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Review the details in this hand tool safety list. SOURCE:
construction and home project season is getting into full swing. Now's a good
time to sharpen up on basic handtool safety. About 8% of industrial accidents in
the United States involve unsafe handtool use, such as:
Using the wrong tool for the job
Using the proper tool incorrectly
Failing to wear personal protective equipment
Failing to follow safety guidelines
reduce your chances of injury, ran through this handy safety checklist every
time you're starting work on a project. Just clip it and post it in your garage,
truck, or work area.
INSPECTION- Inspect tools before each use. Examine
screws, nuts, bolts, and movable parts to make sure they are tight. Check hammer
and other tool handles for cracks and tightness. Check chisels and other
striking tools for mushroomed ends. Repair or replace worn tools.
ELECTRICAL- Before plugging or unplugging tools, make
sure the power switch is turned off. Be sure power tools are plugged into an
outlet protected by a ground fault circuit breaker. Check power and extension
cords for splits, cracks, or excessive wear. Replace damaged or worn cords.
SHARP- Keep cutting tools sharp. A dull tool is more dangerous
than a sharp one.
SELECTION- Select the right type and size tool for the
SECURE- When working on ladders or scaffolding, make sure your
tools are secure. A falling tool can cause serious injury to bystanders.
WEAR PROTECTION- Wear personal protective equipment such
as safety goggles, face shields, or gloves, as required. Most new tools come
with warning labels advising what protective equipment is needed for safe use of
DRESS- Jewelry, (especially rings), loose clothing, and
even long hair can get caught in power tools, causing serious injury or death.
CLEAN- Clean tools after each use. Store in a protected
Issues for Compressed Air Cleaning
air is used for many industrial cleaning and maintenance applications. Most
safety issues with compressed air arise due to the high pressures involved. OSHA
created regulation 29 CFR I910.242(b), which addresses the hazards of compressed
air used for cleaning. It states, "Compressed air shall not be used for
cleaning purposes except where reduced to less than 30psi and then only with
effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment."
regulation is sometimes misinterpreted. OSHA intends the phrase "reduce to
less than 30psi" to apply when the orifice or tip of an air gun is blocked
so that the static pressure at the tip is less than 30psi. This is to ensure
that a high back pressure is not created within the tool. Manufacturers of OSHA
compliant air guns accomplish the pressure reduction by placing holes or vents
in the nozzle to release the air if a block should occur.
danger associated with air gun use is debris blowing back into a worker's face.
This is where the "effective chip guarding" reference comes into plan.
Chip guarding refers to a physical barrier (such as a screen), or the use of air
cones. Air cones are created by orifices that direct air roughly perpendicular
to the main air stream. This helps deflect debris that may fly back at the
are several designs of air guns available that meet OSHA's requirements.
Standard nozzle guns have a single orifice for delivering a stream of air and
incorporate small pressure relief holes on the side that divert the pressure if
the nozzle is blocked. Venturi nozzle guns increase air velocity and volume by
adding air through side ports to the main airstream. Coandaire nozzle guns
increase air flow while decreasing noise levels. They accomplish this through
slots around the nozzle that forces air out that adheres to a conical shaped tip
and joins to create a main stream of air.
of the OSHA compliant design you choose, it is also important that the user is
trained properly and wears appropriate personal protective equipment.
BASIC RULES FOR HAND TOOLS
Safety Tips for Using Hand Tools
Almost all of us use hand tools - at work and at home. Frequently
accidents at Duke involve the unsafe use of hand tools (both manual and
power tools). These accidents result from using the wrong tool for the job
(or using the right tool incorrectly), failing to wear personal protective
equipment, or failing to follow safety guidelines. The following checklist
provides some basic rules for the safe use of hand tools. Take a moment to
review this list, and use the tips here whenever you use a hand tool - on or
off the job.
Hand Tool Guidelines
Know the purpose of each tool you use, and use each for the specific
task it was designed to do.
Never use any tool - hand or power tool unless you are trained to do
so and are familiar with its use.
If you have a question about hand tool usage - ask your supervisor.
Inspect tools before each use and repair or replace if worn or
Clean tools after every use.
Keep cutting edges sharp.
Never test a cutting edge with your fingers - test on a scrap
Select the right size tool for the job - don't use cheater bars.
When working on ladders or scaffolding, be sure that you your tools
are secure. A falling tool can seriously injure a coworker or bystander.
Carry tools correctly - never put sharp or pointed tools in your
When hand-carrying sharp tools, point cutting edges away from you,
toward the ground or cover the sharp edges.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses,
safety goggles, face shields, gloves and proper clothing as appropriate.
The proper tool can make the job go much easier. Use the right tool for
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