Techniques for Handling Hand and Power Tools

When you use hand and power tools as part of your everyday job, it’s easy to forget how dangerous they can be. What can you do to stay safe? Follow these seven tips to handle tools correctly and reduce the chance of injuries.  

Use the Right Tool for the Job

Although it’s tempting to pick up the closest tool, this usually isn’t a smart idea. Take the time to find what you need. This includes locating the correct bits, blades, and accessories for power tools. Misused tools can break, splinter, fly off, and even hit someone.    

Keep Tools in Working Order

Before you start, inspect the tools to make sure they are in good condition. Fix or replace any broken parts and throw out those that are beyond repair. Also, regularly perform any required maintenance outlined in instruction manuals.  

Follow Instructions  

Operate tools according to the rules. If you don’t know what you are doing, ask for assistance or additional training. And, NEVER remove guards or disable safety devices on power tools. These accessories aren’t optional. There are there to protect you.  

Respect the Power of Electricity

When you are not using a power tool, unplug it to prevent accidental starting. Similarly, always unplug appliances when performing maintenance or changing parts. Finally, avoid picking up or carrying power tools by their cords. Damaged cords can increase the risk of electric shock.   

Dress Appropriately

You’ll want to wear the right outfit for the job. Loose-fitting clothing, ties, and jewelry could all catch on tools or machinery. Also, be sure to put on any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, goggles, earplugs, and masks. You may not feel comfortable or look cool, but this equipment helps to keep you safe.  

Keep Your Workspace Clean

Leaving a mess not only makes things harder to find, but also can be dangerous. Wipe up spills immediately, put tools away when you are finished using them, and throw out any garbage. Accidents are more likely to happen in cluttered areas.    

Report Unsafe Conditions Immediately

If you can’t repair a tool or you noticed a machine isn’t working correctly, report the situation to a supervisor as soon as possible. It’s better to be on the safe side than to witness a tragedy you might have prevented. If your employer isn’t listening to you despite your pressing concerns, you have the right to file a confidential complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Visit OSHA’s website to learn more about this process.  

Would You Like to Put Your Knowledge of Hand and Power Tools to Good Use?

Halpin Staffing Services is looking for carpenters, machine operators, and assemblers. Our recruiters can match your skills and talents to the right opportunity. Search our available openings and find your next job today!     

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