Portable power tools have all of the same inherent hazards as stationary equipment does. However, because these tools are portable, they present some additional safety concerns. Portable tools are more likely to come into contact with the body, which could result in an injury. The power source is also more likely to come into contact with the body. It is important to follow safe operating procedures and to keep the equipment in good working condition.
- Make sure tools are disconnected from power sources before changing any attachments.
- Place tools in a secure location where they will not inadvertently be pulled off a shelf or scaffold.
- Do not create a tripping hazard by draping tool cords across walkways or traffic areas.
- Suspend power cords with nonconductive items that will not damage the cord.
- Keep manufacturers’ guards in good working condition. Do not pin them back or remove them.
- Use the right tool for the job. Do not try to save time by using the wrong tools. Injuries may occur when the wrong application is attempted.
- Always inspect tools before use. Power cords, plugs, hoses, and air connectors are common things that get damaged or worn. For example, a power cord that has broken insulation could short out on a wristwatch resulting in electrical shock. All tools should have a three prong plug or be double-insulated. Blades and tips should be sharp and in good condition.
- Once tools have been inspected, use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, hearing protection, dust masks, and gloves are some of the more common types of PPE. Items that could get caught in the moving parts such as long hair, loose clothing, and jewelry should be tied back or removed before operating tools.
- When using gas-powered portable tools in a confined environment, make sure there is sufficient air movement to prevent carbon monoxide build up.
- Do not lift tools in and out of toolboxes by the cord.
- Ensure electrical tools used in a wet location are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- When not in use, keep tools in a dry, clean, and secure location.
Hand and power tools have been designed to improve productivity and allow for more versatility. If properly used, these tools will allow you to be more effective without compromising safety.
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.