Hand and power tools are a part of everyday life for tradespeople, DIY enthusiasts, and even some who just want to complete an at-home project. Unfortunately, when not used safely these tools can cause serious injury or death. In order to protect yourself and others near you while using these tools it is important to know the five basic safety rules that everyone should follow in any environment where they may be encountered. With this blog post, we will briefly discuss each of these rules so you can better understand their importance and how to best utilize them in your day-to-day activities.
Safety Rules For Hand And Power Tools
The employer is ultimately responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees. Employers should never issue or permit unsafe hand and power tools. Employees should be trained in properly using and handling tools and equipment. Workers should also be able to recognize the hazards associated with the different types of tools and the safety precautions necessary.
Five basic safety rules can help prevent hazards associated with the use of hand and power tools:
1. Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
Regular hand and power tools maintenance are essential to ensure they remain in top working order. By implementing a regular maintenance plan, you can extend your tools’ life and ensure that you never have an unexpected breakdown when you are in the middle of an important job. Scheduling regular check-ups for your tools will help to identify any potential problems early on so that you can act quickly to prevent further damage or avoid downtime.
Regular cleaning and lubrication of moving parts are also key for properly functioning your hand and power tools. By taking time to care for them properly, you can be confident that each job performed with those tools is done safely and effectively every time.
2. Use the right tool for the job.
No job is too big or small regarding the right hand or power tool choice. Whether you are putting up a new shelf or building a fence for your garden, having the correct tool for the job is essential. Not only will it make the task more accessible, but it will also help avoid potential injuries and save time.
Knowing what type of tool you need is essential, too; there’s no use in purchasing a powered saw if you can easily do the job with a handsaw. Additionally, finding reliable tools from reputable brands and taking proper safety precautions should be of utmost importance when selecting any tool for a job.
3. Examine each tool for damage before use, and do not use damaged tools.
Safety always comes first, especially when it comes to tools. Before doing any type of job, whether large or small, you must examine each tool for damage before use. This can save you a lot of time and hassle later if an unexpected mishap occurs due to the damaged tool. Better to be safe now than sorry later, which is why inspecting all tools before use is critical.
Don’t take shortcuts with safety – any jobs completed without following these precautions may still have dangerous consequences, so don’t risk it – always check every tool for damage, and never use a tool if you detect any amount of damage.
4. Operate tools according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is important to always operate tools according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Not only does this protect you from harm, but failure to observe safety protocols can also void your warranty and create other liabilities. Taking that extra time to read the user manual or watch a tutorial online not only ensures that a tool works properly, but it also avoids potential catastrophes. If you ever have any questions about operating any tool, reach out to manufacturer customer service for clarification on how to use it correctly and safely.
5. Provide and properly use the right personal protective equipment.
The proper use of personal protective equipment when using hand or power tools is essential to protecting yourself from various hazards that may arise. Not only should you take the time to provide yourself with the right gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, but you must also practice using it properly. This includes ensuring that any items fitted to you, like a hardhat or dust mask, are snug and won’t fall off during use; regularly checking for signs of wear and tear on your gear; and adhering to all instructions given by manufacturer guidelines. Doing these simple steps can keep your projects running safely and efficiently in the long run.
Employees and employers should work together to establish safe working procedures. If an employee encounters a hazardous situation, it should be brought immediately to the attention of the supervisor or other responsible person for hazard abatement.
Employers are responsible
The wide variety of hand and power tools on the market today helps workers be more efficient and perform more tasks than ever before. When used incorrectly, however, they can cause injury and even death. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.242 provides general requirements for employers and employees. All hand and power tools, whether furnished by the employer or the employee, are to be maintained in a safe condition and inspected for any defects.
Operating and maintenance instructions are to be made available and should be read by the operator.
Power Tools: Best Practices
Before using any power tool, it’s crucial to read and follow all safety precautions found in the owner’s manual for the tool. OSHA’s publication 3080 Hand and Power Tools (2002) provides these general guidelines for safe power tool use:
- Never carry a tool by the cord or hose.
- Never yank the cord or hose to disconnect it from the receptacle.
- Keep cords and hoses away from heat, oil and sharp edges.
- Disconnect tools when not using them, before servicing and cleaning them, and when changing accessories such as blades, bits and cutters.
- Keep all employees not involved with the work at a safe distance from the work area.
- Secure work with clamps or a vise, freeing both hands to operate the tool.
- Avoid accidental starting. Do not hold fingers on the switch button while carrying a plugged-in tool.
- Maintain tools with care; keep them sharp and clean for best performance.
- Follow instructions in the user’s manual for lubricating and changing accessories.
- Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance when operating power tools.
- Remove all damaged portable electric tools from use and tag them: “Do Not Use.”