Risk Associated With the Hand Held Power Tools
Handheld power tools are a staple in many workshops and construction sites. They are convenient and easy to use, which is why they have become so popular. However, with great power comes great risk. You can easily injure yourself with these tools if you’re not careful. This blog post will discuss the risks associated with handheld power tools and how to avoid them.
Employees who use hand and power tools and are exposed to falling, flying, abrasive, and splashing objects or to harmful dust, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases must be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment. All electrical connections for these tools must be suitable for the type of tool and the working conditions (wet, dusty, flammable vapors). When a temporary power source is used for construction, a ground-fault circuit interrupter should be used.
Hand tools are tools that are powered manually. Hand tools include anything from axes to wrenches. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.
Risk Associated With the Hand Held Power Tools
- Accidental start-up – One of the biggest risks associated with hand-held power tools is that they can easily be turned on accidentally, which can obviously lead to serious injury. Always keep your fingers away from the trigger area and ensure the tool is turned off when not in use.
- Defective tools – Another big risk is using a defective tool. Be sure to always inspect your tools before use to make sure they are in good working condition. If you have any doubts, don’t use the tool and get it repaired or replaced first.
- Flying debris – Another hazard associated with hand-held power tools is flying debris. Always wear safety goggles or a face shield when using any power tool to protect your eyes from flying debris.
- Exposed blades – Another hazard to be aware of is exposed blades. Be careful not to touch any exposed blades as they can cause serious injury.
- Electrical hazards – Another hazard to be aware of is electrical hazards. Always make sure that the tool you are using is properly grounded and that you are using the correct voltage for the tool.
- Noise hazards – Another hazard associated with hand held power tools is noise. Always wear hearing protection when using any power tool to protect your ears from loud noise.
- Vibration hazards – Another hazard associated with hand held power tools is vibration. Always hold the tool firmly and use both hands if possible to help reduce the risk of vibration injuries.
- Ergonomic hazards – Another hazard associated with hand held power tools is ergonomic hazards. Always use the tool ergonomically correctly to help reduce the risk of injury.
- Safety hazards – Another hazard associated with hand held power tools is safety hazards. Always follow the safety instructions that come with the tool, and always use common sense when using any type of power tool.
Following these simple safety tips can help reduce the risks associated with hand held power tools. However, even if you do everything right, accidents can still happen. If you are injured using a handheld power tool, seek medical attention immediately.
Some examples include the following:
- If a chisel is used as a screwdriver, the tip of the chisel may break and fly off, hitting the user or other employees.
- If a wooden handle on a tool, such as a hammer or an axe, is loose, splintered, or cracked, the head of the tool may fly off and strike the user or other employees.
- If the jaws of a wrench are sprung, the wrench might slip.
- If impact tools such as chisels, wedges, or drift pins have mushroomed heads, the heads might shatter on impact, sending sharp fragments flying toward the user or other employees.
The employer is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees. Employers shall not issue or permit the use of unsafe hand tools. Employees should be trained in properly using and handling tools and equipment.
When using saw blades, knives, or other tools, employees should direct the tools away from aisle areas and from other employees working in close proximity. Knives and scissors must be sharp; dull tools can cause more hazards than sharp ones. Cracked saw blades must be removed from service.
Wrenches must not be used when jaws are sprung to the point that slippage occurs. Impact tools such as drift pins, wedges, and chisels must be kept free of mushroomed heads. The wooden handles of tools must not be splintered.
Iron or steel hand tools may produce sparks that can be an ignition source around flammable substances. Where this hazard exists, spark-resistant tools made of non-ferrous materials should be used where flammable gases, highly volatile liquids, and other explosive substances are stored or used.