Friday, 23 of March of 2018

Hand and Power Tools


Hand Tool Safety

Hand tools are used by everyone. The misuse of hand tools in industry is the cause of about seven to eight percent of all compensable injuries each year. These injuries often involve severe disabilities. The following are examples of hand tool injury and some probable causes:

Loss of eye/vision – using striking tools without eye protection.
Puncture wounds – using a screwdriver with a loose handle which causes the hand to slip.
Severed fingers, tendons and arteries – using a dull knife requires so much force that your hand may slip down the blade.
Broken bones – using the wrong hammer for the job and smashing a finger.
Contusions – using a small wrench for a big job and bruising a knuckle.

Basic Rules for Hand tool Safety
Safety is a state of mind. Always think when using a tool:
Is it in good condition?
Is it sized right for the job?
Is it in the proper working condition?


Every tool was designed to do a certain job. Use it for its intended purpose.

Keep your tools in good condition: sharp, clean, oiled, dressed and not abused.

Worn tools are dangerous. For example the teeth in a pipe wrench can slip if worn smooth, an adjustable wrench will slip if its jaws are sprung and hammer heads can fly off loose handles.

Tools subject to impact (chisels, star drill, punches, etc.) tend to “mushroom”. Keep them dressed (sharpened) to avoid flying spalls. Use tool holders.

Do not force tools beyond their capacity or use “cheaters” to increase their capacity.

Secure your work in a vise whenever possible. Never hold small work in your hand when using a screwdriver.

Chisels, screwdrivers or other pointed tools should never be carried in clothing pockets. Use tool belts designed for carrying tools.

Hammers should have heads ground properly. Should not have broken claws or handles. Check for loose handles. Always use proper size and weight for the job.

Cutting tools should be kept sharp to ensure good smooth cutting.

Always use proper handles.

Drill Bits should be kept sharp, not dull, chipped, rounded, or tapered.

Screwdriver points should not be badly worn and handles should be in good condition. Use the proper size and type of screwdriver for the job.

Wrenches, if adjustable, must work freely and adjust properly. Gripping teeth or smooth jaws should not be worn. Always use the proper size for the job.

Always wear the PPE required for the job. Protect your eyes, hands, ears and other body parts. Keep clothing out of your work.

 Power Tools

Portable electric power tools are just what their name implies, power tools. Because they’re powerful, workers need to be aware of their limitations and potential hazards.

Use and maintain tools with care. Keep them sharp and clean for their best and safest performance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lubricating and changing tool accessories. Use the right tool for the job.

Keep guards in place and follow lockout/tagout procedures.

Unless it’s designed for it, never use a portable electric tool where there are flammable vapors or gases present.


Inspection of 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.
Defective Tools

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.


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), or are powered by a low-voltage isolation transformer: this will protect users from an electrical shock.

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. If an adapter must be used to accommodate a two-hole receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known, functioning ground. NEVER remove the third, grounding prong from a plug.

Replace open front plugs with dead front plugs. Dead front plugs are sealed and present less danger of shock or short circuit.

Have a qualified electrician install a polarized outlet if the polarized, two-prong plug of a double-insulated tool does not fit in a two-hole receptacle. Double insulated tools use plugs having one prong that is visibly wider than the other.

Test all tools for effective grounding with a continuity tester or a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) before use.

Use only the kind of battery that the tool manufacturer specifies for the battery-powered tool that you are using.

Recharge a battery-powered tool only with a charger that is specifically intended for the battery in that tool.

Remove the battery from the tool or ensure that the tool is switched off or locked off before changing accessories, making adjustments, or storing the tool.

Store a battery pack safely so that no metal parts, nails, screws, wrenches and so on can come in contact with the battery terminals; this could result in shorting the battery and possibly cause sparks, fires or burns.

Using powered hand tools

  • Wear or use personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing that is appropriate for the work you are doing; this may include items such as safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, dust mask, gloves, safety boots or shoes, or rubber boots.
  • Switch off the tools before connecting them to a power supply.
  • If a power cord feels more than comfortably warm or if a tool is sparking, have it checked by an electrician or other qualified person.
  • Disconnect the power supply before making adjustments or changing accessories.
  • Remove any wrenches and adjusting tools before turning on a tool.
  • Inspect the cord for fraying or damage before each use. Tag defective tools clearly with an “Out of service” tag and replace immediately with a tool in good running order.
  • During use, keep power cords clear of tools and the path that the tool will take.
  • Use clamps, a vice or other devices to hold and support the piece being worked on, when practical to do so. This will allow you to use both hands for better control of the tool and will help prevent injuries if a tool jams or binds in a work piece.
  • Use only approved extension cords that have the proper wire size (gauge) for the length of cord and power requirements of the electric tool that you are using. This will prevent the cord from overheating.
  • For outdoor work, use outdoor extension cords marked “W-A” or “W”.
  • Suspend power cords over aisles or work areas to eliminate stumbling or tripping hazards.
  • Eliminate octopus connections: if more than one receptacle plug is needed, use a power bar or power distribution strip that has an integral power cord and a built-in overcurrent protection.
  • Pull the plug, not the cord when unplugging a tool. Pulling the cord causes wear and may adversely affect the wiring to the plug and cause electrical shock to the operator.
  • Follow good housekeeping procedures – keep the work area free of clutter and debris that could be tripping or slipping hazards.
  • Keep power cords away from heat, water, oil, sharp edges and moving parts. They can damage the insulation and cause a shock.
  • Ensure that cutting tools, drill bits, etc. are kept sharp, clean and well maintained.
  • Store tools in a dry, secure location when they are not being used.


