New Braunfels, TX, June 7, 2023
Safe use of hand and power tools is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Hand and power tools are indispensable in countless industries and everyday tasks. They empower us to build, repair, and create, but they also demand our utmost respect and caution. According to a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hand and power tool injuries send an average of 400,000 people to the emergency room each year. These tools can cause lacerations, puncture wounds, dismemberment, burns, electrical shock, and death. Fortunately, there are many preventative measures that employees can take to prevent tool injuries from occurring. Here are three key points pertaining to the safe use of hand and power tools:
HAVE PROPER TRAINING AND FAMILIARITY
It is crucial for individuals to receive proper training on the safe operation of hand and power tools before using them. Training should cover the specific tools we will be working with, including their functions, potential hazards, and correct operating procedures. Ensure we familiarize ourselves with the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for each tool we use. Proper training ensures that we understand the tools’ limitations, recommended safety practices, and how to respond in case of an emergency. Always use the right tool for the job. Wrenches are not hammers; knives are not screwdrivers.
UTILIZE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The use of personal protective equipment is vital when working with hand and power tools. Always ensure that we wear the necessary PPE based on the specific hazards associated with the tools and the tasks we are performing. This may include safety goggles or glasses to protect the eyes from flying debris, hearing protection to reduce noise exposure, gloves to safeguard hands from cuts or abrasions, and appropriate footwear to provide stability and protection. It is important to wear PPE consistently and ensure that it fits properly and is in good condition. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry when operating portable power tools; such items can become caught in moving parts.
MAINTAIN AND INSPECT
Regular maintenance and inspection of hand and power tools are essential for their safe operation. Remember to inspect tools before each use, looking for signs of damage, wear, or defects. Any damaged or malfunctioning tools should be immediately reported and taken out of service until repaired or replaced. Proper tool maintenance, such as keeping blades sharp, ensuring cords are in good condition, and lubricating moving parts, helps prevent accidents caused by tool failure or malfunction. Workers should also follow proper storage procedures to maintain the tools’ integrity and prevent injuries from mishandling or tripping hazards. Field modification outside of manufacturer specifications is strictly prohibited unless authorization is obtained in writing from the manufacturer. Lastly, remember that guards shall always be in place and operable while the tool is in use. The guard may not be manipulated in such a way that will compromise its integrity or compromise the protection in which it is intended.
If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get you taken care of.