ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements  Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits
ANSI Z308.1-2015 Standard Minimum Requirements Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies - Buy new ANSI Kits

More on Hand and Power Tool Safety

Why does our First Aid and Safety blog keep offering articles on Hand & Portable Powered Tools? As we look back on injury experiences, one frightening thought comes clearly in focus.
Hand and power tools cause thousands of injuries every year. Everyone uses hand and power tools....at work and at home and even the simple screwdriver causes over a hundred deaths each year.

It's difficult to get excited about hand and power tools, but the injury rate tells us safety is extremely important when using this equipment. This program can't possibly cover all hand and power tools and all the safety rules associated with using these items, but the point we want to stress right up front, is safety must be exercised every time anyone uses hand and power tools. Safety awareness is of vital importance, so let's begin the program with some basics. A good safety attitude is the first step in injury prevention. If you're aware of the potential hazards, then do something about these hazards to protect yourself and others, then you have a good safety attitude.Tools

Safety behavior is a term used quite frequently, but all it means is that a person exercises good judgment, follows safety rules, and doesn't take short cuts to get the job done.

Safety behavior reflects your safety attitude and it certainly doesn't take any more time, effort, or anything else on your part to be a truly safe employee. It does require you to use good judgment and follow the safety rules established by your organization.

The first rule for hand and power tool safety is to use equipment that is in safe, serviceable condition. Regardless of who provides the tools and equipment, either you or your employer, all tools and equipment must be in good serviceable condition. Defective equipment must be taken out of service and not used until they are repaired or replaced.

Ok, let's take a few seconds-to talk about knuckle skinners, also known as wrenches. Most wrench accidents are caused by the wrench slipping off the bolt or nut you're trying to turn. Knuckles and fingers bang into surfaces, causing minor injuries. When you're turning something with a wrench, be prepared for the wrench to slip, so the injury can be prevented. If you're prepared, you'll prevent the injury.

When using long handled wrenches, position your feel and body in such a manner to that if the wrench slips, you won't take a fall. Another safety tip is to make sure the wrench opening fits snugly on the nut or bolt. A loose fit damages the tool and it certainly increases the injury potential. Never try to use metric wrenches on inch fasteners or vice versa. Use the proper tool for the job. One of the worst safety violations is to use a cheater bar.

Hand-power-toolA cheater bar is something like a pipe, placed on the  wrench or tool to give you more leverage. Your wrench or tool is designed only for hand pressure and when you add a cheater bar, you're exceeding the safety design of the tool. Just say no to cheater bars. Certainly, there are times when you need to loosen a frozen nut or bolt and hand pressure won't do it. That's when you  need to use a heavy duty striking tool and some penetrating oil. The striking tool is designed to be hit with a hammer and will do the job, so you don't have to use a cheater bar or other hazardous operations to free that frozen bolt or nut.

There are basically three types of socket wrenches and sockets. Hand sockets, Power
sockets and Impact sockets. Never mix the different types. In other words, don't use a hand socket on an impact wrench. Each type is designed for a specific wrench and when you use the wrong socket, you can easily damage the wrench or socket. If you're using an impact wrench, use only impact sockets designed for the job. Adjustable wrenches are very versatile and they're
used for a variety of jobs.

One of the major causes of injuries with adjustable wrenches is using damaged wrenches. When the adjustable threads become worn or the surfaces on the inside of the jaw become rounded from use, the tool is unsafe to use. Replace this damaged tool with one
in serviceable condition. It may seem like a simple solution and it is, but adjustable wrenches that are worn out should be replaced.

The same basic rule applies to bench vises. When the jaws of the vise become worn, it's time to replace the jaws. You don't have to replace the whole vise, just the worn jaws. Another tip for bench vises is to make sure they are securely fastened to the work table or bench.

Power tools and equipment require special attention because when an injury does occur, it's usually very serious. Not much room for error on powered equipment. Before you use any power tool, inspect it to make sure it's in good condition and has no defects or safety hazards. If your power equipment uses cutting blades, bits or other such attachments, make sure they are sharp and in good condition. Dull blades and bits can cause damage to the material you're cutting and can also contribute to personal injury. Be sure all your equipment is in proper working order.Construction-First-Aid-2

Electrical tools have at least one safety device to protect the user from electrical shock.
This safety device is called grounding and in some cases, double insulation.

