Electrician Hand Tool Safety

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Review the details in this hand tool safety list. SOURCE:

Handtool Safety Guidelines

Handtool Safety Checklist

Working With Compressed Air

Handtool Safety Guidelines

The 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

To 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.


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. SHARP-  Keep cutting tools sharp. A dull tool is more dangerous than a sharp one.

4. SELECTION-  Select the right type and size tool for the job.

5. SECURE-  When working on ladders or scaffolding, make sure your tools are secure. A falling tool can cause serious injury to bystanders.

6. 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 the tool.

7. DRESS-  Jewelry, (especially rings), loose clothing, and even long hair can get caught in power tools, causing serious injury or death.

8. CLEAN-  Clean tools after each use. Store in a protected location.

Safety Issues for Compressed Air Cleaning

Compressed 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."

This 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.

Another 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 operator.

There 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.

Regardless of the OSHA compliant design you choose, it is also important that the user is trained properly and wears appropriate personal protective equipment.



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 damaged.

Clean tools after every use.

Keep cutting edges sharp.

Never test a cutting edge with your fingers - test on a scrap material instead.

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 pockets.

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 the job!



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