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Tools are an integral component of our lives, so much that we often ignore the hazards they pose. Unfortunately, if the right precautionary steps aren’t taken, a serious incident may occur. If you use professional hand and power tools, remember that you’re always at risk of certain hazards.
Here are 25 basic safety rules for using hand tools, all of which will be useful in preventing tool-related hazards.
- Ensure tools are stored in a safe place.
- Ensure you have extra tools available in case the tool you were planning to use is damaged.
- Perform regular inspection of your tools and see if there are any signs of damage. If there’s a damaged tool, get it repaired as soon as possible.
- Refrain from carrying pointed tools in your pocket. Use a cart or a toolbox instead.
- When necessary, secure work with a vise or a clamp to prevent it from slipping.
- Don’t keep the tools lying out if you’re working at heights because they may fall and hurt the workers working below.
- When going up a ladder, never carry tools by hand. Use a bag or a bucket to hoist tools from the ground to the worker.
- Be aware of the people working alongside you, and ensure they don’t get too close to the tools you’re using.
- Ensure your feet are planted on a stable surface.
- Always use the right tool for the job. Simply put, don’t use a wrench if you can’t find a hammer.
- Wear PPE (personal protective equipment), for example, leather gloves.
- Dress appropriately. Don’t wear loose clothes/articles that may get caught in the moving parts of a tool.
- Maintain your tools by, for example, sharpening or grinding them. Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
- Inspect your tools regularly to ensure they’re fit for use and always in good shape.
- Purchase quality tools. Numerous tools, including hammers and cutters, should be heat-treated and made of steel.
- Refrain from storing a loaded air gun.
- Don’t leave your tools unattended.
- Protect nearby workers from flying fragments by using screens.
- Always wear eye protection.
- During operation, use a retainer or safety clips to prevent the attachments from getting ejected. Also, use a chip guard when cleaning with high-pressure compressed air. Ensure that the nozzle pressure is limited to 30 pounds/square inch.
- When you’re done using the tool, release the pressure before you break the hose connections.
- Don’t point a compressed air gun on another person.
- Verify that every part of the tool is fastened securely before use.
- Don’t use electric tools in wet condition until they’re approved for that use.
- Don’t carry a power tool by its cord.
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