Five Best Practices For Proper Hand Tool Use

Five Best Practices For Proper Hand Tool Use

Proper Tool Use

Be sure to follow these general rules when using hand tools:

  • Inspect tools before using.
  • Avoid using damaged tools.
  • Tools that appear to be damaged or have broken handles should be marked unsafe.
  • Do not use damaged or defective tools until they have been repaired.

Always use proper-sized tools and equipment for the job. Use each tool only for the job for which it was intended. Forcing a small tool to do the job of a large one may result in injury or tool damage. Follow these guidelines:

  • Never use a screw driver to see if electrical circuits are hot.
  • Never use a machinist’s hammer in place of a carpenter’s hammer.
  • Do not strike a hardened steel surface, such as an anvil, with a steel hammer because a small piece of steel may break off and injure someone.
  • Be sure wrenches fit properly.
  • Never use pliers in place of a wrench.
  • Never strike wrenches with hammers or use wrenches as hammers.
  • Pull on wrenches. Do not push.
  • When sawing, secure the material in the saw vise.
  • Watch your fingers. Take special care when hammering so that you strike the object, not your fingers.
Five Basic Safety Rules For Hand And Power Tools

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.”

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