. Laboratory Hoods
    7. OSHA Laboratory Standard Refresher Training
    8. OSHA Laboratory Standard
    9. Planning for Laboratory Emergencies
    10. Safe Handling of Laboratory Glassware
    11. Compressed Gas Cylinders in the Laboratory - OSHA Safety Training
    12. Flammables and Explosives in the Laboratory
  • Hand & Portable Powered Tools

    Hazard Recognition

    Tools are such a common part of our lives that it is difficult to remember that they may pose hazards. All tools are manufactured with safety in mind but, tragically, a serious accident often occurs before steps are taken to search out and avoid or eliminate tool-related hazards.

    In the process of removing or avoiding the hazards, workers must learn to recognize the hazards associated with the different types of tools and the safety precautions necessary to prevent those hazards.

    Hand Tools

    Hand tools are non-powered. They include anything from axes to wrenches. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.

    Some examples:

    • Using a screwdriver as a chisel may cause the tip of the screwdriver to break and fly, hitting the user or other employees.
    • If a wooden handle on a tool such as a hammer or an axe is loose, splintered, or cracked, the head of the tool may fly off and strike the user or another worker.
    • A wrench must not be used if its jaws are sprung, because it might slip.
    • Impact tools such as chisels, wedges, or drift pins are unsafe if they have mushroomed heads. The heads might shatter on impact, sending sharp fragments flying.

    hand-power-toolsThe employer is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees but the employees have the responsibility for properly using and maintaining tools.

    Employers should caution employees that saw blades, knives, or other tools be directed away from aisle areas and other employees working in close proximity. Knives and scissors must be sharp. Dull tools can be more hazardous than sharp ones.

    Appropriate personal protective equipment, e.g., safety goggles, gloves, etc., should be worn due to hazards that may be encountered while using portable power tools and hand tools.

    Safety requires that floors be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent accidental slips with or around dangerous hand tools.

    Around flammable substances, sparks produced by iron and steel hand tools can be a dangerous ignition source. Where this hazard exists, spark-resistant tools made from brass, plastic, aluminum, or wood will provide for safety.

    Power Tool Precautions

    Power tools can be hazardous when improperly used. There are several types of power tools, based on the power source they use: electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, and powder-actuated.

    Employees should be trained in the use of all tools - not just power tools. They should understand the potential hazards as well as the safety precautions to prevent those hazards from occurring.

    The following general precautions should be observed by power tool users:

    • Never carry a tool by the cord or hose.
    • Never yank the cord or the hose to disconnect it from the receptacle.
    • Keep cords and hoses away from heat, oil, and sharp edges.
    • Disconnect tools when not in use, before servicing, and when changing accessories such as blades, bits and cutters.
    • All observers should be kept at a safe distance away from the work area.
    • Secure work with clamps or a vise, freeing both hands to operate the tool.
    • Avoid accidental starting. The worker should not hold a finger on the switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool.
    • Tools should be maintained with care. They should be kept sharp and clean for the best performance. Follow instructions in the user's manual for lubricating and changing accessories.
    • Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance.
    • The proper apparel should be worn. Loose clothing, ties, or jewelry can become caught in moving parts.
    • All portable electric tools that are damaged shall be removed from use and tagged "Do Not Use."


    Hazardous moving parts of a power tool need to be safeguarded. For example, belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, fly wheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating, or moving parts of equipment must be guarded if such parts are exposed to contact by employees.

    Guards, as necessary, should be provided to protect the operator and others from the following:

    • point of operation,
    • in-running nip points,
    • rotating parts, and
    • flying chips and sparks.

    Safety guards must never be removed when a tool is being used. For example, portable circular saws must be equipped with guards. An upper guard must cover the entire blade of the saw. A retractable lower guard must cover the teeth of the saw, except when it makes contact with the work material. The lower guard must automatically return to the covering position when the tool is withdrawn from the work.

    Safety Switches

    The following hand-held powered tools must be equipped with a momentary contact "on-off" control switch: drills, tappers, fastener drivers, horizontal, vertical and angle grinders with wheels larger than 2 inches in diameter, disc and belt sanders, reciprocating saws, saber saws, and other similar tools. These tools also may be equipped with a lock-on control provided that turnoff can be accomplished by a single motion of the same finger or fingers that turn it on.

