Hand tools are such an important part of our everyday lives, we often forget that they can be dangerous. When a serious incident occurs, it’s usually because we fail to identify and eliminate tool-related hazards. Employees who misuse hand tools can suffer from bruised, smashed, or lacerated fingers and hands; and strained shoulders, backs, legs, and knees. These injuries are often the result of using the wrong tool for the job, or using a damaged or worn tool. The following is a list of basic tool safety elements:
• Never use any tool unless you are trained to do so.
• Inspect tools before each use and replace if worn or defective.
• Keep cutting edges sharp.
• Use the right tool for the job (no screwdrivers as chisels).
• Select the right size tool for the job. Don’t use cheaters.
• When working on ladders or scaffolds, be sure that you and your tools are secure. (A falling tool can seriously injure a co-worker or bystander.)
• Carry tools correctly; never put sharp or pointed tools in your pocket.
• When using saw blades, knives, or other tools, you should direct the tools away from aisle areas and away from other employees working in close proximity.
• Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety goggles, face shields, gloves etc. as required.
Download a list of commonly misused hand tools and their correct usage.
WCF Insurance Safety Department
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.