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Hand and Portable Power Tools

June Safety Tip

HAND AND PORTABLE POWER TOOLS 

Employees can avoid injuries and fatalities by using hand, power and powder-actuated tools properly.  This includes using properly adjusted guards on grinders, grinding wheels rated for the grinder’s speed, and tools equipped with protection from rotating parts.

OSHA requires that employers maintain all tools in the workplace in a safe condition, including those furnished by employees.  Employers must also perform regular maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.  It is a good practice to add these tools to your preventive maintenance schedule.

Using Hand Tools

  • Use the right tool for the job.
  • Don’t use wrenches when jaws are sprung to the point that slippage occurs.
  • Make sure impact tools do not have mushroomed heads.
  • Keep tools’ wooden handles free of splinters and cracks and don’t use tools with loose handles. (Duct tape is not the solution)

Using Power Tools

Electric Tools

  • Only use electric tools that are double-insulated indicated by this symbol on the label or grounded with a grounding plug.
  • Never use the cord for hoisting or lowering.
  • Replace the cord if insulation is damaged, don’t tape over it.

Pneumatic Tools

  • Secure all pneumatic tools to the air supply hose or whip to prevent disconnecting.
  • Never carry tools by the hose.
  • Use clips or retainers to secure all attachments used on pneumatic tools.
  • Never use compressed air above 30 psi for cleaning purposes – and then, only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment.

Hydraulic Tools

  • Use only fire-resistant fluids in hydraulic tools.
  • Follow all manufacturer’s operating procedures.

Abrasive Wheel Tools

  • Make sure proper guards are in place and correctly adjusted. Adjust tool work rests so that the maximum clearance between the rest and the wheel does not exceed 1/8 inch.
  • Wear the correct eye protection for the job; a faceshield over safety glasses is recommended.
  • Make sure the wheel is rated for the speed of the motor.
  • Inspect wheels for defects using the ring test.
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