Hand and Portable Power Tool Safety

December 19th, 2016

Hand and Portable Power Tool Safety

Hand and portable power tool safety is important to practice in your everyday work life.  It’s easy to forget that they can be dangerous, if used improperly.  For example, a simple screwdriver can slip and cause a puncture wound, and an unguarded electric drill can cause serious shock.  You probably already know how to operate most hand and tools.  Now, take a moment to make sure you know how to operate them safely.

Play it Extra Safe With Power Tools

Power tools make it possible to do many tasks quickly and efficiently.  But, because they use electricity and have fast-moving parts, you must exercise caution when using them.  In addition to standard safety-tool practices, follow these tips when working with portable power tools:

  • Dress for safety.  Remember, your hands and eyes are your most important tools.  When you use saws or grinders, wear protective clothing to prevent cuts and burns.  Always wear safety glasses when there is danger of flying wood, metal, or particles.
  • Inspect and test.  Before you use any power tool, check it for broken parts or loose bolts.  If you’re using a tool with a sharp edge, use a scrap of wood, not your fingers, to test its sharpness.
  • Start from “off.”  Before plugging in a power tool, check the power switch to make sure it is in the “off” position.  It’s dangerous to plug in a tool when the switch is “on.”  When you are through, be sure the tool has stopped before unplugging it or putting it down.
  • Prevent shock.  Be sure your tool is properly grounded and double-insulated.  Keep cords away from heat, sharp objects, and chemicals which could damage their insulation.  Keep your work area dry.  If you must work in a wet area, keep the power cord clear of wet surfaces or use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Tool Safety Rules

Hand and power tools are designed to work for you and make your job easier.  When used properly, they will help minimize errors, and maximize safety.  There are some basic safety rules you should follow when using power tools.  These rules will help protect you:

  • Use the right tool for the job, and make sure it’s the right size for the job. When you use a wrench as a hammer, or a knife as a screwdriver, you risk damaging the tool, the material being worked on, and yourself.
  • Keep your tools in good condition. A clean, sharp tool is a safe tool.  Tools with greasy handles or dull cutting edges can slip and cause injury.
  • Learn the correct way to use a tool. There is typically one right way—and many wrong ways—to use any tool.  Don’t assume you’ll know how to use a new or unfamiliar tool correctly.  If you don’t know, ask!
  • Follow common-sense tool rules. Always cut away from yourself.  Pull on a wrench; don’t push it.  Never modify a tool to increase its leverage or force.
  • Use tools thoughtfully, with awareness and patience. Don’t rush, don’t daydream, and don’t horse around.
  • Carry and store tools safely. Carry tools with the sharp parts pointed down and away from you. Store tools in a clean, dry place to keep them free of grease, dust, and rust.

Report Workplace Injury
If you are injured while on assignment with ABR, report it to your supervisor or  local ABR Employment Services office immediately.

This blog about Hand and Portable Power Tool Safety was written by Safety Management Services Company. It is being shared with permission. 

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