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)
 Ergonomics Non Powered Tools   Download  MS-WORD
 Hand And Portable Power Tools Safety Program rev 1 13   Download  MS-WORD
 Tool Safety Program   Download  MS-WORD
Fact Sheets
 Ergonomics Tools Chart   Download  MS-WORD
 Ergonomics X Tool Lifting   Download  MS-WORD
 Ergonomics X Tool Strain   Download  MS-WORD
 Hand And Power Tool Safety Primer Safety Topic Fact Sheet   Download  MS-WORD
 Power Tool Safety Topic Fact Sheet   Download  MS-WORD

Forms & Documents

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

Training Material

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


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



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