Tools are a necessary requirement on most job sites, indoors and outdoors. However, hand tools, when used improperly or not kept in good condition, can also result in very serious injuries.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.301(a) says that employers shall not issue or permit the use of unsafe hand tools.
Hand tool safety and awareness is a great toolbox talk or safety meeting topic. Reminders, like those found in this article, should be provided to employees who use hand tools during a safety meeting, annual safety training, or a safety huddle at the job site.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.242(a) Each employer shall be responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees, including tools and equipment which may be furnished by employees.
Workers should be sure that they take good care of their hand tools to avoid common injuries such as:
Injuries with tools often take place when workers fail to use them as intended or forget to inspect them before using. Workers should be trained and reminded to follow safe work practices every time they use their tools.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.301(d) The wooden handles of tools shall be kept free of splinters or cracks and shall be kept tight in the tool.
Hand tools should always be inspected before use. Never use hand tools that are rusted, cracked, warped, splintered, loose, damaged or broken!
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.301(b) Wrenches, including adjustable, pipe, end, and socket wrenches shall not be used when jaws are sprung to the point that slippage occurs.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.301(c) Impact tools, such as drift pins, wedges, and chisels, shall be kept free of mushroomed heads.
Hand tools can also pose a risk even when they are not in use if they are not carried, stored, or handled properly.
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