Safety_01.gif (3940 bytes)Pacific Employers
                                        Advisors to Management

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Hand & Power Tools

* Tool Safety I *

Hazard Recognition

Hand Tools

    Hand tools are non-powered. They include anything from axes to wrenches. The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance.

Some examples:

    While the employer is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees, employees have the responsibility for properly using and maintaining tools.

    Employees must take care that saw blades, knives, or other tools are directed away from aisle areas and other employees working in close proximity.   Knives and scissors must be sharp.  Dull tools can be more hazardous than sharp ones.

    Appropriate personal protective equipment, e.g., safety goggles, gloves, etc., should be worn due to hazards that may be encountered while using portable power tools and hand tools.

    Safety requires that floors be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent accidental slips with or around dangerous hand tools.

    Around flammable substances, sparks produced by iron and steel hand tools can be a dangerous ignition source.  Where this hazard exists, spark-resistant tools made from brass, plastic, aluminum, or wood will provide for safety.

Power Tool Precautions

    Power tools can be hazardous when improperly used.  There are several types of power tools, based on the power source they use: electric, pneumatic, liquid fuel, hydraulic, and powder-actuated.

    Employees should only use tools when they are trained in the use of all tools - not just power tools.  Emloyees should understand the potential hazards as well as the safety precautions to prevent those hazards from occurring.

The following general precautions should be observed by power tool users:

* Put Safety In Your Toolbox *

We welcome comments about this article, and your requests for future topics.

    If you have a specific topic you would like to see covered here or that you may need for your company, please send an Email to our Tail Gate Safety Topics editor, Dave Miller at or to Thanks!


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Copyright 1999 by David E. Miller

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