    The following hand-held powered tools may be equipped with only a positive "on-off" control switch: platen sanders, disc sanders with discs 2 inches or less in diameter; grinders with wheels 2 inches or less in diameter; routers, planers, laminate trimmers, nibblers, shears, scroll saws and jigsaws with blade shanks ¼-inch wide or less.

    Other hand-held powered tools such as circular saws having a blade diameter greater than 2 inches, chain saws, and percussion tools without positive accessory holding means must be equipped with a constant pressure switch that will shut off the power when the pressure is released.

    Electric Tools

    Employees using electric tools must be aware of several dangers; the most serious is the possibility of electrocution.

    Among the chief hazards of electric-powered tools are burns and slight shocks which can lead to injuries or even heart failure. Under certain conditions, even a small amount of current can result in fibrillation of the heart and eventual death. A shock also can cause the user to fall off a ladder or other elevated work surface.

    To protect the user from shock, tools must either have a three-wire cord with ground and be grounded, be double insulated, or be powered by a low-voltage isolation transformer. Three-wire cords contain two current-carrying conductors and a grounding conductor. One end of the grounding conductor connects to the tool's metal housing. The other end is grounded through a prong on the plug. Anytime an adapter is used to accommodate a two-hole receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground. The third prong should never be removed from the plug.

    Double insulation is more convenient. The user and the tools are protected in two ways: by normal insulation on the wires inside, and by a housing that cannot conduct electricity to the operator in the event of a malfunction.

    These general practices should be followed when using electric tools:

    • Electric tools should be operated within their design limitations.
    • Gloves and safety footwear are recommended during use of electric tools.
    • When not in use, tools should be stored in a dry place.
    • Electric tools should not be used in damp or wet locations.
    • Work areas should be well lighted.

    Powered Abrasive Wheel Tools

    Powered abrasive grinding, cutting, polishing, and wire buffing wheels create special safety problems because they may throw off flying fragments.

    Before an abrasive wheel is mounted, it should be inspected closely and sound- or ring-tested to be sure that it is free from cracks or defects. To test, wheels should be tapped gently with a light non-metallic instrument. If they sound cracked or dead, they could fly apart in operation and so must not be used. A sound and undamaged wheel will give a clear metallic tone or "ring."

    To prevent the wheel from cracking, the user should be sure it fits freely on the spindle. The spindle nut must be tightened enough to hold the wheel in place, without distorting the flange. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Care must be taken to assure that the spindle wheel will not exceed the abrasive wheel specifications.

    Due to the possibility of a wheel disintegrating (exploding) during start-up, the employee should never stand directly in front of the wheel as it accelerates to full operating speed.

    Portable grinding tools need to be equipped with safety guards to protect workers not only from the moving wheel surface, but also from flying fragments in case of breakage.

    In addition, when using a powered grinder:

    • Always use eye protection.
    • Turn off the power when not in use.
    • Never clamp a hand-held grinder in a vise.

    Pneumatic Tools

    Pneumatic tools are powered by compressed air and include chippers, drills, hammers, and sanders.

    There are several dangers encountered in the use of pneumatic tools. The main one is the danger of getting hit by one of the tool's attachments or by some kind of fastener the worker is using with the tool.

    Eye protection is required and face protection is recommended for employees working with pneumatic tools.

    Noise is another hazard. Working with noisy tools such as jackhammers requires proper, effective use of hearing protection.

    When using pneumatic tools, employees must check to see that they are fastened securely to the hose to prevent them from becoming disconnected. A short wire or positive locking device attaching the air hose to the tool will serve as an added safeguard.

    A safety clip or retainer must be installed to prevent attachments, such as chisels on a chipping hammer, from being unintentionally shot from the barrel.

    Screens must be set up to protect nearby workers from being struck by flying fragments around chippers, riveting guns, staplers, or air drills.

    Compressed air guns should never be pointed toward anyone. Users should never "dead-end" it against themselves or anyone else.

    Powder-Actuated Tools

    Powder-actuated tools operate like a loaded gun and should be treated with the same respect and precautions. In fact, they are so dangerous that they must be operated only by specially trained employees.

