Have you ever hit a nail with a wrench instead of a hammer? Thrown a pair of
pliers to a co-worker instead of walking over and handing them over? It might
be time for a refresher on the safe use of hand tools.
Sometimes, big hazards come in small packages. While hammers and saws may not
be the largest equipment used in the workplace, improper use of these and other
hand tools is a common cause of injury. Below are a few tips that will make the
task easier and keep you safe.
Tool maintenance is important. Keep tools in good condition. Inspect them for
defects before use, and replace or repair any defective tools or parts, such as
worn jaws on wrenches, pipe tools and pliers. Make sure that the handles on
axes, hammers, or other tools fit tightly. Keep cutting tools sharp. Keep all
tools clean and dry, and store them properly after each use.
Know when to discard a tool. For example, a hammer with mushroomed or chipped
face, or with cracks in the claw or eye sections, is a hazard that should be
Choose the right tool. It's always important to select the right tool for the
job, according to manufacturers' directions. Substitutes increase the chance of
having an accident. It would be unsafe and ineffective, for example, to use a
slot screw driver as a chisel, or to use a wrench as a hammer.
Ergonomically, a good general rule is to use tools designed to allow the wrist
to stay straight. Avoid using hand tools with your wrist bent. A saw handle,
for example, should keep the wrist in a natural position in the horizontal
Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Wear safety glasses, goggles or face
shield and well-fitting gloves appropriate for the hazards to which you may be
exposed on the job.
Practice good housekeeping. Clutter causes accidents. Keep the work environment
clean and tidy. Know the safe way to handle tools. Anyone who uses hand tools
should be properly trained in which tools to use for which application, and how
to use tools safely.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety