Hand & Power Tool Safety

Portable, bench or floor mounted power tools and equipment need routine maintenance, inspection and adjustments to ensure safe operation. Tool bits, blades and other changeable parts must be kept sharp and free from damage. Electrical systems, belts & pulleys and gears must be properly guarded to prevent exposing employees to hazards.

Hand Tool Safety

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.

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

Equipment. Make sure you know how to use any video equipment or that someone else is available to do so.

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.
• 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.

Almost every employee uses some type of tool during the day to accomplish tasks. Whether it’s a screwdriver or jack hammer, your role as a supervisor is to ensure, that the tools used for each job, are the right tool for that job. This includes making sure tools are used safely and are in good working condition.

Power Tool Safety

Tools may be powered by electricity, compressed air, hydraulics, belts or chain drives. Power used by tools to do work can posses a tremendous amount of energy that must be controlled by the worker using the tool. Hazards from tool power sources affect not only the person using it, but also to those working close by.

Keep it Sharp

Whether a power tool or a hand tool, if it’s designed to cut, keeping the cutting edge sharp is a safety priority. Sharp tools work better and require less force. When sharpening, adjusting or changing a blade, bit or cutting edge, ensure your workers disconnect the tool from the power source by unplugging electrical cords or removing hoses.

Bits, blades and cutting tool edges should be covered while on the shelf or in the toolbox. This not only helps keep the cutting edge from becoming dull, it also prevents hand injuries when a worker reaches for the cutting tool.

Check adjustments

If there are any adjustable parts of a tool, they will most likely be “unadjusted” when a worker needs the tool. Train your people to check all adjustments before using the tool.

Check for damage

Look at handles, tool edges, power cords, hoses & connections, switches, triggers, casings and attachments. Check hand tools for cracks dings and chips. Don’t use damaged tools. Generally, hand tools can not be repaired and should be thrown away. Power tools should not be jury rigged to work. Have repairs made only by someone who knows the tool repair craft.

Personal Protective Equipment

Almost all hand or power tool use requires wearing eye protection. If dust, fumes or mists are produced, the proper respirator must also be worn. Using gloves with powered equipment may be a hazard if there is a chance of the glove material getting caught in the equipment or material being worked.

Clothing Hazards

Long draping sleeves, baggy shirts, floppy pant legs are hazardous around powered equipment. Long hair should be pulled back so that it does not hang in front of the ears. All personal jewelry such as rings, necklaces and pendants should be removed before operating powered tools or equipment.

All materials in the members area for this topic index

Program Material

Programs (written)
MS-WORD Ergonomics Non Powered Tools
MS-WORD Tool Safety Program
Fact Sheets
MS-WORD Ergonomics Tools Chart
MS-WORD Ergonomics X Tool Lifting
MS-WORD Ergonomics X Tool Strain
MS-WORD Hand And Power Tool Safety Primer Safety Topic Fact Sheet
MS-WORD Power Tool Safety Topic Fact Sheet

Forms & Documents

MS-WORD Tool Safety Audit Guide
MS-WORD Hand Tool Ergonomics Checklist
MS-WORD Grinders And Abrasive Tools Inspection General Form
MS-WORD Hand Tools Inspection General Form
MS-WORD Powder Actuated Tools Inspection General Form
MS-WORD Power Tools Inspection General Form
MS-WORD Tool Safety Construction Inspection Form

Training Material

Accident Reports
MS-WORD Bench Tool Accident
MS-WORD Portable Power Tool Accident
MS-WORD Water And Power Tools Electrical Accident
MS-WORD Conversation A Management Safety Tool Safety Article
MS-WORD Conversation A Management Safety Tool Safety Article
MS-WORD Machine Guarding
MS-WORD Pinch Point Safety
MS-WORD Pneumatic Nail Gun Safety
MS-WORD Tools Training Handout Spanish
MS-WORD Tools Training Handout
MS-WORD Power Tool Safety Training Outline
MS-WORD Tools Pamphlet
MS-PPT Bandsaw Safety Basics PowerPoint
MS-PPT Electrical Safety for Electricians and Power Tool Users PowerPoint
MS-PPT Power Tools 10 Hour
MS-WORD Tools Power Hazards Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power OPS Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power PPE Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Preuse Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Pt Hazards1 Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Pt Operational5 Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Pt Ppe2 Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Pt Preuse4 Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Pt Workarea3 Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Power Workarea Reminder
MS-WORD Tools Safety Session
MS-WORD 2 Minute Safety Hand Tools
MS-WORD 2 Minute Safety Portable Power Tools
MS-WORD 3brief Power Drill Safety
MS-WORD 3brief Tools
MS-WORD Construction Hand Tool Talk
MS-WORD Construction Powder Acct Tools Talk
MS-WORD Maint Tool Safety Talk
MS-WORD Tool Talk Spanish
MS-WORD Toolsafety Talk


Safety Comic Strip
MS-WORD Elect Tools Safety Comic Strip Spanish
MS-WORD Tools Broken Safety Comic Strip Spanish



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