Safe Use of Equipment

4.1 Hand Tools and Workshop Machines

4.1.1 Introduction

Employees should be trained in the proper use of all tools. Workers should 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:

  • Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance;
  • Use the right tool for the job;
  • Examine each tool for damage before use and do not use damaged tools;
  • Operate tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions; and
  • Provide and use properly the right personal protective equipment.

Employees and employers should work together to establish safe working procedures. If a hazardous situation is encountered, it should be brought immediately to the attention of the proper individual for hazard abatement.

4.1.2 What are the Hazards of Hand Tools?1

Employees should be trained in the proper use and handling of tools and equipment. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.

Some examples include:

  • Using a chisel 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 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, ...

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