Let's review grounding because this is the most common protection on electrical tools and appliances. Grounding means there is a third wire in the tool, running through the third prong in the plug. There is a grounding wire or connection from the electrical power source or receptacle that goes to earth, or ground. In the event of an electrical short or other malfunction of the tool, electricity will flow through this ground, to earth and not through your body.

If the ground prong is broken off, or the. ground wire is broken or there is a gap in the electrical ground, the electricity will have nowhere to go except through the person holding the tool. This tells you that it's very important to inspect your electrical equipment for defects, before you use the equipment. Some tools afford you shock protection by double insulating the inside of the tool. In the event of a short or other malfunction, the operator is protected by this double insulation. You may notice some electrical tools that only have two prongs on the electrical plug.

The first thing you should do is check the manufacturer's data plate for the words DOUBLE INSULATED. If you see an electrical tool with only 2 prongs and the tools does not state it is double insulated, then do not use this particular tool until it is replaced or repaired for the proper ground. Regardless of the type of shock protection on your electrical tool, it won't help if you're using the equipment near water, liquids or other unsafe conditions.

Sweaty palms or perspiration when using electrical tools is also unsafe, as a wet or moist environment is extremely hazardous around electricity.

Another good tip is never carry any equipment by the electrical cord. Yanking cords out of the wall receptacle by the cord is also unsafe. Remove the plug from the wall receptacle by holding the plug, not the cord. When using any type of electrical equipment, always inspect the plugs, cords, cables and attaching hardware for frays, cracks, cuts or damage.

Electricity is nothing to fool with, so don't take chances with your equipment. If it's not safe to use....don't use it. You've all seen or probably used octopus receptacles and plugs to increase the electrical outlets. When you do this, you're exceeding the design of the wall receptacle and if you use too much current or amps, you can trip circuit breakers and even worse, overload the circuit and quite possibly causing a fire. Don't use octopus plugs. Another safety factor around electricity is using three prong adapters,. It has three prongs for you to insert your grounded plug, but it only has two prongs for the receptacle.

The idea is to use this grounding wire and connect it to the wall receptacle, which is supposedly designed to ground the system. These types of plugs are unsafe and should never be used in any industrial environment....in fact they should never be used in your home either.

Ok, let's quickly review some more basic safety tips, the first tip is relating to power drills. All drill bits must be sharp, in order to drill safely. Dull bits can damage the material or can break and cause a serious injury. Be sure drill bits are sharp and in good condition.

When you're drilling, don't use excessive force. If you need a larger drill or some other type of equipment to do the job, that's ok, but don't try to bully a drill bit into material by using excessive force. When you're tightening a drill bit into the chuck, be sure it is properly tightened and never tighten the drill bit with anything other than the proper chuck. If you use screwdrivers or other make shift chucks, you're asking for trouble.

When using portable hand saws, always make sure the guard is in place and working  properly. Never remove the guard or tie it back. Mechanical guards are designed for your protection and it's really unsafe to render any guard inoperable. There is always a safe way to use your equipment. Taking chances, such as using your leg as a work bench is an accident-waiting to happen. It doesn't make sense.

Everyone wants to complete their job as quickly as possible, but think about the time off from work that results from an injury. The ten seconds you save becomes 10 or more hours of lost time.

When you're working with hand and power tools, your safety attitude and common sense are the two most important parts of your job. Your organization can have the most effective safety rules and the best equipment, but if you neglect the attitude part, you're heading for trouble.

Recognize the potential hazards of the job, such as sharp edges, falling objects, extreme heat or cold, chemicals, flammables and electricity.

Think through each task before you do it and know what you're asking of your hands and body. Follow the safety rules, even if you've gotten away with short cuts before. In the event of an injury...even a minor injury, report it to your supervisor when it occurs....so medical attention can be provided if it's needed. Use personal protective equipment when it's provided and necessary and think about safety on every job you perform.

Hand and power tools are very safe to use if you follow the rules. Follow your organization's safety policies and procedures and you'll find that your job is easier, quicker and you'll be a safer employee. It's that simple.


 

Hand and Power Tool Safety - OSHA Safety Training

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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