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October Safety Tip

When and how should you inspect powered hand tools?

  • Inspect tools for any damage prior to each use.
  • Check the handle and body casing of the tool for cracks or other damage.
  • If the tool has auxiliary or double handles, check to see that they installed securely.
  • Inspect cords for defects: check the power cord for cracking, fraying, and other signs of wear or faults in the cord insulation.
  • Check for damaged switches and ones with faulty trigger locks.
  • Inspect the plug for cracks and for missing, loose or faulty prongs.

What should you do if you find a tool defective?  

  • If a tool is defective, remove it from service, and tag it clearly “Out of service for repair”.
  • Replace damaged equipment immediately – do not use defective tools “temporarily”.
  • Have tools repaired by a qualified person – do not attempt field repairs.

What should you do before using powered hand tools?

  • Ensure that you have been properly trained to use the tool safely. Read the operator’s manual before using the tool and operate the tool according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use only tested and approved tools.
  • Ensure that the power tool has the correct guard, shield or other attachment that the manufacturer recommends.
  • Prevent shocks. Ensure that the tools are properly grounded using a three-prong plug, are double-insulated (and are labelled as such).  This is what a double insulated symbol looks like and will be on the tool’s label.  A tool cannot be both double insulated and have a ground pin in the plug.
  • Check electric tools to ensure that a tool with a 3-prong plug has an approved 3-wire cord and is grounded. The three-prong plug should be plugged in a properly grounded 3-pole outlet.  NEVER remove the third, grounding prong from a plug.