Dangers Using Powered Tools

  • Do not wear gloves, loose clothing or jewelry while using revolving power tools. Tie back long hair or wear appropriate hair protection to prevent hair from getting caught in moving parts of equipment.
  • Do not use a tool unless you have been trained to use it safely and know its limitations and hazards.
  • Avoid accidental starting by ensuring the tool is turned off before you plug it in. Also do not walk around with a plugged-in tool with your finger touching the switch.
  • Do not bypass the ON/OFF switch and operate the tools by connecting and disconnecting the power cord.
  • Do not disconnect the power supply of the tool by pulling or jerking the cord from the outlet.
  • Do not leave a running tool unattended. Do not leave it until it has been turned off, has stopped running completely, and has been unplugged.
  • Do not use electric tools in wet conditions or damp locations unless tool is connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Do not expose electric power tools to rain or wet conditions; wet tools increase the likelihood of electric shock.
  • Avoid body contact with grounded surfaces like refrigerators, pipes and radiators when using electric powered tools; this will reduce the likelihood of shock if the operator’s body is grounded.
  • Do not plug several power cords into one outlet by using single-to-multiple outlet adapters or converters (“cube taps”).
  • Do not use light duty power cords.
  • Stop using an electric power tool if you feel a tingle in your fingers. This is a warning that the tool is faulty and needs repair.
  • Do not connect or splice extension cords together to make a longer connection: the resulting extension cord may not be able to provide sufficient current or power safely.
  • Do not carry electrical tools by the power cord.
  • Do not tie power cords in knots. Knots can cause short circuits and shocks. Loop the cords or use a twist lock plug.
  • Never break off the third prong on a plug: replace broken 3-prong plugs and make sure the third prong is properly grounded.
  • Never use extension cords as permanent wiring: use extension cords only as a temporary power supply to an area that does not have a power outlet.
  • Do not walk on or allow vehicles or other moving equipment to pass over unprotected power cords. Cords should be put in conduits or protected by placing planks on each side of them.
  • Do not bush away sawdust, shavings or turnings while the tool is running. Never use compressed air for cleaning surfaces or removing sawdust, metal turnings, etc.
  • Do not operate tools in an area containing explosive vapours or gases.
  • Do not clean tools with flammable or toxic solvents.
  • Do not surprise or touch anyone who is operating a tool. Startling a tool operator could end up causing an accident or injury.


Storage and Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders


Compressed gas cylinders are used in many workplaces to store gases that vary from extremely flammable (acetylene) to extremely inert (helium). Many compressed gas cylinders are stored at extremely high pressures (up to 2,500 pounds per square inch gauge or PSIG). A sudden release of these gases can cause a cylinder to become a missile-like projectile. Cylinders have been known to penetrate concrete-block walls. If handled properly compressed gas cylinders are safe. If handled improperly, the same cylinders can present a severe hazard to you and the surrounding area.


Storing compressed gas cylinders


  • Check your fire code for guidelines regarding the storage of flammable gas cylinders.
  • Store cylinders in a clearly identified, dry, well-ventilated storage area away from doorways, aisles, elevators, and stairs.
  • Post “no smoking” signs in the area.

Store cylinders in the upright position and secure with an insulated chain or non-conductive belt.

Secure the protective caps.

Ensure that the area is well ventilated. With outside storage, place on a fireproof surface and enclose in a tamper-proof enclosure.

Protect cylinders from contact with ground, ice, snow, water, salt, corrosion, and high temperatures.

Store oxygen and fuel gases separately. Indoors, separate oxygen from fuel gas cylinders by at least 6 meters (20 feet), or by a wall at least 1.5 m (5 ft) high with a minimum half-hour fire resistance. (From: CSA W117.2-06 “Safety in welding, cutting and allied processes”. Local jurisdiction requirements may vary.)


What should I avoid doing?

  • Do not use a cylinder as an electrical ground connection.
  • Do not fasten cylinders to a work table or to structures where they could become part of an electrical circuit.
  • Do not strike an arc on a cylinder.
  • Do not use a flame or boiling water to thaw a frozen valve. Valves or cylinders may contain fusible plugs which can melt at temperatures below the boiling point of water.

What should I do with empty or out of service cylinders?

  • Mark or label them as “Empty cylinder” and store empty cylinders away from full cylinders.
  • Return empties to the supplier.
  • Remove regulators when not in use and store these away from grease and oil. Put protective caps on the fittings when in storage.
  • Keep cylinders and fittings from becoming contaminated with oil, grease or dust.
  • Do not use a cylinder that is not identified or if the label is not legible. The colors’ of industrial gas cylinders are not standardized.

How should I move the cylinders?

  • Remove the regulator and replace the valve protection cap before moving a cylinder.
  • Move cylinders with appropriate trolleys. Use proper lifting cradles.
  • Call the supplier to remove leaky cylinders immediately.



  • Do not lift a cylinder by the valve cap. Never sling with ropes or chains or lift with electromagnets.
  • Do not drag, slide, or drop cylinders. They can be rolled for short distances on their base.
  • Never place cylinders on their sides as rollers to move equipment.
  • Do not lay acetylene cylinders on their sides. If an acetylene tank has accidentally been left on its side, set it upright for at least one hour before it is used.
  • Do not try to refill a cylinder or mix gases in a cylinder.


When should I “crack” the cylinder?

Before attaching the regulator, “crack” a secured cylinder by opening the valve slightly then closing it immediately to blow out dust or dirt from the valve outlet. Use two hands on the valve and stand at the side of the valve – never stand directly in front of or behind the valve outlet.

Do not crack fuel gases near ignition sources. Never crack hydrogen cylinders since the release of compressed hydrogen may ignite by itself.