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Canal HR April Safety Topic: Hand Tools

Hand tools are used so often that we may not remember that they can pose hazards.  Our safety meeting today is to help prevent tool-related accidents by removing or avoiding associated hazards and learning safety precautions.  Hand tools are non-powered.  They include anything from axes to hammers.  Always wear the approved eye protection, dust masks and clothing for the job.  Do not wear jewelry or loose clothing at work as it can become caught in tools.  Keep your work area clean and free from clutter.  Use CLEAN hand tools, in the manner they are designed for in a well lighted area.  For example, never use a screwdriver handle as a hammer.  Never carry sharp tools in your pocket.  Repair or replace broken tools immediately.  Grasp your tools firmly as you use them.

Screwdrivers & Pliers:  Most screw drivers and pliers are not designed for use on electrical equipment.  Use an insulated screwdriver or pliers for this purpose.  Always inspect the tool to be sure the handle is not broken or the blade is bent. Don’t use a screwdriver as a chisel as this may cause the tip of the screwdriver to break and fly off, hitting someone.

Hammers:  Use the correct hammer for the job to be done.  Make sure you have adequate clearance before swinging a hammer.  Always check the tool for defects.  If the handle is loose, splintered or cracked, it may cause the head of the tool to fly off.

Knives:  When using knives always cut away from your body.  Keep your blade sharp.  Store your knives in drawers or chests with the cutting edge down.

Wrenches:  Always select the correct size wrench for the job.  Never use pliers instead of a wrench.  Pull on wrenches, do not push.  Don’t use the wrench if the jaws are sprung as this might cause it to slip.

Chisels:  Wear safety goggles or a face shield when using a chisel.  Drive a wood chisel outward, away from your body.  Don’t use a chisel to pry things.  Keep the edges sharp.  Don’t use the tool if it has a mushroomed head.  The head might shatter on impact, sending sharp fragments flying.

Nothing above supersedes local, state, or federal laws. Information is believed to be reliable but Canal HR makes no guarantee as to, and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of the above information or recommendations.  Additional Safety measures may be required in some circumstances.