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Hand Tool Safety Rules

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.

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 others.
  • 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 others.
  • 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 others.

You are responsible for the safe condition of your tools and equipment. You should not use or permit the use of unsafe hand tools. You should be trained in the proper use and handling of tools and equipment before using them.

When using saw blades, knives, or other tools, direct the tools away from aisle areas and away from others who are 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 and replaced with new blades.

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 such as aluminum or brass should be used where flammable gases, highly volatile liquids, and other explosive substances are stored or used.

Appropriate personal protective equipment such as safety goggles and gloves must be worn to protect against hazards that may be encountered while using hand tools.

Workplace floors should be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent accidental slips with or around dangerous hand tools.

More Specific Safety Rules/Information:

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