    Safety precautions to remember include the following:

    • These tools should not be used in an explosive or flammable atmosphere.
    • Before using the tool, the worker should inspect it to determine that it is clean, that all moving parts operate freely, and that the barrel is free from obstructions.
    • The tool should never be pointed at anybody.
    • The tool should not be loaded unless it is to be used immediately. A loaded tool should not be left unattended, especially where it would be available to unauthorized persons.
    • Hands should be kept clear of the barrel end. To prevent the tool from firing accidentally, two separate motions are required for firing: one to bring the tool into position, and another to pull the trigger. The tools must not be able to operate until they are pressed against the work surface with a force of at least 5 pounds greater than the total weight of the tool.

    If a powder-actuated tool misfires, the employee should wait at least 30 seconds, then try firing it again. If it still will not fire, the user should wait another 30 seconds so that the faulty cartridge is less likely to explode, than carefully remove the load. The bad cartridge should be put in water.

    Suitable eye and face protection are essential when using a powder-actuated tool.

    The muzzle end of the tool must have a protective shield or guard centered perpendicularly on the barrel to confine any flying fragments or particles that might otherwise create a hazard when the tool is fired. The tool must be designed so that it will not fire unless it has this kind of safety device.

    All powder-actuated tools must be designed for varying powder charges so that the user can select a powder level necessary to do the work without excessive force.

    If the tool develops a defect during use it should be tagged and taken out of service immediately until it is properly repaired.


    When using powder-actuated tools to apply fasteners, there are some precautions to consider. Fasteners must not be fired into material that would let them pass through to the other side. The fastener must not be driven into materials like brick or concrete any closer than 3 inches to an edge or corner. In steel, the fastener must not come any closer than one-half inch from a corner or edge. Fasteners must not be driven into very hard or brittle materials which might chip or splatter, or make the fastener ricochet.

    An alignment guide must be used when shooting a fastener into an existing hole. A fastener must not be driven into a spalled area caused by an unsatisfactory fastening.

    Hydraulic Power Tools

    The fluid used in hydraulic power tools must be an approved fire-resistant fluid and must retain its operating characteristics at the most extreme temperatures to which it will be exposed.

    The manufacturer's recommended safe operating pressure for hoses, valves, pipes, filters, and other fittings must not be exceeded.


    All jacks - lever and rachet jacks, screw jacks, and hydraulic jacks - must have a device that stops them from jacking up too high. Also, the manufacturer's load limit must be permanently marked in a prominent place on the jack and should not be exceeded.

    A jack should never be used to support a lifted load. Once the load has been lifted, it must immediately be blocked up.

    Use wooden blocking under the base if necessary to make the jack level and secure. If the lift surface is metal, place a 1-inch-thick hardwood block or equivalent between it and the metal jack head to reduce the danger of slippage.

    To set up a jack, make certain of the following:

    • the base rests on a firm level surface,
    • the jack is correctly centered,
    • the jack head bears against a level surface, and
    • the lift force is applied evenly.

    Proper maintenance of jacks is essential for safety. All jacks must be inspected before each use and lubricated regularly. If a jack is subjected to an abnormal load or shock, it should be thoroughly examined to make sure it has not been damaged.

    Hydraulic jacks exposed to freezing temperatures must be filled with an adequate antifreeze liquid.

    General Safety Precautions

    Employees who use hand and power tools and who are exposed to the hazards of falling, flying, abrasive and splashing objects, or exposed to harmful dusts, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases must be provided with the particular personal equipment necessary to protect them from the hazard.

    All hazards involved in the use of power tools can be prevented by following five basic safety rules:

    • Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
    • Use the right tool for the job.
    • Examine each tool for damage before use.
    • Operate according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    • Provide and use the proper protective equipment.

    Employees and employers have a responsibility to work together to establish safe working procedures. If a hazardous situation is encountered, it should be brought to the attention of the proper individual immediately.

    hand-power-tool-safety-tileHand and Power Tool Safety - OSHA Safety Training: Hand and power tools are used every day in many types of business. They make our work easier and allow us to be more efficient. However, we often fail to see the hazards these tools present.

    Our training products on "Hand and Power Tool Safety" show how accidents can be significantly reduced by applying good general safety rules, and review what hazards are associated with the specific types of tools employees use. Topics covered in these products include:

    • Choosing tools that fit you and the job.
    • Protecting yourself and others from tool-related hazards.
    • Personal protective equipment.
    • The special hazards associated with electric power tools.
    • Tool care and maintenance.
    • and more.

    Get a Quote for a Class:
    Hand and Power Tool Safety Live Instruction Training Courses at YOUR Location

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